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Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

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Old 10-15-2018, 02:48 PM
newtolife newtolife is offline
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Default Can Prison Consultants help get you more release time?

Can Prison Consultants help you get you more release time than the BOP doing it with you on your own. They claim to get you the maximum time using the Second Chance Act law & working directly with the BOP & the region Halfway House Re-entry. They almost guarantee 6-12 months earlier release on a 24 months sentence if you work with them.
Do anyone have any experience working with them?
Some examples are Herbert Hoelter, Bruce Cameron, Hosea Santana, Michael Frantz, Patrick Boyce & Justin Paperny
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:00 PM
fbopnomore fbopnomore is offline
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Are any of them offering you a refund if they don't succeed? The decision on the amount of community corrections time you will be offered depends on the warden's policies for each prison (who has to approve the CMs release plan), and the case manager's decision to do what the warden wants, or not.

It's only money, which criminal cases are great at sucking up anyway, so it's your decision to spend some more on a consultant, and/or an appeal lawyer, or not. But there are definitely no guarantees.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:14 PM
rockchalk1 rockchalk1 is offline
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Some will also guarantee you get into RDAP, but a good defense lawyer will get you into that RDAP at sentencing.

We didn't hire a prison consultant, but we have also learned that having a short sentence (18mos) disqualifies you from a lot of things that one would be eligible for if my husband had a longer sentence. For instance, the Second Chance Act. His sentence isn't long enough. He will only wind up serving just over 13 months.

Many prisoners where he got into RDAP on their own, not because of a prison consultant. Many had lousy lawyers and now hired prison consultants. In some cases, you get what you pay for, but in many, they can't get you anywhere.

We had a prison consultant call us randomly after my husband was sentenced. Apparently since his case was in the press, the guy was following it and couldn't wait to jump on us. He tried to get my husband to hire him, didn't stop harassing us, also wanted my husband to go to a different facility (a low instead of a camp), almost guaranteeing he could get him out a few months early, but not guaranteeing it, obviously. It wasn't worth the $20k or whatever it was he was asking. He also didn't want to go to a low when he was already going to the Camp he requested and received. Then the guy tried saying he could get him into some program a the camp and get him out earlier and again pushed for some ridiculous amount of money. My husband again said no. When they're really pushy like that, you know it's not that black and white.

As fbopnomore said, unless they're offering you a refund if they don't come through, I wouldn't give them a dime.

There are things a consultant (or lawyer) can do to help you make a better case for yourself at sentencing and things like that, but I wouldn't hire one who is telling you because they can get you a reduced sentence after the fact.

A lawyer is really your best way to go, and there are plenty that can help and are respected in that field.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:22 PM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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Herb Hoelter is a very respected consultant who has been in the criminal justice business over 30 years and has a large organization with many operations. He doesn't need to fleece anybody, since he basically invented the field of mitigation consultant and has the history, degrees and reputation to keep him in business.

Bruce Cameron has a solid background in criminal justice, but I don't know about his practice.

There is an association of sentencing advocates and mitigation specialists who I find are reliable. http://www.nlada.org/NASAMS.

If the only qualification the consultant offers is a prison experience, that is not enough to warrant professionalism. Very few reliable consultants charge $20,000 or anything near that. And while they may reach out once or twice, they don't harass. If they don't work with your lawyer, especially pre-sentence, anything said to them can be subpoenaed. Only by working under a lawyer's work product doctrine is the information you provide protected. If the consultant cannot give you references from good lawyers that you can follow up on, I wouldn't have anything to do with them.

I've had excellent experience with several former BOP staffers in getting advice. That's another avenue to explore.

The BOP is even more chaotic than usual now with 2 directors in as many years. Each facility seems to do it's own thing. I don't think the professionals focus much on the Second Chance Act, but that doesn't mean you should accept what the BOP says. You have to be your own advocate once inside and can find reliable help to give you the odds of early release. The law allows for inmates to return to the community a year before their sentence is up, but it seems very few people are able to get this.

It's good to be vigilant and this is a very stressful process in dealing with a system that doesn't make getting information easy. Hang in there and PM me if I can give you any more info. Linda Sheffield is an excellent post-conviction lawyer in your state who is very knowledgeable and a short consultation will probably answer most of your questions and give you relief.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:14 AM
ttexrbomb ttexrbomb is offline
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I hired one out of desperation and I will say what he taught me wasn’t anything I couldn’t have learned to do myself. Was not worth the money and lost hope. Basically he wrote a letter to the case manager truing for more HWH time...and that letter did absolutely no good.

I’d save your money. But here is the key. More community out corrections time is not a reward for good behavior. It is need based. So if you want more time in CC, you need to come across as needing it. You need a place to live...you need to find a job. That is the stuff that will get you more time. The “I am a model inmate” and “I have a job and home to go home to” will result in less community corrections time, not more.

