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249: NY State Prison to Media Spokesperson on Prison Issues

Earning Freedom with Michael Santos

Release Date: 03/20/2016

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Erik Jensen on Earning Freedom podcast

At the very tender age of 11, Erik Jensen was living in an abusive, single parent household with daily violence fueled by alcoholism. He sought escape on the streets, committing theft, selling and using drugs, and was always in trouble with the law until Erik found himself in some of the worst prisons in New York.

From his late teens to mid-twenties Erik was convicted on an array of charges including Robbery in the Second Degree, Promoting Prison Contraband, and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th Degree. He ended up serving 12 years collectively in the New York State Department Of Corrections. He did his time at Greene, Franklin, Watertown, Bare Hill, Five Points, Attica, and in 2011-2012 at the now infamous Clinton Correctional Facility in upstate New York. It was there he became well acquainted with inmates David Sweat and Richard Matt. On June 6, 2015, the two convicted murderers pulled off one of the most daring prison escapes in recent history.

            During his imprisonment Erik was witness to atrocities perpetrated against fellow inmates by several of the guards. He also observed abominable behavior inflicted on inmates by each other, convincing him that the U.S. penal system takes in the bad and instead of rehabilitating, it makes them worse.

            Erik is a self-taught scholar in the field of prisoner transformation. He uses his own personal experience to revitalize the mind and spirits of men and women who have shared a similar path in life. Through his words, Erik illustrates that we are much more than the worst thing we’ve ever done, and that the potential for doing good resides within every one of us.  

            Given his vast knowledge of the Department of Corrections; Clinton Correctional Facility; David Sweat, Richard Matt and their escape; their accomplices, civilian worker Joyce Mitchell and guard Gene Palmer; plus the barbaric culture of the prison system, Erik Jensen is a consultant on an array of projects with television networks and major motion picture production companies. He is a producer for an upcoming Netflix series, based on the Clinton escape; directed by Jodie Foster, and Executive Produced by Bryan Zuriff and Brett Johnson of Ray Donovan and Mad Men.

            Erik has been interviewed more than 40 times live on over a dozen networks, including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, HLN, TWC, PIX11, WNYT13; plus numerous other news media, such as GQ, People, and Time magazines. He has appeared and played a prominent role in television specials: Nightline, Outside The Wall, The Great Prison Break, Inside Edition, Up Close with Marvin Scott, 360 Anderson Cooper, Outfront with Erin Burnett, At This Hour with John Berman and Kate Balduan, and Dateline: "The Accomplice" with Matt Lauer.

            Erik continues to share his views with the world by consulting on disturbing issues in the prison system nationwide, such as corruption, physical and mental abuse, and the long-term effects of solitary confinement. He has participated in myriad televised debates hosted by award winning journalists such as Deborah Feyerick, Randi Kaye, and Jessica Schneider.

            Erik is a regular guest speaker on numerous Dutchess County Legislator forums concerning criminal justice reform, and makes weekly guest appearances on County Legislator Joel Tyner’s radio show on WVKR 91.3 FM.

            He is also frequently invited to the "Earning Freedom" podcast. A California based show created by Michael Santos that is broadcasted in jails and prisons nationwide.

            SUNY New Paltz welcomes Mr. Jensen every semester to speak with students studying Criminology. He also volunteers at Redhook Residential Youth Facility, where he shares his story of recovery and redemption with juvenile delinquents.

            Erik is currently a contributing writer at Unheard Voices magazine. See: www.unheardvoicesmag.com

 

           He also volunteers with numerous criminal justice reform organizations including but not limited to: Cut50, Prisoner’s Legal Service, and Beacon Prison Action. His memoir is due out in 2017.

 

 

MEDIA EXPERIENCE:

 

ABC: Nightline

            Contacted by Yu Fanting

            Interviewed by Juju Chang

 

            ABC Nightly News, Good Morning America, and 20/20

            Contacted and interviewed by Linzie Janis (interview used on all three shows)

 

CBS: CBS News

            Contacted and interviewed by Jessica Schneider

 

NBC: Dateline: "The Accomplice" with Matt Lauer

            Contacted by Cassandra Marshall

            Interviewed by Cassandra Marshall & Matt Lauer

            NBC News

            Contacted by Laura Allenbaugh

            Interviewed by Chelsea Damberg

CNN: Anderson Cooper360

            Contacted by Kari Pricher

            Interviewed by Anderson Cooper (twice)

 

            Outfront with Erin Burnett

            Contacted by Kayte Steinmetz

            Interviewed by Erin Burnett (seven times)

         

            CNN Newsroom:

            Contacted and interviewed by Brooke Baldwin (twice)

           

            At This Hour with Berman and Balduan

            Contacted by Marie Malzberg

            Interviewed by John Berman and Kate Balduan (five times)

           

            The Great Prison Escape: CNN Special Report

            Contacted and interviewed by Randi Kaye

 

            Fredricka Whitfield

            Contacted by Sarah Edwards

            Interviewed by Fredricka Whitfield

 

            CNN Remote studio interview

            Contacted and interviewed by Carol Costello for later broadcast and syndication

 

            Deborah Feyerick (documentary)

            Contacted and interviewed by Deborah Feyerick

           

PIX-11: Special Report

            Contacted by Veronica Rosario

            Interviewed by Kori Chambers and Sukanya Krishnan

 

