Welcome to The Letter Sessions With Federal Prison Consultant, Dan Wise, and Success Coach, Jenny Good.

prison letter Dan Wise

During Dan’s time in federal prison, he wrote a letter every day. He often wrote to his significant other, Shelly, but he committed to documenting his journey in writing, even if he wrote to himself. The Letter Sessions are weekly installments during which we share one of Dan’s prison letters and an interview where Jenny asks Dan questions to gain deeper insights about his thoughts and feelings during confinement. The Letter Sessions are raw, vulnerable glimpses into what one man’s federal prison journey was like, and how life continues to unfold after his release. If you’re curious about what happens inside the mind of a federal inmate, this is for you. Grab your drink, pull up a comfortable chair and join us on Fridays for The Letter Sessions.

That was then…

Hi, Tammy, I thought I’d write you a letter being we are stuck in the dorm today due to the weather. I want to thank you for all the cards you send me. It really does help a great deal getting mail. It’s nice having that to look forward to. I just got the birthday cards along with the picture of Shelly’s car. It is very cute.

You should stop saying it’s no BMW. Shelly has never been the type to be too good for something. She has gone through the gutter with me, at times having no car. I promise you that not only will she be happy to have that car, she will take pride in driving it, knowing that it was not easy for you to make it happen. You need to give yourself more credit.

You may not know how important you are to the people in your life. Being in prison alone is as hard as it gets. However, for Shelly and I, because of you, we are not alone. You make us feel special several times a week. The rest of my friends and family have pretty much stopped reaching out. I’m not upset, as I get it. Out of sight, out of mind. Not you though. You have been steady the whole way. I’m not sure if Shelly lets you know how grateful and thankful she is, but she is. Good things are in store for you. You have been through a lot. Not just this, but life in general. I just want to make sure you know how special you are. Thank you. Talk to you soon.

Love,
Daniel

This is now…

Jenny: This letter was written to Tammy. Can you tell readers who Tammy is to you?

Dan: Shelly’s mom.

Jenny: You mentioned being stuck in the dorm due to weather. When weather was bad, what did you do instead of going outside?

Dan: There was basically nothing to do. You pretty much play cards or read a book.

Jenny: You wrote about Tammy making you feel special. Did she send you things while you were incarcerated, or what did she do for you?

Dan: Sent a lot of cards and sent cross words. Every other day something came from her, in the mail.

Jenny: In your letter, you let Tammy know how important her regular communication was to you. You also mentioned a lot of people forgetting you once you were incarcerated. Do you have any tips for people who do not receive prison letters or visits from friends and family?

Dan: If I was getting no mail, I would join a prison pen pal service. You have someone do it for you, from the outside. Then you have someone to write to and you can look forward to getting mail from them.

Jenny: Looking back on this, what are your feelings now toward the people who forgot you when you were locked up? Are they still in your life at this time?

Dan: Some of them have left my life. I have no hard feelings toward them.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

 

 

Self-Surrender vs Remanded Custody Status

Self-surrender and remanded custody statuses are two methods of getting into a Minimum Security Federal Prison Camp. The first, remanded custody status requires the defendant to be escorted by the United States Marshals under remanded care.

The second option, self-surrender, requires the defendant to surrender him/herself to a federal prison where they will start serving their prison sentence. People held to be at a flight risk or higher risk to the general population have to be remanded to custody and are not required to turn themselves in. People subjected to remand custody are housed in a federal detention center or county jail during their pre-trial, trial and the sentencing phases.

After the court finds a person guilty and sentences them to an incarceration term, the United States Marshals Service then has to transport them to the federal prison that they have been sentenced to.

Remanded custody vs self-surrender decision

Mostly, the United States magistrate judge has to decide whether a federal criminal defendant will be remanded to custody or released on their recognizance. While there are statutory presumptions that the judge has to grant release, that is not always the case. The magistrate judge holds a bond hearing to allow both the defense counsel and the US attorney assigned to the criminal case present their sides.

If the judge denies bond, the defendant has a chance of appealing the decision. You should note that before the case hearing, the Pre-trial Services speaks with the defendant and their family in an effort of writing a report that opposes or recommends self-surrender status.

