White Collar Week Podcast: An Evening with Our White Collar Support Group. The support group meeting on this podcast is different than most, because all of the 16 group members appearing have agreed to share their names, faces and very personal stories in an effort to reach out to individuals and families suffering in silence. All on the podcast are post-sentencing or back from prison. Watch on YouTube, Listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and SoundCloud, link here.
Dear Fellow Travelers,
Progressive Prison Ministries and St. Joseph’s Mission Church invite you to join us to celebrate the 250th meeting of our online White Collar Support Group. We hold our group meetings on Monday evenings, 7 to 8:15 pm Eastern, 6 to 7:15 pm Central, 5 to 6:15 pm Mountain, 4 to 5:15 pm Pacific.
We are doing something truly groundbreaking! This is the world’s first confidential online White Collar Exiled Support Group. As this support group is run by ordained clergy as part of a program of pastoral care and confession, we expect and believe it falls under clergy privilege laws.
This is a huge step in forming a community of individuals, families and groups with white-collar criminal justice issues and who are otherwise economy exiled who have a desire to take responsibility for their actions and the wreckage they caused, make amends, and to change their lives and move forward in new way of life centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance and empathy. Our experience shows us that many of us are suffering in silence with shame, remorse, and deep regret. Many of us have been stigmatized by our own families, friends and communities, and the business community. Our goal is to learn and evolve into a new spiritual way of life and then to reach out to offer all those suffering from these issues. In so doing, we will share our experiences, feelings and resources to help make the quality of each other’s lives more manageable. This is an important thing we are doing!
Thus far, Fellow Travelers have participated online from Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Canada, South America and Jamaica, W.I. All have agreed this has been a valuable, important experience in which everyone feels less alone, and gratified in the opportunity to talk about things in a safe space only we could understand.
We have formed agreements as to confidentiality, anonymity and civility, and have a basic agenda for each meeting:
2. Serenity Prayer:
“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
3. Short Member Introductions (if there are new members)
4. Announcements & Resource Sharing
5. Guest Speaker and/or Lead on Topic
6. Member Sharing
Login Instructions and Link are sent out weekly. We have set up an account with Zoom for our group, and you can log in via video on a computer, tablet or smart phone that is equipped with a camera, or audio only via phone. Please use headphones if you can so that we can minimize feedback and background noise. Each meeting will have a different meeting number to best provide confidentiality.
For Newcomers, I (or the night’s leader) will be online fifteen minutes before the scheduled start of the meeting. Zoom works wonderfully, however, it might take a little time to get comfortable with on your end if you’ve never been on this platform.
Open to Fellow Travelers only! Please email me for an invitation; my contact information is below. Our goal is to be inclusive.
IMPORTANT!: If you are currently on supervised release, probation or parole, it is important that you first discuss this with your P.O. To assist in this regard, information about our ministry is available on prisonist.org.
Please feel free to contact me if you would like to join in our next meeting, or with any questions you might have regarding this group, its meetings, or anything else whatsoever.
Rev. Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div. (he, him, his)
Co-founder, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc., Greenwich CT & Nationwide
Co-host, The Criminal Justice Insider Podcast
Host, White Collar Week
Mailing: P.O. Box 1, Woodbury, CT 06798
Donations (501c3): http://bit.ly/donate35T9kMZ
Psychology Today: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/jeff-grant-woodbury-ct/731344
Link to Contact Info & Appointments.
Link to our listing on Meetup here.
“One of the beautiful things about this country is it gives people a second chance. There is no one who has done more good in service of others than Jeff Grant and what he’s built, given a second chance. Congrats on all the lives you’ve helped and to all those whose shared mission in your white collar support groups has helped put lives back together on the occasion of your 250th group meeting milestone. Godspeed.” – Jim Campbell, author, “Madoff Talks: Uncovering the Untold Story Behind the Most Notorious Ponzi Scheme in History;” and host of: “Business Talk with Jim Campbell” and “Forensic Talk with Jim Campbell.”
“Jeff is a true inspiration to anyone coming home from prison to face the many trials and tribulations that life throws at you. I made a very bad choice in 2009 which led me to a federal indictment and 7 months in Danbury Federal Prison Camp for women and then three months in a halfway house. I had gut wrenching guilt and remorse, and immersed myself in every program available in Danbury. I was seeking self-awareness of who I was and why I veered off my path of good decision making. It was not until I came home and met Jeff Grant that I truly started my journey to redemption and forgiveness. His amazing attitude, coupled with immense experience, brought such clarity to my very foggy existence. Jeff founded a White Collar Support Group and invited me to join in. Finding that group was such a turning point for me as I was lost. The group helped me with my immense feelings of guilt and how to overcome adversities that I never knew would exist for me. I am grateful to Jeff and all the men and women in that group and feel so fortunate to know I am not alone in my journey. Due to Jeff, I am able to give back to the women I now work with within the criminal justice system by utilizing my strengths, experience and educational background. “ – Jacqueline Polverari, MSW, Advocate Women’s Incarceration Issues, Connecticut (home 5+ years after serving in Federal prison)
“God bless Jeff and the fellowship he has created. I found him just in the nick of time, several weeks before sentencing. I had never spoken to anyone who had been through circumstances like these, and very soon I had an embarrassment of riches with respect to support. I no longer felt alone, I had many new friends to talk to, and was even able to provide support and comfort in turn to those who were not as far along in the process as I. As Jeff said, none of the questions I had were unique or theoretical – someone he knows has been through it. As with pretty much every aspect of modern life, separation is the chief problem, and helping and asking for help are the solutions. I have been able to get through the days with dignity, love and even a little joy. A great deal of that is due to Jeff’s work.” – Timothy Litzenburg, Virginia (currently serving in a Federal prison)
