Don’t Hire a Prison Consultant Without Asking These 6 Questions

question to ask before hiring a prison consultant
Written By Rdap Dan

The 6 questions to ask before hiring a Federal Prison Consultant

When you’re facing federal prison time, who you hire to be on your team can make the difference between months, or even years, of prison time. Check out the following 6 questions to ask any Prison Consultant before handing them your money…

Does he understand the power of personal narratives and character reference letters?

A high-quality Prison Consultant knows the power of a cohesive, relevant personal narrative and character reference letters. These written pieces work in your favor to paint a clear picture of your mind frame around the time of committing your crime; they demonstrate your ownership of responsibility and they articulate what you’re doing to move forward in a positive direction. These documents afford you with an opportunity to show the US probation officer and the judge a well-rounded and accurate depiction of who you are and why you ended up where you are right now. If you interview a Prison Consultant who tells you these items don’t matter, move on to someone else who will serve you better.

How well does he communicate in writing?

This is such an important point that it cannot be stressed enough. When your personal narrative is submitted to the US probation officer who is in charge of your Pre-sentencing Report (also called a PSR), it should be polished and in top form. This involves knowing what to say and how to say it well. The US probation officer uses this information to give the judge a recommendation regarding how much federal prison time you should receive. A good Prison Consultant is adept in written communications and can assist you to put together a strong personal narrative, so that the US probation officer conducting your PSR has quality information from which to draw his or her conclusion. A poorly expressed narrative does nothing to help you, and can actually harm your chances of serving less time.

Will he tell you what you should be doing in your day-to-day life prior to sentencing?

What you do on the days leading up to your sentencing matters. Ask your potential Prison Consultant if he will advise you about what actions you should take on a day-to-day basis while you are awaiting sentencing. Your Prison Consultant should make recommendations specific to your situation, such as which drug or alcohol meetings to attend, types of community service to participate in and how to build a strong mentor network. Every single thing you do right now can weigh in on the final outcome at that day of sentencing. Make sure your Prison Consultant knows how to take full advantage of the time you have to sway your case in a positive direction before you attend your sentencing hearing. On that day, you want to have zero regrets.

Does he know how RDAP works?

Ask any Prison Consultant you’re interviewing if he was in the RDAP program himself, and if so, ask if he successfully completed the RDAP program. Ask your potential Prison Consultant how much time he was able to knock off his sentence by his participation in RDAP. Find out if your prospective Prison Consultant works with a chemical dependency professional in situations where you might need additional help getting into the RDAP program. If you want to reduce your time through the RDAP program, your Prison Consultant needs to understand the inner workings of RDAP to ensure that your information is correctly documented in a way that supports your being selected for this highly competitive sentence reduction program.

Are Coaching services provided as part of his fee?

When you’re facing federal prison, your mindset goes a long way toward impacting the outcome of your situation. Your Prison Consultant should serve you not only in the tangible aspects of paperwork and program qualification, but also as a life coach, guiding you to create a mindset that will help you make it through this time and come out thriving. Ask your potential Prison Consultant about coaching services. Inquire about if you can call him at 2:00 a.m. when you’re freaking out and you can’t sleep because your mind is racing with thoughts of what’s ahead of you. In those anxious moments, your Prison Consultant should be able to bump you back to center and help you regain a sense of control, power and calm. This doesn’t mean a good Prison Consultant always tells you what you want to hear. Sometimes, you might need to hear something that’s hard to swallow. A good Prison Consultant will strike a balance between being direct and being compassionate.

What do his fees cover?

Sometimes we have a tendency to assume the service with the highest price tag is the best service to buy. Prison Consulting is a situation where this is a dangerous assumption to make. Some unethical Prison Consultants prey on fear and charge exorbitant fees because they sense the desperation in the clients who hire them. Fees can range up to $15,000 or more. Ask the Prison Consultant you’re considering what his fees are and exactly what you’re getting for that amount of money. The amount you’re charged should be based on the value you’re being given and not on what the Prison Consultant assumes you can afford.

It’s okay to shop around and talk to a few Prison Consultants before making your final decision on which one to hire. Ask for referrals, read testimonials and pay attention to the gut feeling you get when talking to each Prison Consultant with whom you interact. I invite you to give me a call at 509.434.4695. I’d be happy to answer all of the questions outlined in this post and any other questions you may have for me. Let’s talk and see what I can do to help you.