What happens after the decision?

You will be housed in the jail that housed you before the bond hearing pending the outcome of your case if the decision requires you to be remanded to custody. If the decision grants you self-surrender status, the court will release you on your recognizance, or promise to return, or grant you unsecured bond, which will be paid if you happen to violate the conditional release terms. The bond mostly requires collateral like property.

While different defendants, judges and fact situations result in different conditions for the pre-trial release, if permitted, you will have to live with an ankle monitor that will track all your movements. The court will also assign you a Pre-Trial Release Officer with whom you will have to report to regularly for activities monitor and drug testing.

There are various types of pre-trial release, which highly depend on the legal power in question. The jurisdiction might require the defendant on pre-trial release to stay in a secure center such as Residential Re-entry Centre or halfway houses. The houses allow working during the day and the defendant returns to sleep at night. The system is similar to traditional halfway house models that most federal prisoners enlist to in the final part of their imprisonment term.

You might be tempted to try the pre-trial release, but it is good you remain in jail and get the jail credit, which will be applicable in your sentencing, if you will not be able to adhere to the pre-trial release agreement rules. However, it is worth consideration.  

Have more questions? Call Dan today and get answers.

 

Positive Self Talk: Words Matter

Words carry a lot of weight and possess power to help, inspire, belittle or destroy. When you think about the words you say, you probably think of things you speak aloud. But the words you say internally pack a powerful punch, and can elevate you or tear you down. Positive self talk is about choosing a positive conversation inside your head.

Every day you have multiple conversations inside your own head. You might be unaware of it, but it’s true. How you speak to yourself internally heavily impacts how you feel and act. It can also feed good outcomes or draw bad ones.

Rumination

Ruminating involves replaying a negative situation over and over in your head. It’s different from thinking a problem through, which can be helpful to do. When you ruminate, you fixate on the wrong done to you, or the negative thing and you wallow in the anger and bad feelings of it all. Rumination enlarges small issues to big deals and often leaves you wishing you’d done this or said that.

Rumination is the opposite of positive internal dialogue and it can lead to anxiety or depression. You need to be especially mindful about not falling into this pattern of thinking when you have a lot of time on your hands, such as when serving a prison sentence.

Negative thinking grows from itself

Think about this example:

Initial thought: I have zero willpower.

Then: That’s why I’m fat and drink too much.

And: Anyone can see I’ll never have the willpower to amount to anything. I might as well give up now because I’ll only fail again.

In that example, what began as one negative thought quickly spiraled into something bigger and more self-defeating. The great news about that is that the same can happen with positive self-talk. It takes work because we’re so used to doing it the opposite way, gravitating to the negative.

Positive Self-Talk

Instead of allowing your internal dialogue to be taken over by rumination and negativity, develop positive self-talk habits. Positive self-talk is a skill you get better at with practice, so expect it to feel awkward at first. Instead of using first person terms like “I” or “me”, use third person terms like “he” or “she”. This helps you step back and observe situations with less emotional bias and, perhaps, more compassion for yourself. It may help to speak to yourself internally the way you would speak to someone other than yourself. We often show more compassion toward others than we do to ourselves. When facing a stressful situation, ask yourself, what would a mother or a sage advisor say to me in this situation. Then, give yourself the same internal advice.

Before you begin

Take a couple days and really pay attention to how you speak to yourself internally. Do you jump to conclusions, assuming you know the intentions of others? Do you tell yourself that you’re too much or not enough? Watch out for belittling yourself or discouraging yourself from taking chances in a positive direction. Become aware of all the ways you speak down to yourself inside your own head. This awareness helps show you where you need to begin with positive self talk.

Part of our style of prison coaching rests around mindset. We believe in the power of your mind. If you’d like to talk about leveraging your mind to create a more positive outcome, give me a call today at 866-208-8997

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

FIRST STEP Act May Give Inmates Better Opportunities

On Wednesday, May 9 The House Judiciary Committee approved the FIRST STEP Act by a vote of 25-5. The FIRST STEP Act aims to reform the federal prison system. The bill, sponsored by Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA.) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), focuses on correctional policy reforms.

