Teresa Guidice truly has a lot to be thankful for although there really is no upside to being incarcerated. The fact that the satellite camp in Danbury had a bed available is a phenomenon. The Federal Bureau of Prisons goal is to designate you within 500 miles of home or as they say “within your region.” There must be a waiting list ten miles long with female inmates from the Northeastern part of the U.S. who are waiting and pleading to get designated to Danbury to be closer to their family and friends.

A prison consultant should never deceive a client by leading him or her to believe they will be designated close to home. Any prison coach familiar with the federal prison system understands that even though a Federal Judge may recommend that you be placed in the proximity of your home, which is often hours away, the chances more often than not are that you will be housed hundreds or even thousands of miles away before a bed becomes available at a facility within 500 miles of your home. Teresa hit the jackpot being designated to Danbury from day one. She will likely be designated to the Satellite Camp within a few months which doesn’t have a fence to keep the female inmates from escaping or wandering off to get a quickie or use a cell phone that has been stashed nearby.

I understand as a prison consultant and former inmate that the strong desire to maintain contact with family and true friends coupled with exercising some control over the world beyond the wall, fence or gateless prison facility may cause one to make irrational decisions such as talking careless on the telephone. Teresa Giudice will be allowed 300 minutes per month to speak with family, friends, etc. Her legal calls will not count against her 300 minutes per month. Those calls can be made in the office of her unit team which will consist of a counselor, case manager and unit manager. She will be warned in her orientation “not to use phone calls for business.” If she is caught conducting business (and her calls will be monitored) a sanction by the disciplinary hearing officer (DHO) can result in a loss of visiting, telephone, commissary, recreation and in some institutions movie privileges from a month to a year. She may also lose those same privileges for unauthorized embracing or kissing a loved one while receiving a visit.

Teresa appears to be extremely passionate about her children. Accepting the fact that she cannot monitor or control their lives for the better, as each day passes, will be a difficult challenge. 300 minutes of telephone time per month is a flat out disgrace to any parent being housed in prison. In fact a parent who hates their child would need more than 300 minutes per month to get any pleasure out of letting their child know how they really feel.

My job as a prison consultant is to encourage all family members to remain supportive through the phone, in writing but especially visiting if circumstances permit.

In the news footage that I’ve seen thus far, Teresa Giudice comes across very smart. She gives the impression that trusting fellow inmates will not come automatically and that’s a good thing. Jealousy by fellow inmates will surface from time to time and I believe she will be able to handle that. Her primary battles will not lie with her fellow inmates but against her instinctive desire to remain true to her family and as a prison consultant, my sincere hope is that she curb that desire over the phone so that she doesn’t lose visiting or telephone privileges. That may well make her 15 months seem like 15 years.

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