And chances are your CC time is already set on its trajectory as your PSI outlines a lot of what they use to gauge your need. You can’t go into your case managers office and ask for more time by saying you have no job or home to go home to if your PSI says otherwise.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:35 PM
newtolife newtolife is offline
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This was great and this was the information I wanted because Bruce Cameron, which seems to be a good prison consultant says he can get me more Halfway house or home confinement because I have 2 years.
I also have to Self Surrendor and the place I suppose to go to has sustained major hurricane damage now no one knows yet where I will go but I chose the 1 and the judge approved it & BOP agreed, now I don't want to go to a bad 1 so I'm trying to find some help to decide where I want to go instead of them sending me...the consultant said they could do it but I will contact the lawyer you gave me to ask questions about it or if you know who I should contact because Probation knows nothing.
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Old 10-29-2018, 10:40 PM
newtolife newtolife is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bellisq View Post
Herb Hoelter is a very respected consultant who has been in the criminal justice business over 30 years and has a large organization with many operations. He doesn't need to fleece anybody, since he basically invented the field of mitigation consultant and has the history, degrees and reputation to keep him in business.

Bruce Cameron has a solid background in criminal justice, but I don't know about his practice.

There is an association of sentencing advocates and mitigation specialists who I find are reliable. http://www.nlada.org/NASAMS.

If the only qualification the consultant offers is a prison experience, that is not enough to warrant professionalism. Very few reliable consultants charge $20,000 or anything near that. And while they may reach out once or twice, they don't harass. If they don't work with your lawyer, especially pre-sentence, anything said to them can be subpoenaed. Only by working under a lawyer's work product doctrine is the information you provide protected. If the consultant cannot give you references from good lawyers that you can follow up on, I wouldn't have anything to do with them.

I've had excellent experience with several former BOP staffers in getting advice. That's another avenue to explore.

The BOP is even more chaotic than usual now with 2 directors in as many years. Each facility seems to do it's own thing. I don't think the professionals focus much on the Second Chance Act, but that doesn't mean you should accept what the BOP says. You have to be your own advocate once inside and can find reliable help to give you the odds of early release. The law allows for inmates to return to the community a year before their sentence is up, but it seems very few people are able to get this.

It's good to be vigilant and this is a very stressful process in dealing with a system that doesn't make getting information easy. Hang in there and PM me if I can give you any more info. Linda Sheffield is an excellent post-conviction lawyer in your state who is very knowledgeable and a short consultation will probably answer most of your questions and give you relief.
Bruce Cameron was the consultant I had been speaking with & I spoke with Herbert Hoelter firm too. But my initial problem if my Self Surrender destination has hurricane damage & I want ton chose where I go so I can get a good 1 because the judge let me choose & BOP approved but now they have shipped their inmates in temp houses at a facility and not camp & they are all going to be shipped elsewhere..so who do I need help to get sent somewhere else close by home & a good camp. Probation seem to not know anything and says it's all up to BOP. Can a consultant help with this or someone else or can I contact someone directly.
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Old 10-30-2018, 07:31 AM
bellisq bellisq is offline
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I'm afraid I have some reluctance when I see the word "choose." You can influence through your requests with the BOP, but "choose" is stretching it. If you have certain departures, the government is more likely to help you get the placement you want. Also, a judicial recommendation has value, but is not a guarantee. there are a lot of factors that impact designation, but the decision only begins after your sentencing.


Did you reporting date change? Seems you have to go in tomorrow.

Last edited by bellisq; 10-30-2018 at 08:12 AM..
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Old 10-31-2018, 11:55 AM
fentastic0076 fentastic0076 is offline
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It's a perspective thing I guess. Are you willing to put in the time and learn on your own, or do you need somebody who knows the law and has time to write letters, provide information, etc?
My fiance self surrendered to Alderson FPC in June, and I did hire a consultant. I negotiated his rate to 50% of his initial offer since a lot of what they can help with is done pre-sentencing. However, where it's been beneficial to me is being able to call and get information quick. You can get an account on Pacer, but you'll pay every time you access it. You can spend time doing your own research, but I work between 80-100hrs most weeks, and my off time is pretty valuable to me. I wish I had hired them much earlier in the process, as there isn't/wasn't much he could offer after sentencing. It's a touchy situation. Can he get you more HWH time? Technically it's impossible to answer that question from any direction, as the correspondence they initiate never comes back to them. When they send a letter to the sentencing judge, or to the BOP, it is then taken from there and it either happens or it doesn't. The judge doesn't send a return response to the consultant...I hope this makes sense. So, even if you or your LO would be rewarded additional HWH/HC time, there isn't any proof either way as to the consultant having anything to do with it.
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