Among other things, the FIRST STEP Act seeks more funding for prison programs with a goal of reducing the recidivism rate. Recidivism rate refers to the rate at which convicts commit crimes after their release. The bill may benefit society by improving the prison system’s effectiveness and preparing inmates with required skills and insights for successful societal re-entry.

The FIRST STEP Act tackles current BOP issues on both prison safety and Inmate Opportunity fronts.

Prison Safety

  • The FIRST STEP Act requires the Director of the Bureau of Prisons to provide a secure storage area, or vehicle lock boxes, where employees can store firearms
  • The bill further directs the Director of the BOP to present de-escalation training as a training requirement of corrections officers.

Inmate Opportunities

The bill expands the federal prison industries program, giving inmates greater employment opportunities.

  • The legislation requires the BOP to submit a report regarding the current pilot program to treat heroin and opioid abuse through medication assisted treatment.
  • The bill seeks more funding for programs that empower inmates to not return to prison.
  • The FIRST STEP Act extends the compassionate elderly release provision from the Second Chance Act, allowing a prisoner to request his or her compassionate release if he or she meets the requirements set forth in the law.
  • The bill codifies the BOP’s guidelines regarding restraint use on pregnant inmates, which generally prohibit the use of restraints on pregnant inmates except those who pose an immediate and credible flight risk or threat of harm to self, baby or others.
  • The FIRST STEP Act implements a post-sentencing risk-assessment system to ascertain an inmate’s risk of committing crime after prison release. The bill directs the BOP to utilize effective recidivism reduction programs and to provide incentives for inmates to participate in the programs. Inmates could earn credits toward an alternative custody arrangement,  such as a halfway house or home confinement. The bill excludes criminals convicted of certain offenses from eligibility for the alternative custody program. Among those excluded by the bill are dangerous sexual offenders and murderers.

The bill may fall short

Some prison reform activists believe the FIRST STEP Act falls short. National advocacy organization, FAMM, supports the bill but point out its shortcomings. According to FAMM, the FIRST STEP Act “focuses incentivized programming on low-risk individuals who pose little threat of re-offending, instead of targeting those resources to individuals who need it the most.” Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) also expressed concern that the bill didn’t fully address the issues at hand. Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) countered that issues such as sentencing reform could be addressed at a later time, offering that in a practical sense, the time to begin… is now.

Do you need help?

Facing a prison sentence is a stressful and sometimes scary event. It’s easy to get lost in prison reform’s changing climate. Call today to see how our team might assist you with sentence reduction or early release efforts. You do not have to face this situation alone. Call me at 1-866-208-8997.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

RDAP Dan shares his experience and advice about early termination of supervised release

Dan Wise prison consultant interview

Recently, I was granted early termination of my post-prison supervised release. Our Success and Life Coach, Jenny Good, interviewed me about the process. I hope some of you find it helpful and maybe even inspiring.

Jenny: Is there a difference in the way federal prison probation and regular probation works?

Dan: There is a difference between being sentenced to probation and being let out of prison on supervised release. Supervised release is a condition that takes place in addition to your sentence, while probation is the sentence itself. So, a client might receive probation instead of a prison sentence. But clients serving prison time may be let out on supervised release.

Jenny: Did someone meet with you to go over all the rules before your release?

Dan: Yes. If you spend time in the federal halfway house, someone comes to meet with you there.

Jenny: What was the most difficult rule or requirement for you, while on supervised release?

Dan: Initially, it was the color line. Every morning, I called a number and a recording announced which color they called for that day. If they called my color, I had to give a UA by 7pm that evening. After about 90 days, my requirement to call the color line ended. Drug tests could still happen, but I no longer had to call the color line every day.

Jenny: What happened when you first got out of prison as far as probation? Did you have to report right away, in person or how did it work?

Dan: When I got out of halfway house, I met with my Probation Officer within 24 hours of my release.

Jenny: How often did you have to make contact with your probation officer, and did that change over time?

Dan: Generally, I reported monthly and gave information on my income, living situation and so forth. Eventually, I was allowed to email the monthly form to my PO instead of going in person to do that.

