HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Prison consulting has become a legitimate business over time.
Huntsville attorney Mark McDaniel said consultants capitalize off being very familiar with prison environments.
"You have ex-corrections officers and people who have spent time in prison setting up these businesses charging thousands and thousands of dollars," he explained.
McDaniel said while some consultants are legitimate, there are some looking to con the system and the defendant.
"It's okay for these consultants to tell people, 'Look, this is what it's going to be like in prison, this is what you need to expect in prison,'" explained McDaniel. "When they start telling them how to break in the system and how to get into programs that they're not entitled to, that's where you're crossing the line."
Three prison consultants in Connecticut reportedly told their clients to lie about falling victim to substance abuse, even going as far as advising them to show up to court intoxicated and fake withdrawal symptoms.
Their reasoning - when people complete drug or substance abuse programs through the prison system, they get time knocked off their sentences.
McDaniel explained if you're caught, you could face heavy charges.
"They're getting indicted with conspiracy to fraud the government, obstruction of justice, if these people lie about it, perjury."
All the while, McDaniel said, someone with scarce resources falls victim to a vicious cycle.
"The problem with the system, and it has always been, is that poor people don't get the same treatment," he added. "They get lawyers for that case and that's it and if there are programs in the system, they've got to find out for themselves."