The Biggest Enemies In White-Collar Prison: Anxiety, Boredom


St. Peters, Mo., Mayor Shawn Brown, who served federal prison term for bribery, has some advice for other politicians who end up behind bas, says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The former mayor of a town of 55,000 says, “My biggest advice is don’t go in there with an attitude. Don’t go in there like you’re better than anybody else, because you’re not. I’m going to tell you – it’s going to be rough.”

The first two weeks were fraught with anxiety, he said, as the reality of his circumstances and the loss of freedom set in. What he needed, Brown learned, was a stronger resolve. Eventually, Brown found his routine, which included befriending and exercising with a fellow convicted politician. Larry Levine, a former federal inmate who founded Wall Street Prison Consultants, says that although prison gangs and violence play well on TV dramas, boredom is the real enemy in a minimum-security facility. “There is not a lot to do,” said Levine, who served time for drug and weapons charges. “What do you have to look forward to today? We call it ‘Groundhog Day’ – you have the same (stuff) every day.”

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