Former inmate coaches new prisoners on overcoming time behind bars
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — You’ve probably heard of a life coach, but what about a prison coach? A Spokane Valley man does just that. His YouTube videos help prepare convicted criminals for federal prison.
Dan Wise turned his experience behind bars into a business helping others facing the same reality, all from his Spokane Valley apartment.
In 2014, Wise pled guilty to avoid a longer sentence for his role in managing a Georgia pain clinic.
“Because I had an idea of what was going on, I was also charged with conspiracy to distribute and not notifying the authorities prior to to the authorities finding out what happened,” said Wise.
Faced with a 42-month sentence and full of anxiety, posted his first video to YouTube before getting locked up. It went viral.
“When I got out of prison, there were thousands of views on that one video and it was all people getting ready to go into federal prison, asking the same question: I’m terrified, what’s it really like?”
The questions never stopped.
“It got to the point where people were calling me so often and sending me emails asking me if I’d be willing to coach them. Not just how to save time, or cut time off of their prison sentence, but how to deal with the anxiety,” added Wise.
Dan has turned his Spokane Valley apartment into his full-time studio. His YouTube channel, RDAP Dan, has hundreds of videos full of advice on what to expect and how to prepare.
“When you get there you have a 700 credit score and once that credit is ruined, nobody is going to trust you,” said Wise.
“You may not physically get beat up, but people will make your life a living hell,” he added.
Dan served his sentence in a minimum security prison and says his experience was overwhelming positive.
“It just wasn’t anything what I expected it to be. I was able to take classes, lose tons of weight and just learn a lot about myself,” said Wise.
He says people make the biggest mistakes before they even step foot in a prison.
“Some of the biggest mistakes is not preparing properly. There’s something called the PSR interview which is your pre-sentence report,” Wise said.
If people are honest about prior drug or alcohol abuse they can qualify for recovery programs, even reduced sentences.
Dan is still on probation. Prison still fresh in his mind. He hopes the tips he’s learned can help others.
“Prison has not only changed my life, its actually become such a huge part of my life. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else other than this. It gives me such joy, and at the same time, I’m able to make a living doing it,” said Wise.
Dan’s videos are free to watch but he does provide a paid service to inmates and their families where he walks them through each step before, during, and after a prison sentence.
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