Prison Coaches Help White Collar Perps Survive Jail - NBC New York

Prison Coaches Help White Collar Perps Survive Jail

Madoff among those who've leaned on prison coaches



    Prison Coaches Help White Collar Perps Survive Jail
    Getty Images
    Wealthy first-time inmates are paying prison coaches up to $20,000, to get them for life behind bars.

    White collar criminals who are removed from their posh lifestyles and sentenced to years in gritty and dangerous prisons, can do something to prepare themselves for life in jail.

    Wealthy first-time inmates are paying prison coaches up to $20,000, to get them for life behind bars, according to USA Today.

    "I can prepare you to go to hell," said Steven Oberfest, ex-con and co-founder of the group "Prison Coach," which started business shortly after the Enron meltdown in 2002.

    Oberfest told the paper the jailhouse lifestyle would be difficult on first time inmates because they don't know the rules or what to expect. His program offers fight training, as well as what to expect from other inmates and guards, what unwritten rules to follow, as well as mental and physical coping methods.

    Oberfest said entering prison is like trying to survive in a jungle.

    "I'm going to teach you how to eat in the jungle, I'm going to teach how to fight in the jungle, I'm going to teach you how to get what you need in the jungle," said Oberfest, who tells his students not to lock eyes with anyone and to be humble.

    Ponzie schemer Bernie Madoff saw Herb Hoelter, director and co-founder of the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives, days before he went to jail.

    Larry Levine, a Los Angeles-area consultant who recently changed his companies name from American Prison Consultants to Wall Street Prison Consultants, preaches similar results with his "Fedtime 101" course. It offers first timers everything they can expect from avoiding assaults to decoding prison lingo and even avoiding "bad prison jobs," the paper reported.

    Coaches, like Oberfest, stress the importance of being prepared before you go behind bars.

    "Take a look at me, 285, rock solid. Can you take me? Are you able to handle yourself if i come up to you and give you a problem while you're incarcerated," said Oberfest. "I doubt it."