The Probation Paradox (Part Two)

By: Jeff Krantz

No one seemed enthusiastic to have me receive a custodial sentence. The prosecution put up a half hearted, pro forma argument for why they believed justice would be served in my spending at least a minimum of time within a low security federal prison. In the end they raised no objection to my receiving a sentence of probation. The prosecution had what it most needed, a successful conviction, a dramatic press release and the advancement of careers and reputations of the participants in my case.

The most jarring aspect following my walk as a conditionally free man from the Hartford courthouse was the immediate switch that came after my sentencing. It was a curious moment where I went from being the  focus of ongoing, intense scrutiny on the part of the government and the subject of near continuous urgency on the part of my legal representation; to becoming a closed case with a bit of cleanup to follow along. Everyone moved onto the next pressing item on their agendas. I was on my own to sort out the aftermath.

Strange as it might seem and as much as bringing the matter to a swift resolution was at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts while the ordeal lasted; I was suddenly left with a distinct emptiness in my sense of purpose. The  removal of the three year fight to prevail in battle; the adapting of strategic imperatives and formulating tactical responses to each move on the part of the government had now abated into a sudden and despairing sense of my being at loose ends.

In conjunction with the sudden and distressing winding up of the three year fight for survival was the surprising way in which those outside of my wife and children saw my sentence as an outcome that seemingly would have no lasting implications upon my future. The Judge at my sentencing was the first to voice this perception. Having seen the PSR, the pile of letters of support from friends, prominent community and business leaders and a detailed view of my personal finances at the time of my sentencing, he stated confidently from the bench that I was “going to do just fine”.

He may have overstated the case.

No one, no place, no where, tells you to prepare for your supervised release. Everyone who knows the drill has thoughts about how one should prepare for prison and how one can transition back to community and family after incarceration. No one as far as I know has thoughts about how you should prepare if you get to walk.

I am telling you: Get ready.

Jeff Krantz is a member of the Ministry’s White Collar Support Group that meets every Monday evening on Zoom. Jeff is also a member of the ministry’s planning team. Read Part One of Jeff’s post HERE.

We highly recommend Brent Cassity’s podcast, Nightmare Success, in which he interviews justice-impacted people from all walks of life. He is a White Collar Support Group member with a mission to be of service to our community. Please check it out on Spotify at or on your favorite podcast platform.