Profiles and Stories

Andrew’s Potential Problem: Lies and Deception May Bring New Criminal Charges

 About a month ago, I spoke with Andrew (not his real name), another prisoner at Taft Camp, who told me a story that caused me to feel some concern for him. Andrew was once a finance executive, but he found himself in trouble with the law when prosecutors accused him of using his finance company […]

Ben’s Problem: Going Back to Court For New Criminal Charges

Before I went to sleep yesterday, Ben (another prisoner at Taft Camp) came to speak with me. Ben is a young man in his early 30s who is serving a nine-month sentence. He had been expecting release to come in only four more months, but earlier in the day he was ordered to pack all […]

Cameron Douglas’ Prison Sentence

Read Michael’s blog on the Huffington Post about Cameron Douglas’  five year sentence for drug trafficking:

Why Prisons Will Always Be Full

Prison Journal: Day 8,227  It’s 3:30 on Wednesday morning as I write this entry. I’m in the room where I begin every day, watching as Dave walks on the concrete pathway that leads to the Control Center of Taft Camp. Dave is being released from prison, and in a few hours the guards will finish […]


Last week I spoke with Bam, a prisoner and former gang member serving time at Taft Camp. Bam’s been incarcerated for six years, though his initial prison adjustment led to problems with prison officials and transfers to higher security prisons. Bam has listened to a number of my presentations at Taft Camp–I often speak to groups of […]

Corporate Treasurer Responds to Ethics Questions

In 1997, Jeff graduated from UCLA with a degree in accounting. He built his career in finance, and while in his early 30s, Jeff held the position of treasurer with a publicly traded corporation in Northern California. With hopes of earning the company a higher short-term return on its money, and in the process advancing […]

Physician Responds to Ethics Questions

 Derrick is a graduate of the University of Southern California and the USC Medical School.  As a physician, no one would expect Derrick to serve time in prison, but I met him in the library at Taft Camp.  I told Derrik about the questions Professor Schrenkler put together to help undergraduate business students understand ethics.  […]

David Muniz Graduates

Administrators at Taft Camp generously sponsored a graduation ceremony for a dozen studious prisoners and their families on June 4, 209.  My friend, David Muniz, invited me to attend as his guest, and I felt grateful for the privilege, as I know how hard David worked to earn his high school equivalency certificate.  I watched […]

Community Leaders in Taft Camp

Carole and I are grateful for opportunities to contribute to the lives of others.  A few weeks ago, David and Tuvia, two men who recently joined our community at Taft Camp, kindly introduced us to their wives, Judy and Gila.  Our limited time with family in the visiting room is precious, so we can’t afford […]

Violating Conditions of Supervised Release

Rick, a white collar offender from Las Vegas, was serving a one year term in Taft Prison Camp for violating conditions of supervised release. I listened as Rick told me his story while we sat on a bench near the camp’s tennis courts. The adjustment choices Rick made following his initial release from prison perplexed […]

John Gets Released From Prison

John completed his sentence and walked out of the Taft Prison Camp early this morning. According to national reports, he was one of 2,000 who returned to society from American jails and prisons each day. Adjusting to the world outside would not be easy. During the 15-plus years that John served, he endured the family […]

Bipolar Disorder Leads CEO to Embezzlement and Suicide Attempt

Many men who once held discretion over financial accounts that exceeded hundreds of millions of dollars slept on steel prison racks beside me. They used to oversee the careers of thousands, though their imprisonment required them to submit to prison counselors who could assign them to jobs cleaning toilets, scrubbing showers, or raking rocks. Before confinement, […]

Human Smuggling from Mexico

Today I spoke with Ricardo, a family man and business owner who turned to the crime of human smuggling as a strategy to cope with the pressures of debt. America’s financial crisis had hit Ricardo’s small construction company hard, and in a panic over how he would sustain his business and his family, he ceded […]

Prison is Hard on Prison Families

Thomas Ross is a fellow prisoner who serves time with me here at Taft Camp. Like millions of American families, his wife and children struggle through these challenging economic times. As a federal prisoner, however, Thomas does not perceive any mechanisms through which he can contribute. The helplessness that comes with confinement really complicates his […]

Redemption of Frank Fernandez

Frank Fernandez was 34-years-old when he began serving his prison sentence. That was back in 1993. He had been convicted of transporting drugs. It was his first serious drug offense, and his judge hammered him with a 210-month sentence. Feeling dazed when the judge slammed his hammer down on the bench, as if he’d received […]