Jenny: How long were you originally set to be on supervised release?

Dan: 36 months

Jenny: Did you have any violations of your supervised release?

Dan: No.

Jenny: Do employers know you are on probation or supervised release if applying for a job or an apartment?

Dan: There are situations where you might need to disclose it. Just be honest. Shelly (my girlfriend) was incarcerated around the same time as I was, in relation to the same case. She got out before me and she ran into problems trying to lease an apartment. Eventually, she found a felon-friendly apartment, so don’t give up if you find yourself in that situation.

Jenny: How does someone apply to be let off supervised release early?

Dan: File a motion. I filed the first motion for it when I had just completed 1 year on supervised release. My probation was out of Georgia at that time. They denied me almost immediately, but gave me no reason why. My PO got my supervised released transferred to Washington and I filed again. That time, I was successful.

Jenny: Do you need to wait until you’re within a certain time frame of being off supervised release before asking to be let off early?

Dan: They want you to have 1 year on supervised release before asking. Typically, you need 50% completed, but some districts won’t terminate early at all. The only way to really find out is to file a motion.

Jenny: Who decides if you are granted early termination from supervised release?

Dan: A judge decides, but the judge talks to your PO, so it’s kind of a joint effort. Having a transparent and good relationship with your PO is a key part of success with this.

Jenny: How long before you received an answer?

Dan: It was about 5 weeks after I filed the second motion when I heard back.

Jenny: How early was your SR terminated?

Dan: I served 1 ½ years of it, so I was able to walk away from supervised release 18 months early.

Jenny: How did you find out about the decision?

Dan: I checked Pacer but it wasn’t updated there. My PO called me and let me know.

Jenny: How did it feel to be off supervised release after all that time?

Dan: It felt like a pretty big deal. I think positive attitude and going the extra mile made it happen. It was a satisfying feeling to see the benefits of putting in the time and effort. My stress level went down because the microscope is off of me. For so long, I felt like I had to be super careful and like I was under a microscope at all times. Now, I can move forward from that.

Jenny: Do you have advice on do’s or don’ts for anyone wanting off probation early?

Dan: Don’t be too pushy. Don’t try to act like they owe it to you to take you off early. If you’re denied, put in more time and try again. Build the relationship with your Probation Officer. Prove you’re not like the other guys they deal with on a daily basis. Develop a track record of not messing up. Do community service and document it. Just staying out of trouble is not really enough. You’re supposed to stay out of trouble so don’t expect to be rewarded for that.

Are you interested in early termination from supervised release?

If you’d like to talk about early termination from supervised release, or how to position yourself to beat the odds against you, give us a call today.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

Do you want to reduce your stress?

let go of control

The cause of stress can really be reduced to one simple word. Control. If you’re facing federal prison time, you’re dealing with a lack of control over your situation, and it probably feels about as pleasant as a root canal. To make the right decisions, reduce your stress levels so you can think clearly. At RDAP Dan, we use prison coaching to help clients prepare for the court experience and for serving time in federal prison, if it comes to that. We help people position themselves for success within the system and post-incarceration. We also help our clients accept that they cannot control every aspect of what is happening to them or around them. Until you let go of grappling for control, the stress stays with you.

It’s about using your energy where it counts

I’m not suggesting that you stop trying to better yourself or that you just sit on your duff and let this court situation unfold on its own. Our Success Method takes a proactive approach. Our team firmly believes in taking action. But, once you take action and do everything within your power to position yourself well, it’s out of your hands. If you do the right things now, you can exist in the peace of knowing there was nothing more you should have done.

Picture this…

Imagine the following scenario: You’ve lodged a splinter in the palm of your hand and it’s become infected. You visit a local doctor to seek relief. The doctor informs you that he needs to use an electric scalpel to remove the splinter.

The doctor studied his craft for years. He practiced as a physician for a decade, after medical school. Unless you’re also an experienced medical doctor, he’s obviously better trained and prepared to handle this procedure. Yet, if you’re like many people, a part of you wants to grab his hand and stop him from removing the splinter, better content to take it out yourself.

