I placed the Eagle at the top of this page because it symbolizes how the current consulting industry preys on offenders when they are vulnerable. I experienced it almost every week during my career. An offender would surrendered to our camp and tell me they paid upwards of $10,000.00 to "get designated" to our facility.
What the offender didn't know (but the "consultant" does) is if the Judge recommends a specific facility which is commensurate with the offender's security level, it is actually even greater than a 74 % chance the recommendation will be followed. So in actuality, the offender paid for something which was going to happen any way! Another thing I have noticed is consultants have Attorneys make a recommendation which is not commensurate with an offenders classification and/or program needs then wonder why the BOP did not comply with the recommendation.
BOP policy is clear that Judicial recommendations are to be followed when possible and my experience has demonstrated practical designation recommendations are adhered to aside from certain nuances not know by most consultants.
Another story will drive this point home. I once interviewed an offender who used a consultant. The consultant told him he would get them designated to the Fort Dix, NJ camp. The offender actually got designated to the Otisville camp. When the consultant called the offender he said, "I have good news, I got you your second choice". What is funny is the offender told me he never gave the consultant a second choice! Then the offender said to me "you know , he knew my release date to the exact day". I laughed and said, your release date is public information and on the internet! Needless to say, he commiserated with the other inmates in the unit who had also "paid for their designation". The second major part of this story is that the consultant overlooked an important aspect of the case which could have been proactively managed prior to the processing of the designation.
I have been getting a lot of calls lately for people being taken by the various RDAP companies who arrange for telephone interviews and "guarantee" RDAP placement. Be extremely cautious as many of the therapists they deal with have been put on a blacklist in the BOP central office. I even had a client placed in segregation and removed from the RDAP program because he engaged one of these"consultants" against my advice. Then there's the "Second Chance Act " reviews. The SCA was passed in 2007 so the BOP already does a SCA review! There is no "application" as some would like you to believe. Now with the First Step Act passing, people are coming out of the woodwork to exploit the naïve ! Be careful!
It is ironic and a bit sad to see successful, highly educated business men exploited. If only they had paid for good advice and true prison preparation services. Then there are the "consultants" who charge for all kinds of services Bureau of Prisons staff process for free. If you go to a web site and they are charging for transfers, international treaty transfers, commutation and pardons, and designations, you should keep surfing. I will not charge for things I know the BOP does for free unless I see a clear policy violation.
Also, be extremely wary of people who release from prison and rave about their consultant because there are kickback schemes and all kinds of things going on behind the scenes that the average person is unaware of.
My business cards say it all, "Don't pay for the pretenders"!
The idea to launch My Federal Prison Consultant originated in the early 1990's, while I was working as a case manager at the Federal Correctional Institution in Otisville, NY. Time after time, I