Of all the people in the world who deserve sympathy, wives of dirty financiers who go to jail are probably at the bottom of the list. And yet, these wives are often not the Lady Macbeths we imagine them to be, and are often completely caught off guard when their husbands turn out to be scheming, evil fraudsters. Sometimes the women, who have never had to fend for themselves, can even end up homeless or on the street.
That’s where Progressive Prison Ministry comes in. Started by a former corporate lawyer who went to prison for 14 months for fraud and money laundering, the ministry, based in Greenwich, Connecticut, claims its mission is “to provide confidential support and counseling to individuals, families and organizations with white-collar and other nonviolent incarceration issues.” A talk they organized in 2013 was titled “Helping Hedge Funders Cope With Prison.”
“The shock was unreal,” one wife of a hedge funder who is now in jail told Business Insider. “At some point, though, survival instincts took over. With having had close friends bury their children and other friends fighting cancer, I knew that no matter how horrible it may have seemed my life had become, we all were healthy and had an unshakable love for one another.”
She and other wives find great comfort in the Ministry, which is Christian but accepts people of all faiths. They provide a support network for the wives, helping them and their husbands find work (often, these men are forbidden to return to their old professions). One man even became a social worker for drug addicts.
So perhaps, with a little bit of work, this ministry can actually turn these fraudsters into good people. Now that would be a miracle indeed. [BI]