White Collar Week with Jeff Grant
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Podcast Ep. 16, Politicians, Prison & Penitence, with Guest: Bridgeport, CT Mayor Joseph Ganim
Today on the podcast, we have Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Ganim. After five terms as the mayor of the largest city in the state of Connecticut from 1991 to 2003, Joe was brought down in a corruption scandal for which he served six years in a federal prison. After his release from prison, in 2015 Joe ran again for mayor of Bridgeport and he was reelected. He is currently serving his seventh term as mayor.
Controversial? Sure. But what I find most fascinating about Joe is his resilience and resourcefulness – his willingness to take risks and subject himself to public scrutiny after all he’d been through. Certainly, his story is a lesson to other people convicted of felonies that life is not over once you go to prison.
Full disclosure: In 2016 and 2017, I served as Co-Chairperson of the Advisory Board to the City of Bridgeport Mayor’s Initiative on Reentry Affairs (MIRA).
So coming up, Mayor Joseph Ganim on White Collar Week. I hope you will join us. – Jeff
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Guests on this Episode:
Mayor Joseph Ganim
Bridgeport Mayor Joseph Peter Ganim is in his eighth term as Mayor of Connecticut’s largest city with a population of approximately 147,000 people. After campaigning on a platform of open government, reducing crime, improving public schools, reducing property taxes and growing the economy and job creation, Mayor Ganim was elected by a wide margin on November 3, 2015 to a position he had last held in 2003. He continues to serve as Mayor having been reelected in 2019.
Mayor Ganim had served six previous terms as chief executive of Bridgeport from 1991-2003, and in so doing accomplished several important things for the Park City. Mayor Ganim led the city out of municipal bankruptcy by overcoming a $21 million budget deficit and a 5-year projected deficit of $250 million. Mayor Ganim’s tenure ushered in 10 consecutive years of balanced budgets and a surplus of $58 million. This was accomplished by implementing difficult cost saving measures and innovative revenue raising techniques. These included negotiations with city labor unions to achieve concessions and savings of more than $20 million in labor costs without laying off any employees and negotiating a more than $350 million bond issue with multiple Wall Street investment firms to erase the city’s unfunded pension liability. As a result of these efforts, Bridgeport’s credit rating increased across the board during his tenure and Mayor Ganim was recognized in 1996 by Newsweek magazine as one of America’s most “innovative and dynamic mayors.”
You can find all episodes of our podcast “White Collar Week with Jeff Grant” on our website prisonist.org, our Facebook page, Podbean, YouTube (video), SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Louis Reed/Babz Rawls Ivy PSA:
Some very kind words from my dear friends Louis L. Reed and Babz Rawls Ivy in this brief PSA. Thank you Louis and Babz! – Jeff
Link here to Podcast Ep. 20: Glenn E. Martin & Richard Bronson: Reinventing Yourself After Prison
Link here to Podcast Ep. 19: Insider Trading Charges Dismissed, with Guest Richard Lee
Link here to Podcast Ep. 18: Is Your Life a Movie? The Producers, with Guests: Lydia B. Smith, Bethany Jones & Will Nix
Link here to Podcast Ep. 17: #TruthHeals: Systemic Abuse & Institutional Reform with Vanessa Osage, feat. Guest Co-Host Chloe Coppola
Link here to Podcast Ep. 16: Politicians, Prison & Penitence, with Guest: Bridgeport, CT Mayor Joseph Ganim
Link here to Podcast Ep. 15: A Brave Talk About Suicide, with Guests Bob Flanagan, Elizabeth Kelley, & Meredith Atwood
Link here to Podcast Ep. 14: Recovery & Neighborhood, with Guest: TNP’s Tom Scott
Link here to Podcast Ep. 13: Everything but Bridgegate, with Guest: Bill Baroni
Link here to Podcast Ep. 12: The Truth Tellers, with Guests: Holli Coulman & Larry Levine
Link here to Podcast Ep. 11: The Blank Canvas, with Guest: Craig Stanland
Link here to Podcast Ep. 10: The Ministers, with Guests: Father Joe Ciccone & Father Rix Thorsell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 09: Small Business Edition, with Guest: Taxgirl Kelly Phillips Erb
Link here to Podcast Ep. 08: The Academics, with Guests: Cathryn Lavery, Jessica Henry, Jay Kennedy & Erin Harbinson
Link here to Podcast Ep. 07: White Collar Wives. with Guests: Lynn Springer, Cassie Monaco & Julie Bennett. Special Guest: Skylar Cluett
Link here to Podcast Ep. 06: Madoff Talks, with Guest: Jim Campbell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 05: Trauma and Healing when Mom goes to Prison, with Guests: Jacqueline Polverari and Her Daughters, Alexa & Maria
Link here to Podcast Ep. 04: One-on-One with Tipper X: Tom Hardin
Link here to Podcast Ep. 03: Compassionate Lawyering: Guests, Chris Poulos, Corey Brinson, Bob Herbst & George Hritz
Link here to Podcast Ep. 02: Substance Abuse & Recovery During COVID-19: Guests, Trevor Shevin & Joshua Cagney
Link here to Podcast Ep. 01: Prison & Reentry in the Age of COVID-19: An Evening with Our White Collar Support Group.
