Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thirty-Four Days Until My Release

A close friend forwarded an article she found indicating that members of Bernard Madoff’s family may have retained Larry Levine as a prison consultant.  Mr. Levine, apparently, served many years in prison ,  According to press reports I have read, during the time Mr. Levine served in prison, he worked as a jail house lawyer  As a prison consultant, the media reports I’ve read suggest that Mr. Levine coaches his clients on steps they may take to scam the system.

I’m intrigued to read that a market exists for the services that Mr. Levine offers. The resume he publicizes indicates that upon his release form prison, Mr. Levine violated the conditions of his supervised release and the judge ordered him to return to prison.  Although I don’t know the details of his offense, I do wonder whether his advice on helping people scam the system played a role in his failure.

Upon my release from prison, I, too, intend to consult and offer guidance.  My approach, however, will differ from Mr. Levine’s.  Rather than advising defendants and family members on steps they may take “to scam” the system, I will help individuals emerge stronger through struggle.

Release for me does not come for another five weeks, or just under.  Nevertheless, I strive to add value now by recording the daily blogs about my prison journey and want others to see a different perspective from the on that Mr. Levine has been said to offer.  Rather than recommending deceit and underhanded strategies, I want to show people how to empower themselves.   That strategy has served me well through difficulty and I know that it can help others.

On a separate matter, I want to thank my friend for reaching out to me.  My spirits lift when I read that others accompany me through these final weeks of prisons.  I’ve learned many lessons during this past year, not the least of which is the importance of family. My mother and father, my brother and sister-in-law all have been immensely helpful in keeping me strong.  In fewer than five weeks, my blogging days will transition into my consulting days.  More importantly, I’ll return to the warmth of home.

Justin Paperny

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