White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, Podcast Ep. 10: The Ministers
Guests: Father Joe Ciccone & Father Rix Thorsell
Today on the podcast, we have two of my dearest and closest friends and colleagues, Father Joe Ciccone and Father Rix Thorsell of Saint Joseph Mission Church in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Both Fr. Joe and Fr. Rix were classmates of mine at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and both were convicted of white collar crimes. They each have very different stories.
Fr. Joe was the County Sherrif of Bergen County, New Jersey, one of the highest-profile positions in one of the most affluent counties in the United States. Joe was elected and served on this position until he pled guilty for campaign funds violations. His case and face were splashed across newscasts and newspapers in the greater New York area.
Fr. Rix, on the other hand, moved from seminary to become the youth pastor at a parish church where his gambling addiction caught up with him. He was prosecuted and lost his position for stealing $300 worth of gift cards from the church.
From the lowest moments of their lives, both Fr. Joe and Fr. Rix grew and evolved to become ordained reverends, healers devoted to serving others.
So coming up, The Ministers. On White Collar Week. I hope you will join us. — Jeff
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You can find all episodes of our podcast “White Collar Week with Jeff Grant” on our website prisonist.org, our Facebook page, Podbean, YouTube (video), SoundCloud, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.
Link here to Podcast Ep. 09: Small Business Edition, with Guest: Taxgirl Kelly Phillips Erb
Link here to Podcast Ep. 08: The Academics, with Guests: Cathryn Lavery, Jessica Henry, Jay Kennedy & Erin Harbinson
Link here to Podcast Ep. 07: White Collar Wives. with Guests: Lynn Springer, Cassie Monaco & Julie Bennett. Special Guest: Skylar Cluett
Link here to Podcast Ep. 06: Madoff Talks, with Guest: Jim Campbell
Link here to Podcast Ep. 05: Trauma and Healing when Mom goes to Prison
Link here to Podcast Ep. 04: One-on-One with Tipper X: Tom Hardin
Link here to Podcast Ep. 03: Compassionate Lawyering: Guests, Chris Poulos, Corey Brinson, Bob Herbst & George Hritz.
Link here to Podcast Ep. 02: Substance Abuse & Recovery During COVID-19: Guests, Trevor Shevin & Joshua Cagney
Link here to Podcast Ep. 01: Prison & Reentry in the Age of COVID-19: An Evening with Our White Collar Support Group.
What is the White Collar Justice Community?
Welcome to White Collar Week with Jeff Grant, a podcast serving the white collar justice community. It’s the isolation that destroys us. The solution is in community.
If you are interested in this podcast, then you are probably already a member of the white collar justice community — even if you don’t quite know it yet. Our community is certainly made up of people being prosecuted, or who have already been prosecuted, for white collar crimes. But it is also made up of the spouses, children and families of those prosecuted for white collar crimes — these are the first victims of white collar crime. And the community also consists of the other victims, both direct and indirect, and those in the wider white collar ecosystem like friends, colleagues, prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, law enforcement, academics, researchers. Investigators, mitigation experts, corrections officers, reentry professionals, mental health care professionals, drug and alcohol counselors, — and ministers, chaplains and advocates for criminal and social justice reform. The list goes on and on…
In this very eventful summer 2020, our mission is to introduce you to other members of the white collar justice community, to hear their very personal stories, and hopefully gain a broader perspective of what this is really all about. Maybe this will inspire some deeper thoughts and introspection? Maybe it will inspire some empathy and compassion for people you might otherwise resent or dismiss? And maybe it will help lift us all out of our own isolation and into community, so we can learn to live again in the sunshine of the spirit.
Along the way, I’ll share with you some of the things I’ve learned in my own journey from successful lawyer, to prescription opioid addict, white collar crime, suicide attempt, disbarment, destruction of my marriage, and the almost 14 months I served in a Federal prison. And also my recovery, love story I share with my wife Lynn Springer, after prison earning a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in NYC, pastoring in an inner city church in Bridgeport CT, and then co-founding with Lynn in Greenwich CT, Progressive Prison Ministries, the world’s first ministry serving the white collar justice community. It’s been quite a ride, but I firmly believe that the best is yet to come.
So I invite you to come along with me as we experience something new, and bold, and different this summer — a podcast that serves the entire white collar justice community. I hope you will join me.
Thank you for listening to White Collar Week.
Please subscribe, rate and review the podcast if you loved it — it helps others suffering in silence find us if they need us!
It’s the Isolation that Destroys Us. The Solution is in Community.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is the world’s first ministry supporting the white collar justice community. Founded by husband and wife, Jeff Grant and Lynn Springer in Greenwich CT in 2012, we incorporated as a nonprofit in Connecticut in 2014, and received 501(c)(3) status in 2015. Jeff has over three decades of experience in crisis management, business, law (former), reentry, recovery (clean & sober 17+ years), and executive and religious leadership. As Jeff was incarcerated for a white-collar crime he committed in 2001, he and Lynn have a first-hand perspective on the trials and tribulations that white-collar families have to endure as they navigate the criminal justice system and life beyond.
Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc. is nonsectarian, serving those of all faiths, or no faith whatsoever. To date we have helped over three hundred fifty (350) individuals, and their families, to accept responsibility for their actions and to acknowledge the pain they have caused to others. In accordance with our commitment to restorative justice, we counsel our members to make amends as a first step in changing their lives and moving towards a new spiritual way of living centered on hope, care, compassion, tolerance, empathy and service to others. Our team has grown to over ten people, most with advanced degrees, all of whom are currently volunteering their time and resources.
Progressive Prison Ministries’ goal is to provide spiritual solutions and emotional support to those who are feeling alone, isolated, and hopeless. We have found that these individuals are suffering from a void but are stuck, and don’t know what to do about it. Our objective is to help them find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what may seem like insurmountable problems. Many of those we counsel are in a place where their previous lives have come to an end due to their transgressions. In many cases their legal problems have led to divorce, estrangement from their children, families, friends and support communities, and loss of a career. The toll this takes on individuals and families is emotionally devastating. White-collar crimes are often precipitated by other issues in the offenders’ lives such as alcohol or drug abuse, and/or a physical or mental illness that lead to financial issues that overwhelms their ability to be present for themselves and their families and cause poor decision making. We recognize that life often presents us with such circumstances, sometimes which lead us to make mistakes in violation of the law.
All conversations and communications between our ordained ministry, and licensed clinical relationships, and those we serve fall under state privilege laws. This is one reason that attorneys often allow and encourage their clients to maintain relationships with us while in active prosecution or litigation situations.
If you, a friend, family member, colleague or client are suffering from a white collar criminal justice issue or are experiencing some other traumatic or life-altering event, and would like to find a path to a healthy, spirit-filled place on the other side of what seems like insurmountable problems, please contact us to schedule an initial call or appointment.
Copyright 2020, All Rights Reserved, Progressive Prison Ministries, Inc.
Originally published at https://prisonist.org.