“Jeff has a pragmatic, objective understanding of criminal justice issues, and more importantly, he is suffused with a spiritual understanding of the holistic emotional and values-driven issues that affect decision-making & healing through this journey. Jeff wears many hats – he is a spiritual counselor, a life coach, a critical thinker, and most important of all, is a friend. Thank you Jeff for your counsel throughout; my family and I are beyond grateful to you and Lynn. Please feel free to share this to offer hope and comfort to others in need.” – Richard Lee, Illinois (insider trading charges dismissed, Nov. 2019)
“Jeff is my quarterback and coach – he has been a life saver for me! I unfortunately found myself in “no man’s land” with a young, career oriented prosecutor, a notoriously tough Federal judge, and jaded, but well connected, criminal defense attorneys My case was in a highly complex and technical area of unsettled law where no one seems to actually know (or worse, care) what the law actually is or means. Jeff has been invaluable to me with striking the right balance of pushing my attorneys to do their job, understanding my case, and standing up for me – but not pushing too far and blowing up these delicate negotiations. Jeff has also helped me cope with the broken “justice” system where extreme unfairness, brutality, and incompetence is a daily occurrence. Furthermore, my legal problems have resulted in very complex tax issues. Jeff went above and beyond by finding a possible solution that my expensive tax attorneys missed, but later agreed Jeff’s suggestion was a valid one. My biggest regret is not working with Jeff sooner than I did – I may have not pled guilty if I was working with him from the start. Bottom line – if you have any reservations regarding your attorneys and want an honest assessment from an extremely smart former attorney who really cares about you and isn’t in it just for the money, Jeff Grant has to be the best person in the country for you. I can’t recommend him enough!” – Matt L., Colorado (sentenced to Federal probation with no prison time, despite $5 million+ fraud loss computed in PSR, probation terminated early)
“Shortly after my release in September 2015, I was guided to Jeff’s door by complete chance and little did I know that I had just hit the proverbial “reentry” lottery that would help shape and change my life. I asked for his guidance about how I could possibly return to society as a once respected trial lawyer who was now branded a convicted felon. After words of support, Jeff suggested that I join the White Collar Support Group which met each week via the Internet. Not sure that I could even log in, as I was still living in a halfway house. I managed to find a library or satellite to check in, and can honestly say that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This support group has given me an opportunity to share my thoughts, concerns and emotional trauma with a compassionate and understanding group of people who all traveled a similar journey and who all have now become good friends. There is no question that those who have experienced the criminal justice system all face common problems, barriers and trauma as we begin our reintegration into society. I am proud to say that I am associated with this fine group of people and hope and pray that some day we can share the lessons and benefits of the peer support and mentoring that has helped me to find my passion and purpose in life. Thank you!” – Jeffrey Abramowitz, Executive Director for Reentry Services, JEVS Family Services, Pennsylvania (home 5+ years after serving in Federal prison)
“Jeff has been a ‘friend of our family’ for many years. When a catastrophic situation for me was very highly publicized, Jeff reached out to me through a family member and offered his support. Jeff has been a confidential ear, a source of support, a source of professional advice, and a spiritual support to me. The Monday night online support meeting, which you have an option to be anonymously included in, offers a very loving, upbeat, supportive group. Both Jeff and his wife Lynn have offered help for our family, including my husband, which makes for very comfortable and loving approach for help. I feel very blessed for the opportunity to have a person with his integrity and leadership, and his experience, strength and hope, to be part of my team, and my life.” – Anonymous, Connecticut (released from Federal prison due to Covid-19)
“Shortly after my release in September 2019, I learned of Jeff Grant and his amazing work through the Rich Roll podcast. His story resonated with me and I decided to reach out. To my amazement, he immediately responded and we ended up having a great conversation about life, spirituality and the journey of redemption. It was refreshing to be able to speak with someone who understood my plight. I was looking for guidance on how to return to society and get my life back in order. I never realized how tough reentry would be but also knew the process was not going to be an easy journey. He invited me to join his support group, which I found very insightful and helpful. I am beyond grateful to have Jeff as a friend as you are a true inspiration.” – William P., Virginia (home 1+ year after serving in Federal prison)
“I had the fortunate opportunity to speak with Jeff Grant some months ago. I currently have a situation where I am facing a prison sentence. The terms are still being negotiated as to what type of sentence may occur. However, to navigate through this system can be quite overwhelming and complex. Someone (usually your lawyer) explains the system in a way that you may or may not understand. I have discovered that most people charged with white collar crimes have no idea of the complexity of the criminal justice system. It is so far removed from our daily lives and most of us don’t even know of anyone who may have been accused of this type of criminal activity. Now all of a sudden, we are thrust into a complex legal system of which we have not only no say but no understanding of how it works. What we think of as a logical sequence of events is not how the judicial system works. So, to better understand this complex system, Rev Jeff Grant has worked with me to help me look out for my family and myself as to the possible consequences of each and every move or decision that is made. He helped me understand the ramifications of my decisions as my lawyer presented them to me. I came to understand the long term positive or negative effects of some of the negotiations being made on my behalf by my lawyer.
Needless to say, to attempt to navigate through this interwoven complex system without any guidance or insight, or only though just the lens of your legal counsel, may not be in your best interest. Therefore, Rev Jeff Grant can give you sound advice and from an independent and experienced point of view, keep you grounded, and keep you on the best possible path given the circumstances. His resource pool is phenomenal, as he has assisted people from all walks of life from all over the country. You have nothing to lose by speaking with him and having the opportunity for him and his team to share their insight and wisdom with you.” – J.S., New York (awaiting sentencing to Federal prison)
Link to additional testimonials here.