May 10, 2014

Top 5 Federal Prisons

This morning I received a call from a prospect who asked me to tell him which prison he should choose of the following five:

1) Taft Federal Prison Camp

2) Lompoc Camp

3) FCI Sheridan

4) Terminal Island

5) Atwater Camp

When I asked why these five he told me that he was assured that he would be surrendering to one of these prisons, and that he was looking for “the guy” that could get him dialed in at one of these spots. I always chuckle when defendants still talk as if they are still running the show or controlling the narrative. I have had these calls before, of course. When I told him I would choose the prison that would be best for his family to visit, he balked. His concern was getting information on a prison that would let him do “easy time” and one that would, “of course, guarantee him the most halfway house time.” Apparently, his lawyer told him he could get up to one-year in prison due to the 2nd Chance Act. Funny, I have never heard of a guy serving a three-year term getting a year in the halfway house. Problem, again, is lawyers try to play prison consultant. They give advice to defendants that sets them back and creates unmanageable expectations. As I never disburse legal advice lawyers should refrain from offering advice on subjects they are not familiar with. Many of my referrals come from lawyers. And I in turn send out many referrals. In each case we know our role. When we do not we harm the person we are paid to help: our client.

I told this defendant that based on his arrogant, I am better than everyone else attitude, it does not matter where he goes. I encouraged him to think about the pain he is bringing his family. Such an approach may help him understand thriving through prison should never include the words “easy time.” Prison is hard, but nothing is harder than coming home unprepared.

I feel for this man’s family. He is not considering them at all. He is only focused on himself, on how his life is falling apart, the wrongs done him and so on. In time he will see it from my perspective. Despite having no involvement in scheming or breaking the law it is the families who pay the biggest price and endure the greatest consequence.

Justin Paperny

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