Visit www.FederalPrisonAdvice.com for a free copy of Lessons From Prison. Or call/text 818-424-2220 with any questions.
www.WhiteCollarAdvice.com to access all of our blogs
www.RDAPAdvice.com for our free lesson plan on RDAP
Justin Paperny, author of Lessons From Prison and Ethics in Motion, shares the biggest mistake that people make in federal prison.
Justin Paperny: Hi. It’s Justin Paperny setting at the 7th of August. I’m going to knock out a quick video. Quick because I'm exhausted; just played a rare round of golf, which was not great. You should not come to this channel looking for golf tips. I’m going to film this video talking about the biggest mistake that people make in federal prison, and as much as I tried to play golf today, I had my I-phone in my pocket, but my wonderful wife for Hanukkah bought me this Apple watch. So, it's on and the text messages can come, and on the 14th hole it was a very long day I got a text message from a defendant, who has been released and it’s on probation. And as I said before about 20% of the defendants that reach out to me have completed their term in federal prison. I texted him in between holes letting him know that I’d reach out to him when my rare round of golf was over and on way home I spoke with him. And I was just so frustrated, because when I chatted with him it was obvious that his time in prison was a waste, and the biggest mistake, the number one mistake that people make in federal prison is letting the time or feeling like they're serving time, rather than letting the time serve you.
There is this disconnect that because you're in prison that is impossible to accomplish things. If you’re going to prison, you don’t want to be there, of course, but if you are there never forget that just because your body is there, your mind is free to roam. You are free to do things you never could have imagined in your wildest dreams; no texting for a little while; run a marathon, run two, run 10 miles, run 20; fast, take classes, learn a second language, write love letters to your wife, read books alongside your children. And, when I spoke with this defendant- he actually just texted me, I’m sorry for the distraction. When I spoke with this defendant, he didn't do any of that in prison. He was so fixated on all that he had lost and I know how much we can lose traversing the criminal justice system, our money, our careers, our reputations. So, while there it’s so easy to fixate on those things that we don't make measurable progress, or we work on things that bear no resemblance the life we want to lead upon release.I had a lot of opportunities in life that I wasted: a degree from USC, parents that spoiled me rotten that gave me opportunities that many people watching this video can only dream and rather than feel grateful to them, I took advantage of them and I embarrass them and I hurt them.