By trying to remove the splinter yourself, you risk exacerbating the infection and worsening your fate. Knowing this, why would so many people prefer to push the doctor aside and take over? Control. People crave control.

Prison Coaching should challenge you

It’s important that you work with a prison coach that fits you. We want to be up front with prospective clients that we don’t sugarcoat reality to give them false happiness. When you work with our team, you probably won’t always hear what you want to hear. Think about athletic coaches. Their athletes would never grow and do better if they only praised them and coddled them. Great coaches challenge athletes to become better versions of themselves. Our prison coaching process challenges clients to let go of the need to control. Anything less shortchanges the client.

Preparing for federal prison

If you spend any amount of time in federal prison, you forfeit control. Someone will tell you when to eat, what to wear and where to lay your head. If you act out in anger, you own even fewer choices. It’s a tough concept to grasp, but in federal prison, the control belongs to someone else. This is a new reality for inmates and prison families, as well. The sooner you prepare for it and strategize a new mindset, the better for you.

Let’s talk

If you’d like to discuss how our Success Method can help you leverage your strengths, reduce your stress and possibly reduce your prison sentence, call me today. We cannot promise you probation, but we can promise you better odds than you have right now.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

Welcome to The Letter Sessions With Federal Prison Consultant, Dan Wise, and Success Coach, Jenny Good.

prison letters

During Dan’s time in federal prison, he wrote a letter every day. He often wrote to his significant other, Shelly, but he committed to documenting his journey in writing, even if he wrote to himself. The Letter Sessions are weekly installments during which we share one of Dan’s prison letters and an interview where Jenny asks Dan questions to gain deeper insights about his thoughts and feelings during confinement. The Letter Sessions are raw, vulnerable glimpses into what one man’s federal prison journey was like, and how life continues to unfold after his release. If you’re curious about what happens inside the mind of a federal inmate, this is for you. Grab your drink, pull up a comfortable chair and join us on Fridays for The Letter Sessions.

That was then…

Hi, so Jenn-nay came today. All the guys want to know why I have a baby doll. Lol. I felt the urge to improve Jenn-nay’s look with an Oli tongue 🙂 I hope your time is going well. I can’t wait for you to be out. It’s crazy that this will be over soon. I lay in my super painful top bunk made from cold ugly steel each night thinking about how nice our life will be in NC.

I hope you still want to move there with me. I think about you night and day. Having you in my life is as important as breathing. Being with you and the animals is what I want. I can’t wait to hear your stories from what it was like for you.

I am really trying to better myself. Even now I’m not sure what law was broken. I do know that I was helping put drugs on the street. It hurts to know that I added to the problem of kids having the ability to OD on drugs. I am so sorry for getting you and Kosta involved.

I am really looking forward to RDAP. It’s not just about drugs, it’s about making good decisions. I can’t wait to start. It is a 10 month program, which means they will see right through my sneaky ways. So I am going to give it my best shot to learn from it. For now I stay busy with classes. Mon-Wed-Fri I take a spin class at 7:45 am. Tues-Thurs-Sat I do 2 hours of yoga at 7:30 am. Also on Tues-Thurs-Sat I take a circuit class from 1:00-2:00 pm. I also run a lot, about 15 miles a week now and growing. I workout with Sean at night and 3 other guys. We do a crazy ab workout. I have lost 25 lbs. I am at 192 now.

I took my GED last week. I know I passed all but maybe math. I should know next week. If I failed math then I only have to retake that. I will take two weeks of class first. I do not have a job yet. In RDAP you have to work 🙁 I eat really well which is hard with all the junk there is.

Well Jenn-nay, I miss you and love you like crazy. This nightmare will be over soon. You will always be my girl.

Love,

Daniel AKA BOB! 🙂

This is now…

Jenny: I think a lot of people facing federal prison time have questions about things like how the beds are and what it’s like to sleep in prison. You mentioned your bed not being so comfortable. What was the general sleeping situation like?

