Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Twenty-Seven Days Until My Release From Taft Federal Prison Camp

Every morning I wake and I know that I’m another day closer to home.  I’ve always known this, of course, but realizing that four weeks from today will bring my first day of quasi freedom really boosts my spirits.  I’m doubly excited because not only will I resume my life in society, I also will launch my new career promoting Lessons From Prison.

Today I spoke with another prisoner, Walt, who returns to society a few months after me.  Walt is a powerful orator who comes from a background far different from mine.  Where I was coddled by a nurturing family in an affluent community, graduated from the University of Southern California and earned millions as a stockbroker before I facilitated a Ponzi scheme, Walt struggled through the poverty of public housing projects in Watts.  He grew up as an active gang banger and began a lengthy prison term while he was illiterate.  As crazy as the idea may sound, I’m convinced that Walt and I can sow a lot of seeds for good by working together.

Besides speaking to business school students, corporate executives, and white-collar offenders whose lives are being disrupted by the criminal justice system, I feel strongly that Lessons From Prison can bring some real value to people who languish without hope through America’s jails and prisons.  I’m confident that Walt can help me reach these people.  Below is a draft of a letter I intend to send to the Warden of jails and prisons to offer such services.

“Dear Warden:

My name is Justin Paperny and I am the author of Lessons From Prison. I write with hopes of coordinating a meeting with you or your director of programs.  I feel strongly that I can offer a program that will help inmates confined within your institution learn lesson plans that will help them emerge as law abiding citizens.  Further, the training I provide will contribute to lower levels of volatility.  My program can help participants pursue adjustment patterns that will bring meaning to their lives. I’d like your permission to present the program.

As I describe in the complimentary book I provide, I am a graduate of the University of Southern California as a former student athlete.  Following my graduation I built a lucrative career as a stockbroker at Bear Stearns and UBS.  I served 12 months in federal prison for one count of securities fraud.

My background may differ from many of the inmates in your facility.  To make a more powerful presentation, I deliver my message of self-empowerment together with Walt Jones.  Walt describes himself as an ex-gang banger, an ex-dope dealer, an ex-savage.  He hails from Watts where he grew up prior to serving 15 years in federal prison.  He began his term illiterate, but during his incarceration he developed positive values and skills that enabled him to emerge as a law abiding citizen with much to offer.

Together we make a dynamic contrast, though we deliver a powerful message that will empower the lives of young inmates, and contribute to the safe and secure operations of your prison.  I will call you next week with hopes of scheduling time for a meeting.


Justin Paperny”

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