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Prison Life Lessons for Former High Flyers

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By Caleb Groos on July 29, 2009 7:01 AM

What do high power executives often do when their business faces a problem? Hire consultants. What do they do if by chance they end up prison bound? Apparently, hire consultants.

Prison consultants work in one cottage industry that shows no sign of economic turmoil. They help those unfamiliar with life on the inside prepare for the big house. As reported by the AP, many former pro-athletes, convicted politicians, and billion dollar scam artists turn to prison consultants to ease the transition.

The services generally lobby for better prison placement for their clients, advise on sentence mitigation (shortening), and give crash courses on surviving in prison.

Wall Street Prison Consultants ask on their website whether you are: "Going From The Exchange Floor To The Prison Yard?" If so, it offers Fedtime 101, a federal prison survival crash course by telephone. Along with sentence mediation assistance and advice on suing prison officials, clients can learn a variety of survival skills, including how to:

  • deal with other inmates;
  • spot and avoid informants;
  • get a lower bunk pass;
  • avoid bad prison jobs;
  • prevent being raped; and
  • survive a prison riot.

Tim Miller of San Diego's Dr. Prison consultant service told the AP that clients need to learn a prison demeanor and become aware of how their fellow inmates will view them. He said they are also advised never to let anyone cut in front of them in the food line, and that most violent encounters take place in the TV room.

According to Madoff's consultant Herbert Hoelter, it's all about blending in and becoming part of the scenery. He told the AP that "[i]ronically, it's not the inmates who create difficulty for high-profile clients, it's more often the guards who want to be seen as having the capacity to order a former multimillionaire to sweep a floor."

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