Dan: There are two kinds beds. They look the same but one is like steel tray and very flat. They supply you with a tiny foam mattress, about 2-3 inches thick. That bed was really uncomfortable. The other bed looks same but it had a fence-like linking beneath it that functioned like springs. That bed offers a little more comfort. I slept in bunk beds. Most of the units were set up for 3 men, with bunk bed and a single bed. Each person had a locker, too. I took the top bunk when I was new. I moved to the lower bunk later. Expect to start in the top bunk unless you have a prohibitive medical condition. If you suffer from a medical condition that prevents you from taking the top bunk, you’ll need medical proof; that’s called a bottom bunk pass.

Jenny: Do you have to go to sleep at a specific time?

Dan: Lights out happened at 10:00 p.m. The lights went off right after the guards took count. During count, inmates stood in silence. The guards walked around and performed the count. After that, you can stay awake but you’re expected to be quiet. You’re permitted to use a small personal light to read. When I occupied the bottom bunk, I tucked sheets into the upper bunk and created a privacy curtain for myself. I laid in there and read at night and my light didn’t disturb other people.

Jenny: Is it quiet at night when it’s time to sleep?

Dan: It can be noisy at night even though you’re supposed to be quiet. In RDAP, it was very quiet at night. The nighttime noise was hard to adjust to at first and then I bought ear plugs. The ear plugs helped a lot.

Jenny: You talked to your girlfriend about your hopes of a future together. A lot of people may doubt their relationship will last through them serving as prison sentence, yet Shelly and you are going strong. Can you offer advice on keeping relationships intact for those who may have that fear?

Dan: Shelly and I unique because we both went to prison. She got out a few months before I got out, so she didn’t spend years waiting on my release. I advise couples to keep their communication positive. With Shelly, I didn’t vent or take anything out on her. Keep focusing on your future life.

Jenny: Your crime was one in which someone could argue that you did not break the law, specifically. I think some of our clients struggle with accepting responsibility if there is a grey area around their charge. Can you talk about the importance of owning that responsibility and tell us how you reconciled yourself to do that?

Dan: If you’re crime falls in that grey area, you need to get closure and move on. Once you decide to take the plea, it’s time to let go of the bitter feeling of it not being fair. Get past the feeling that you don’t deserve a prison sentence for it. That thinking keeps you in a cloud of fear and anger. Once I stopped all that and accepted it for what it was, I let go of the anger and moved forward. I started focusing on the red flags I previously ignored that got me into trouble. I used those feelings to make sure I didn’t ignore that signal the next time.

Jenny: You mentioned staying busy with classes. Do all federal prisons have classes to keep inmates busy?

Dan: Yes, they do. It’s a matter of taking advantage of the opportunities where ever you are serving your time. Some prisons have more classes than others. Find the positive things you can fill your time with every day. Take the classes they have available, and you can also participate in self-created groups for personal development. I did that kind of group when I was serving my time.

Jenny: Can you tell readers more about selecting and tracking classes while incarcerated, and why that matters?

Dan: There are so many different classes. You want to take classes that benefit you beyond the simple pleasure of taking the class. The classes you take should help with your mindset and / or your skills. Demonstrate re-entry stability through the classes you take. Participate in employable-skills classes, parenting classes, anger management and classes that change your thinking. Be part of a valuable learning process instead of playing cards or sleeping all day.

Jenny: You were determined to make the most of RDAP and you mentioned that it was about more than drugs. What did RDAP do for you that went beyond drugs or alcohol related stuff?

Dan: I think RDAP allowed me to be the real me, meaning letting my flaws show and facing my shortcomings. It helped me identify the sources of the issues that led me to a bad place. It wasn’t entirely easy. The pressure was as if it squeezed the poison out of me. I could not talk my way into or out of things like I did before. They saw right through me, and once I let the mask go and talked about things I did, how selfish I had been, I felt good. It opened the door to change.

Jenny: And you may know this question would be asked… Where did you get the nickname Bob? What’s the story behind that?

Dan: Oh, man. Before I went to prison, we adopted a German Shepard and named him Bob. We liked to joke around and imagine what Bob would say if he could talk. Somehow I took on the Bob persona.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

Ex-cop, Richard Wince,  sentenced to federal prison for illegal gun dealing

In a May 2, 2018 federal court hearing, Richard Wince received 1 year in federal prison for illegal gun dealing. The former Chesterfield County Sheriff’s deputy and Washington D.C. police officer sold up to 24 guns over a 2-year span. One of the guns Wince illegally sold was used in a robbery; another facilitated a suicide. Additionally, Wince supplied guns to felons who were prohibited from purchasing them.

