“Prison Consultant” Business Expanding; Can They Do Any Good?


The New York Times profiles the business of prison consulting,” ex-cons’ selling their advice to future inmates. “This industry’s exploding,” says one of the, Larry Levine, who runs two websites, American Prison Consultants and Wall Street Prison Consultants. More competition means rising tempers and flying accusations, the Times says. Some prison consultants say that others are so lacking in expertise that their businesses are practically criminal enterprises.

The competitors walk a fine marketing line, bragging about an extensive criminal record to attract customers. That can make it tough for potential clients to choose: How much incarceration time is enough? What kind of experience is right for the job? Do the consultants make a difference? They can, say people who work in the criminal justice system. A sharp consultant can help with complicated paperwork, in much the same way that a college consultant can help a family navigate complicated financial aid forms.

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