Markets in Everything: Prison Consultants

NYTimes: Mr. Levine is a prison consultant. The business — which entails advising people who are facing jail time on how to prepare for life on the inside, deal with medical issues, transfer to other prisons and even reduce their sentences…The consultants [also] teach prison etiquette.

For example? “Never walk across a wet floor,” Mr. Mulholland advised, saying you might mess up the work of the prisoner manning the mop. And then he might kill you.

Prison consultancy seems to be one of the few businesses where the owners aggressively advertise their criminal record:

Mr. Levine said he thought the competition would thin out over time because the competitors lack marketing smarts. Besides, he argued, he has the criminal CV to back up the marketing.

If they handed out diplomas for prison savvy, he said, “These guys have maybe an associate degree. I have like a Ph.D. or above.”

Indeed, “some prison consultants say that others are so lacking in expertise that their businesses are practically criminal enterprises.”


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