Link here to Podcast Ep. 00: White Collar Week with Jeff Grant: What is White Collar Week?
What is the White Collar Justice Community?
Welcome to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, a podcast serving the white collar justice community. It’s the isolation that destroys us. The solution is in community.
If you are interested in this podcast, then you are probably already a member of the white collar justice community – even if you don’t quite know it yet. Our community is certainly made up of people being prosecuted, or who have already been prosecuted, for white collar crimes. But it is also made up of the spouses, children and families of those prosecuted for white collar crimes – these are the first victims of white collar crime. And the community also consists of the other victims, both direct and indirect, and those in the wider white collar ecosystem like friends, colleagues, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, academics, researchers. Investigators, mitigation experts, corrections officers, reentry professionals, mental health care professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, – and ministers, chaplains and advocates for criminal and social justice reform. The list goes on and on…
Our mission is to introduce you to other members of the white collar justice community, to hear their very personal stories, and hopefully gain a broader perspective of what this is really all about. Maybe this will inspire some deeper thoughts and introspection? Maybe it will inspire some empathy and compassion for people you might otherwise resent or dismiss? And maybe it will help lift us all out of our own isolation and into community, so we can learn to live again in the sunshine of the spirit.
Along the way, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey from successful lawyer, to prescription opioid addict, white collar crime, suicide attempt, disbarment, destruction of my marriage, and the almost 14 months I served in a Federal prison. And also my recovery, love story I share with my wife Lynn Springer, after prison earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, pastoring in an inner city church in Bridgeport CT, and then co-founding with Lynn in Greenwich CT, Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry serving the white collar justice community. It’s been quite a ride, but I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
So I invite you to come along with me as we experience something new, and bold, and different – a podcast that serves the entire white collar justice community. I hope you will join me.
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
not a prison coach, not a prison consultant
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Host: Jeff Grant, J.D., M.Div.
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It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is the world’s first ministry supporting the white collar justice community. Founded by husband and wife, Jeff Grant and Lynn Springer in Greenwich CT in 2012, we incorporated as a nonprofit in Connecticut in 2014, and received 501(c)(3) status in 2015. Jeff has over three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law (former), reentry, recovery (clean & sober 17+ years), and executive and religious leadership. As Jeff was incarcerated for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001, he and Lynn have a first-hand perspective on the trials and tribulations that white-collar families have to endure as they navigate the criminal justice system and life beyond.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is nonsectarian, serving those of all faiths, or no faith whatsoever. To date we have helped over three hundred fifty (350) individuals, and their families, to accept responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge the pain they have caused to others. In accordance with our commitment to restorative justice, we counsel our members to make amends as a first step in changing their lives and moving towards a new spiritual way of living centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance, empathy and service to others. Our team has grown to over ten people, most with advanced degrees, all of whom are currently volunteering their time and resources.
Progressive Prison Ministries’ goal is to provide spiritual solutions and emotional support to those who are feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We have found that these individuals are suffering from a void but are stuck, and don’t know what to do about it. Our objective is to help them find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what may seem like insurmountable problems. Many of those we counsel are in a place where their previous lives have come to an end due to their transgressions. In many cases their legal problems have led to divorce, estrangement from their children, families, friends and support communities, and loss of a career. The toll this takes on individuals and families is emotionally devastating. White-collar crimes are often precipitated by other issues in the offenders’ lives such as alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a physical or mental illness that lead to financial issues that overwhelms their ability to be present for themselves and their families and cause poor decision making. We recognize that life often presents us with such circumstances, sometimes which lead us to make mistakes in violation of the law.
All conversations and communications between our ordained ministry, and licensed clinical relationships, and those we serve fall under state privilege laws. This is one reason that attorneys often allow and encourage their clients to maintain relationships with us while in active prosecution or litigation situations.
If you, a friend, family member, colleague or client are suffering from a white collar criminal justice issue or are experiencing some other traumatic or life-altering event, and would like to find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what seems like insurmountable problems, please contact us to schedule an initial call or appointment.
Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.