Guiding people forward in their lives
After an addiction to prescription opioids and serving almost 14 months in Federal prison (2006 – 07) for a white collar crime he committed in 2001, Jeff started his own reentry. He earned a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, majoring in Social Ethics. After graduating, Jeff was called to serve at an inner city church in Bridgeport, CT as Associate Minister and Director of Prison Ministries. He then co-founded Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. (Greenwich, CT), the world’s first ministry devoted to serving the white collar justice community.
An ordained minister, Jeff has more than three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law, reentry, recovery (clean & sober 20+ years), plus executive and religious leadership. He works frequently with people prosecuted for white collar crimes (and their families) who want to emerge from isolation and join a supportive community. In this role he helps them navigate their journey through the criminal justice system to new, ethical, productive, joyful lives on the other side of their issues.
Sometimes referred to in the press as “The Minister to Hedge Funders,” Jeff regularly uses his experience and background to guide people forward in their lives, relationships, careers, and business opportunities – and help them avoid making the kinds of decisions that resulted in loss, suffering, and shame.
Service and more service
A verified Psychology Today professional, he also serves on the ministry team at St. Joseph Mission Church (Cliffside Park, NJ) and as Chaplain to the Woodbury Fire Department (Woodbury, CT).
From 2016 – 2019, Jeff served as Executive Director of Family ReEntry, Inc. (Bridgeport, CT), a 100+ person criminal justice organization with offices and programs in eight Connecticut cities. Jeff is the first person in the United States formerly incarcerated for a white collar crime to be appointed Executive Director of a major criminal justice nonprofit.
Jeff has served on numerous criminal justice-related Boards. They include the Legal Action Center (New York, NY), Mayor’s Advisory Council on Reentry Affairs, Co-chair (Bridgeport, CT), Family ReEntry (Bridgeport and New Haven, CT), Community Partners in Action (formerly the Connecticut Prison Association, Hartford, CT), and Healing Communities Network (New York, NY). He has also served on the Advisory Boards of Creative Projects Group (Los Angeles, CA) and Reentry Survivors (Bridgeport, CT).
Recognition and more recognition
Jeff was twice selected a Nantucket Project Scholar (2012, 2014) and was recognized by JustLeadershipUSA as one of 15 Inaugural National Leaders in Criminal Justice (2015). He was selected a Keepers of the Commons Fellow (2017) and a Keepers of the Commons Senior Fellow (2018). Jeff has been the recipient of the Elizabeth Bush Award for Volunteerism (2011), received the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative Advocate of the Year Award (2013, 2014, 2015), and was selected the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative Professional of the Year (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). He has also been recognized by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (2017) and by the Connecticut NAACP (2017), and was selected a 2019 Collegeville Institute Writing Fellow.
A Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, Jeff is an in-demand keynote speaker, panelist, moderator, and guest preacher. Speaking venues include Main Stage Presenter at The Nantucket Project (Nantucket, MA), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Conference (Washington, DC), Association of Certified Fraud Examiners Webinar (December 2022), the Greenwich Leadership Forum (Greenwich, CT), the Corrections Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA) Correctional Ministry Summit (Wheaton College, IL and Philadelphia, PA), Delaware Trust Conference (Wilmington, DE), Salons at Stowe – Harriet Beecher Stowe Center (Hartford, CT), Community Health Network of Connecticut Social Determinants of Health Summit (Wallingford, CT), The Neighborhood Project (Greenwich, CT), U.S. Small Business Administration Conference (Fairfield, CT), Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York (NY, NY), Yale Divinity School (New Haven, CT).
Jeff has also spoken at many universities, colleges, and religious institutions across the country. For information or to book Jeff to speak, guest preach, or for a panel or other presentation, please see his e-speakers profile here.
Magazines, radio, television, podcasts, books
Jeff has authored, been the subject of, or been prominently mentioned in many national and regional publications. They include The New Yorker (Aug. 2021), Entrepreneur (Sept. 2021 & Apr. 2020), Bloomberg Law (Oct. 2021), Wells Street with CNBC’s Jane Wells (Oct. 2021), Reuters (May 2021), American Bar Association Criminal Justice Magazine (Spring 2021), Business Insider (July 2021), Forbes (July 2020), Philadelphia Inquirer (Oct. 2020), Vanity Fair (Aug. 2019), Greenwich Magazine (Mar. 2018), Law360, Inc., Medium, The Huffington Post, Absolute Return/HedgeFund Intelligence, Institutional Investor, CFO Dive, New York Magazine, Real Men Real Faith Magazine (cover story), Fairfield County Business Journal, Nonprofit Quarterly, Reentry Central, The Vision (the newspaper of the United Methodist Church NY Conference), Weston Magazine Group, Weston Forum, Hartford Courant, New Haven Register, New Haven Independent, Inner City News, Connecticut Post, Greenwich Sentinel, Greenwich Time, Greenwich Free Press, The Hour and others. Jeff authored a chapter in the book, Suicide and Its Impact on the Criminal Justice System (2021), served on the Editorial Board of the book The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration has Hijacked the American Dream (2014), and was prominently mentioned/quoted in the books Wildland: The Making of America’s Fury (2021), Trusted White Collar Offenders: Global Case Studies of Crime Convenience (2021) and the Teal Book of Wisdom (2022).
He has been featured or interviewed on many radio shows, televisions segments and podcasts. They include the Rich Roll Podcast (# 644 November 2021, #440 May 2019), The Confessional with Nadia Bolz-Weber (May 2021), The Sydcast (October 2021), Newsy (October 2021), Business Talk with Jim Campbell (June 2021), Tha Yard Hangout (June 2021), the Colin McEnroe Show on WNPR (October 2019), The Same 24 Hours podcast with Meredith Atwood (March 2020), the Fraud Stories podcast (September 2020), the Taxgirl Podcast (July 2020), Landmark Recovery Radio (November 2020), Clara CFO podcast with Hanna Smolinski (January 2021), and Founders Focus podcast with Scott Case (April 2021), among others.
Jeff is also editor of the important, widely-read website and blog prisonist.org, for which he authors, edits, and curates content around national and international criminal justice advocacy/ministry issues. He also co-hosts the Criminal Justice Insider podcast, hosts the White Collar Week podcast, and leads a weekly online confidential White Collar Support Group (the first in the country). The group, which has had more than 650 participants, held its 350th weekly online meeting in March 2023.