As Director of the Progressive Prison Project/Innocent Spouse & Children Project, Christ Church Greenwich, Greenwich, Connecticut (progressiveprisonproject.org), Jeff has dedicated his life to prison reform, prison ministry and criminal justice social ethics. He is engaged in experienced and supportive prison ministry - bringing together diverse communities for survival and success before, during, and upon reentry from prison.
These are, among other things, “the First Ministries in the United States created to support the Families of people accused or convicted of white collar and other nonviolent crimes."
These ministries offer spiritual solutions to material problems – Jeff’s unique combination of professional background and life experience in religion, business, law, prisoner reentry, drug and alcohol recovery, family work, social ethics, public activism, and similar disciplines encourages spiritual solutions to include practical steps to help people, and families, best survive, transform and succeed in their journey through the stages of before, during and upon reentry from prison. These practical steps include working with excellent attorneys and others professionals in various practice areas.
Jeff’s work in ministering to and bringing together the white collar and inner city communities has been the subject of articles appearing in the national media, for example: Forbes, November 2013, “Starting a Discussion on White Collar Crime and Recovery,” Absolute Return/ HedgeFund Intelligence, May 2013, “Helping Hedge Funders Cope With Prison: A Q&A with the Director of Greenwich-based Progressive Prison Project,” Fairfield County Business Journal, June 2013, “A Man Of Many Collars,” etc. These articles have been widely picked up in the media and social media – including New York Magazine Daily Intelligencer, Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, etc.
As an advocate for prison reform and criminal justice social ethics issues, Jeff is a requested speaker for charitable, religious, educational and public action groups. He was a Main-Stage Presenter at The Nantucket Project 2013 (video: nantucketproject.com/artofsurvivingprison), will be interviewed this fall at the prestigious Greenwich Leadership Forum by host David Miller, Director of the Princeton University Faith & Work Initiative, and has accepted an Invitation to lead a workshop at the Corrections Ministries and Chaplains Association (CMCA) Correctional Ministry Summit - IMPACT 2014, Wheaton College, IL, May 29-31, 2014.
Currently serving as Director/ Corporate Secretary/ Liaison to the Faith Community of Family Reentry, (familyreentry.org), a Bridgeport-based nonprofit serving the formerly incarcerated person community, Jeff formerly served as Family Reentry’s Vice Chairman, and as volunteer COO of Family Reentry's work & learn model in Downtown Bridgeport, Fresh Start Enterprises. Together with his wife Lynn Springer, they co-founded the Fresh Start Garden of Hope - a Family Reentry project in which ex-offenders converted a blighted block in inner city Bridgeport into the largest privately owned public use park and garden in the State of Connecticut. Jeff’s work at Family Reentry and Fresh Start Enterprises was recognized when he was awarded the Elizabeth Bush Award for Volunteerism.
Jeff serves on the Boards of Directors of Community Partners in Action - formerly the Connecticut Prison Association, Hartford, CT; Healing Communities Network, NYC, and the SouthWest Connecticut Justice Reinvestment Initiative (co-chair). He serves on the Editorial Board of The Compendium Project. As Assoc. Minister/ Director of Prison Ministries of the First Baptist Church of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut, he founded the Bridgeport Pardons Assistance Project (pardonsproject.org). He regularly provides expertise to organizations and institutions – he recently assisted Pivot Ministries in bringing a DMHAS faith-based ATR-III site to Fairfield County, and is advisor to Park City Green - the only nonprofit mattress recycling facility in the State of Connecticut. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of Creative Projects Group (creativeprojectsgroup.com), a Los Angeles-based producer of socially relevant enterprises (i.e. a biopic of Kahlil Gibran approved and licensed by the Gibran family). Jeff received the Bridgeport Reentry Collaborative 2013 Bridgeport Reentry Award as Advocate of the Year.
The Art of Surviving Prison is Jeff’s first book (due out fall 2014). It is a recovery memoir and definitive bible of rare and necessary information for people who are - or might be - going to prison, written in a crisp contemporary style that makes it easy reading for anyone who enjoys modern memoirs. It is Jeff’s own riches-to-rags-to-redemption story blended with specific and graphic details about daily living conditions, survival skills and spirituality inside a modern day prison. It offers hope and inspiration to anyone in need of a second chance in life.
He volunteered for several years at Silver Hill Hospital in New Canaan, CT, at Liberation House, in Stamford, CT, and served as a School Board Trustee in Westchester County, New York. He is certified in CPT Non-¬Violent Crisis Intervention, in CPR-AED by the American Red Cross, by the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Family-to-Family Education Program.
Jeff received a Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, with a focus in Christian Social Ethics (utsnyc.edu). He has returned to Union to research and write a new Theology of Imprisonment in its Master of Sacred Theology program. Jeff regularly served as coordinator of Union’s Panel on Religion and Prison and co-instructed a course in Church & Nonprofit Management.
Jeff formerly practiced real estate and corporate law, and served as outside general counsel to some of the largest real estate equity, management and brokerage companies in the New York-metro area.
Jeff lives in Weston, Connecticut with his wife Lynn. He has two daughters, a stepdaughter, a new baby granddaughter, and has played guitar for over forty years – he plays lead guitar in the church funk/gospel band on many Sundays.