            Up Close with Marvin Scott

            Contacted by Ellyn Marks

            Interviewed by Marvin Scott

 

MSNBC: Special Report

            Contacted by Tara Ayers

            Interviewed by Tamron Hall

 

WNYT-13-NBC: Special Report

            Contacted and interviewed by Jessica Layton

 

TIME WARNER CABLE SPECIAL: Behind the Wall

            Contacted and interviewed by Michael Howard

 

GQ MAGAZINE

            Contacted and interviewed by Cole Louison

 

PEOPLE MAGAZINE

            Contacted and interviewed by Jeff Truesdell

 

NY POST (two page spread)

            Contacted and interviewed by Jamie Schram

 

TIME MAGAZINE ONLINE

            (My sound bites used in an article on The Great Escape)  

 

GAWKER MAGAZINE

            Contacted and interviewed by Gabrielle Bluestone

 

SIRIUS XM RADIO - Channel 121 with Margaret Hoover.

            Contacted and interviewed by Margaret Hoover

 

           Channel 45 (Shade45) - Sway in the Morning Show

 

SHOPFM

             National Internet Radio Show

 

NPR – In depth interview with Brian Mann

 

 

 

 

AREAS OF ANALYSIS INCLUDE:

 

  • A strong knowledge of the structure of the New York State Department of Corrections, the Criminal Justice System, the Court System, and Law.
  • Prison Life
  • Corruption inside Correctional Facilities
  • Escape from Prison
  • Relationships between Corrections Officers/Employee’s and Prisoners inside Prison
  • The Criminal Mind
  • Re-Entry
  • Rehabilitation
  • The Effects of Long Term Solitary Confinement
  • Prison Reform

 

 

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LINKS TO SHOWS:

 

DATELINE : http://www.nbc.com/dateline/video/dateline-september-18-2015/2905381?onid=209511#vc209511=1

ANDERSON COOPER: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=erik+jensen+anderson+cooper&FORM=VIRE2#view=detail&mid=64CAE0EB9F4FB0C0597064CAE0EB9F4FB0C05970

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BUNETT: http://cnn.it/1N6c9O4

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/29/ebo.01.html

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/24/ebo.01.html

CNN - OUTFRONT WITH ERIN BURNETT: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1506/26/ebo.01.html

CNN - AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BALDUAN: http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/06/24/manhunt-escapee-prison-worker-relationship-jensen-ath.cnn

CNN - AT THIS HOUR WITH BERMAN AND BALDUAN: http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/25/us/new-york-prison-break-contraband-smuggle/

ABC NEWS: http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/inmate-discusses-joyce-mitchell-david-sweat-relationship-32031236

GOOD MORNING AMERICA: https://gma.yahoo.com/ny-prison-escape-former-inmate-describes-alleged-cozy-180027020--abc-news-topstories.html#

NY DAILY NEWS: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/joyce-mitchell-inmate-relationship-running-joke-article-1.2269529

INSIDE EDITION: http://www.insideedition.com/headlines/10899-ex-inmate-flirty-joyce-mitchell-brought-killer-david-sweat-barbecued-ribs-big-chicken

NY POST: http://nypost.com/2015/06/24/shawskank-had-closet-sex-with-killer-4-times-a-week-ex-inmate/

WNYT13 IN DEPTH INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA LAYTON: http://wnyt.com/article/stories/s3859746.shtml

PIX11 UP CLOSE WITH MARVIN SCOTT: http://pix11.com/2015/07/04/former-clinton-correctional-inmate-discusses-life-behind-prison-walls-david-sweat/

PIX11 WITH SUKANYA KRISHNAN AND KORI CHAMBERS: http://pix11.com/2015/07/04/former-clinton-correctional-inmate-discusses-life-behind-prison-walls-david-sweat/

NIGHTLINE WITH JUJU CHANG: http://abc.go.com/shows/nightline/listing/2015-07/01-nightline-070115-prison-of-passion-relationships-between-female-officers-inmates

CBS INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA SCHNEIDER: http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2015/06/19/correction-officer-david-sweat-richard-matt/

DAILY FREEMAN: http://www.dailyfreeman.com/general-news/20150625/escapees-affair-with-prison-employee-no-secret-says-local-man-who-did-time-at-dannemora

PEOPLE MAGAZINE: http://www.people.com/article/former-jailmate-relieved-capture-and-death-new-york-prison-escapees

GAWKER MAGAZINE: http://gawker.com/prisoner-says-tillie-and-the-escaped-inmate-did-it-at-l-1713591919

MSNBC THOMAS ROBERTS SHOW: http://www.msnbc.com/thomas-roberts/watch/joyce-mitchell-details-prison-break-plan-528139331771

NEWSNATION WITH TAMRON HALL: http://www.msnbc.com/newsnation/watch/former-inmate-talks-about-joyce-mitchell-525187139634

NORTH COUNTRY PUBLIC RADIO:

http://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/30014/20151105/how-crossed-lines-cut-corners-and-cozy-relationships-led-to-dannemora-apos-s-big-prison-break

        

 

ERIK J. JENSEN

CONSULTANT/ANALYST/AUTHOR

CRIMINAL JUSTICE ADVOCATE

AGENT EILEEN COPE

ecope@markcrreativemanagement.com

www.twitter.com/erikjjensen81

www.facebook.com/erikjensen

erikjjensen81@gmail.com

845.464.5878