Richard Wince sentenced to prison

Wince sold gun used in former marine reservist’s suicide

Isiah Janes attempted to buy a shotgun from Dick’s Sporting Goods, but was turned down when a background check revealed his ineligibility to make the purchase. Janes, a former Marine Reservist, was prohibited from buying a firearm due to a previous commitment to a San Diego psychiatric facility. Wince sold Janes an AK-47 without performing a background check. Janes used the gun to kill himself shortly after acquiring it from Wince.

Gun sales legal loophole

The ATF warned Wince regarding his gun dealing in October 2015. One of Wince’s firearms turning up in the hands of a felon prompted the 2015 ATF visit. Wince told ATF agents he occasionally sold guns as a hobby, online. If that were the case, Wince would not have been required to run background checks on purchasers. This rule creates a grey area around firearm sales crimes.

How Wince got busted

Suspicious of Wince’s activities, investigators looked more deeply into his gun dealing. Reportedly, investigators found more than 200 posts from a profile using the name “rwince,” listing the same phone number Wince previously gave investigating agents. Investigators coordinated an undercover recorded buy, during which an agent purchased a gun from Wince. The undercover purchase took place in a gun store parking lot outside of Richmond. Reportedly, Wince never asked for the undercover agent’s identification.

Wince’s day in court

Wince described his behavior to Judge M. Hannah Lauck as “reckless”. Through tears, Wince made a statement before his sentencing in Richmond, Virginia federal court, “I just want to take a moment to apologize to everyone in the courtroom. I understand I made a mistake, and mistakes have consequences.  While Judge Lauck acknowledged the former officer’s remorse, she also reminded him that he continued to sell the guns after the ATF put him on notice. Judge Lauck described the number of weapons involved, and the circumstances under which some were recovered, as “extremely troubling.”

Richard Wince received 1-year sentence

Richard Wince

Photo credit: cnn.com

Judge Lauck informed the defendant that if she could sentence him to look into the eyes of the family of suicide victim, Isaiah Janes, that’s what she would do. Instead, Richard Wince received 1 year in federal prison for his illegal gun sales. Wince must now figure out how to best survive the prison environment as an ex-cop.

Where the law falls short

In the recent climate of violence and school shootings, Americans seem divided about the best solution. Both the defense and prosecution in Wince’s case expressed frustration around the federal statute governing unlicensed gun dealing. The statute provides no specific number of weapons sold over a period of time that requires someone to obtain a license. A licensed firearms dealer must perform background checks on perspective buyers. Private sellers qualify for exemption from the requirement. Wince’s defense attorney called the law “unconstitutionally vague.” Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter S. Duffey expressed a desire for the statute to specify a number of firearms requiring someone to become a licensed gun dealer. While the statute lacks clarity, getting an illegal firearms dealer off the streets benefits us all.

Are you facing federal charges?

If so, give me a call and let’s talk about your situation. I know how stressful it feels to be in your shoes, but you don’t have to face it alone. Our team can assist with sentence reduction services, paralegal services, prison coaching and family support. Call 866-208-8997 to learn more.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

 

 

It’s your time. How will you spend it?

Spring cleaning for your lifestyle

Today’s Prison Coaching Corner focuses how you spend your time. Do you ever feel like your mind is always busy but you get precious little done? If so, it may be time for a Spring cleaning of a different kind. Springtime brings thoughts of budding trees and blooming flowers. It inspires wall-to-wall cleaning and organization of your surroundings. Why stop there? This Spring, declutter your life and open the space for more of what you really want. Our minds and our schedules need regular decluttering just like our houses do, and Spring is a great time to begin. Too often, we spend the majority of our time doing things that bring us no real happiness. Create the space to bring more of what matters in your life and watch the way things change. Here’s how…

Take Inventory

Spend a few days tracking how you spend your time. Make an hour-by-hour chart and write down what you did in that block of time. Even if you find yourself just sitting around worrying, log it in your time tracking. Do this for at least 3 weekdays in a row. This step matters a lot because you need to know where your time goes before you decide what to declutter and what to bring in more of. How you actually spend your time verses how you thought you spent your time might be an eye opener for you.

