Last week, I spoke with a lawyer who had just come home from federal prison. He asked me a thought-provoking question: “How did I handle the dark days after getting out?”

These were the days that truly put me to the test, far different from the federal prison routine that, oddly enough, had become somewhat of a comfort zone.

When you’re indicted, staring down a sentence hearing or federal prison sentence, it’s only natural to think those moments are as tough as it gets. But as I discovered after federal prison, the real challenge lay ahead. I had convinced myself that writing my daily prison blog and Lessons From Prison would lead to tons of opportunities. I pictured a thriving business aimed at helping folks like me who had found themselves in legal hot water. The reality that awaited me, however, was starkly different.

After federal prison, I found myself in a world that felt utterly alien compared to the minimum-security camp I had grown accustomed to.

There, responsibility was minimal, camaraderie was the norm, and life had a certain predictable rhythm. But now, I was thrust into a world of cold calls, aimless strolls met with indifference, and creating content that seemed to evaporate into the void, unnoticed by the world. I even tried my hand at making videos, convinced that each one held the key to my success, only to watch them get a measly seven views.

The truth was harsh: My previous gigs in stock trading and real estate were no longer viable options. I had to face the stark reality that this was all I had left – no backup plan, no safety net. It was a sink-or-swim scenario.

So, how did I navigate these challenging days after federal prison?

Well, the answer was pretty straightforward: I had no choice. I had put everything on the line, and I was hell-bent on seeing it through. Every morning, I woke up with the mindset that there was no plan B; this was it, and I was determined to make it work. I dedicated myself to creating, producing, and approaching my work with sincerity. I was unrelenting in my pursuit, believing that sooner or later, someone would notice my efforts and give me a shot.

My road to success didn’t happen overnight; it took several years of unwavering commitment and relentless effort. I chalk up my eventual success to my unwavering belief that there was no other option. I was all in, and that unwavering commitment eventually led to the success I enjoy today.

To wrap it up, the period after federal prison can be a trying time.

It’s easy to underestimate the difficulties that lie ahead. But by embracing a mindset of unwavering commitment, determination, and the belief that there’s no plan B, one can overcome the obstacles and build a successful life beyond prison.

Discussion Questions:

1: What specific actions are you taking to reduce your sentence or improve your situation? What strategies or steps are you considering? (The shorter the sentence the easier life should be after prison; in other words, fewer dark days.

2: When facing the challenges of reentering society after a white-collar crime conviction, what aspects do you believe are unique to this situation, and how do you plan to address them?

3:What concrete measures are you currently taking to develop new skills and expand your network within the context of your white-collar crime case and future prospects?

4: How do you envision the work you’re doing today, particularly in relation to your white-collar crime case, impacting the ease of your transition into post-prison life and your long-term outlook?

Questions? We would love to speak to you. Call or text us at 704-654-1604.

Justin Paperny