Prison Consultants and the Myth of the Fixer: How to Separate Substance from Snake Oil

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Prison consultants have been receiving dubious attention in the press lately.  The truth is, a qualified prison consultant can be a valuable member of a well-managed defense team.  But, beware of so-called experts who promise you the moon for a fee.

Helping us get set for sentencing is Walt Pavlo, the founder of Prisonology, a collection of exceptionally qualified prison consultants, most of whom are former high-level Bureau of Prisons officials.


  • Deconstructing the New York Times piece about “a new breed of fixers”;
  • Picking the right consultant for the job;
  • The kind of experts connected to “prisonology”;
  • Example of “RDAP Law” who weren’t lawyers, gave terrible advice, bilked clients out of millions, and went to prison as a result;
  • What are reasonable fees for Prison consultants;
  • Limitations of prison consultants;
  • The importance of finding a prison expert that can testify or submit sworn declarations to a judge at sentencing;
  • How finding the right expert can save the attorney time and the client money;
  • How the wrong consultant may put work product and attorney-client privilege at risk;
  • How the attorney’s failure to properly manage a consultant/expert can lead to disastrous results;
  • How an attorney’s failure to properly communicate and connect with a client may drive them into the arms of a charlatan;
  • How to properly vet a potential prison consultant;


NYT Article:  Want to Do Less Time?  A Prison Consultant May Be Able To Help


Walt Pavlo at

Prison consultant, former BOP Warden, Maureen Baird was an early guest on the podcast.  This is a great example of someone who can really help at sentencing.  Listen (or re-listen) to Set for Sentencing, Ep. 3, Telling the Story of Prison at Sentencing!

DOJ Press Release about “RDAP Law” fraudsters who were recently sentenced to prison.

Watch this episode on YOUTUBE, on APPLE PODCASTS, or wherever you get your podcasts!

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