Select 3 Things

Next, review your time tracking and circle 3 things you want to spend less time doing. These things can be tangible items like washing dishes or being on the phone with your sister-in-law. These items may also be internal things like worrying or replaying a bad situation in your mind.

Declutter

It’s time to declutter and remove the unwanted items, replacing them with something positive. Some items are best delegated to someone else; have your teenager mow the lawn, or hire someone to do the thing you hate that sucks up your time. Give yourself permission to reject some calls from the frequently chatty sister-in-law. Set a time limit on social media. For internal issues such as worrying, commit to taking a deep breath and replacing the worrisome thought with the opposite thought, and then getting up and engaging in some type of physical activity.

Replace

Now that you’ve freed up some space in your day, what will you put in its place? Make a list of positive things you want to do more of and plug them in to the time you opened in your schedule. Maybe you’ll go for a run in the 30 minutes you used to spend on unwanted phone calls. Perhaps going to bed an hour earlier would be beneficial to your well-being. If you feel stuck, prison coaching can help you gain clarity and make better choices with your time.

Get Support With Prison Coaching

We realize that many of our readers may be facing federal prison time, or have a loved one serving time in prison. In that situation, it feels difficult to declutter your mind and stay positive. At RDAP Dan, we can assist you with decluttering, stress management and living with more peace. Are you going through a rough time regarding federal prison? Give us a call at 1-866-208-8997  and let’s talk about how we can help you.

Dan Wise Federal Prison Consultant

What to keep in mind when planning to visit an inmate

For most individuals, the process of planning to visit an inmate for the first time can be frustrating, nerve wrecking and confusing. First time visitors are not usually aware of what to expect and many questions enter their minds. They are not usually certain of what to wear, what to bring, whether to come with their kids or the type of identification they should present to the guards. Don’t worry, RDAP Dan’s guide will give you the answers to most of your questions.

The types of visitation

There are several types of visitation for inmates. Video visitation is now more common and at times, you can easily do it in the comfort of your office or home. It works just like Skype. Another type of visitation – telephone or non-contact visitation requires you to remain outside of a glass partition. Both the inmate and you will have a phone that you can use to communicate – the glass will separate you.

You will be able to sit with the inmate for a short duration. Even though contact might occur during the visitation, the touching is limited. Brief hello and goodbye hugs are permitted but holding hands is restricted. The guards might yell at you if you decide to cross the line.

Before the visitation

Before your visit, you should contact the inmate. Almost every inmate has something known as the visitors list. In some institutions, an inmate has to make a list of less than 10 people who will be allowed to visit. The inmate has to know the individual’s full name, phone number, address and some other information.

If you already know that your inmate does not have all that information, you should send them a letter or provide them with the details the next time they call. Some institutions might also require the potential visitor to complete a visiting application. Some institutions will only make the form available after the inmate has requested a copy.

What to bring to federal prison visitation

This highly differs from one corrections facility to another. In some facilities, you can rent a locker for about 15 minutes for storing all of your belongings, but others do not have any lockers. Generally, you should only bring your single car key, ID, eyeglasses and small bills to buy the inmate some snacks. If you have a baby or small child, you might need a diaper or single bottle during the visitation. Never bring cigarettes, medications or illegal substances as that can lead to revocation of your visitation privileges or even result in criminal charges.

The dress code when visiting federal inmates

When planning for visitation, you should keep in mind that every institution has a different dress code and you might not be able to visit an inmate if you violate the dress code. Avoid wearing clothing that resembles that of the inmates or the prison staffs’ clothing. If the prisoners wear white or khaki, do not wear these colors. Do not wear any kind of uniform as that presents a higher security risk.

During visitation, shoes and shirts are mandatory. You should not wear any clothing that exposes your back, chest, midsection or thighs. In addition, see through fabric and sleeveless shirts are not allowed.