Greg Lindberg’s 15-Minute Testimonies Designed To Help Prisoners
Greg Lindberg recently started his self-titled YouTube series as a way to share his insider’s stories on motivation, optimism, and personal improvement with his former fellow prisoners. His autobiography, 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership, details his experience in a federal prison camp and what he learned about the justice system. His channel features 15-minute testimonies on how others can do the same.
“Being inside a federal prison,” Lindberg says, “you get a very good idea of how the justice system really works. You discover things you would never know otherwise. This information is not available anywhere online. This is a true reality from inside the federal prison system.”
Learn more about what the Yale-educated founder of Global Growth has learned and why he’s devoted to revamping an often-unjust justice system.
The Right Attitude
While his prison time was certainly not easy, Lindberg was focused on becoming a better, not bitter, person during his incarceration. He could have been resentful about his circumstances, but he didn’t want to waste his life being angry and caught up in what could have been. He wanted to make a personal transformation, one fueled by intense introspection and healthier habits. On his YouTube channel, he shares the ways he maintained this kind of mission.
Prosecution Promises Ignored
Lindberg may have been locked up with everyone else, but he wasn’t your typical prisoner. Not only did he have millions of dollars to defend himself and appeal his conviction to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals (where his convictions were vacated), but he also had a different perspective than many of his fellow inmates.
Hollywood would have you believe that trials are commonplace, but in real life, they’re incredibly rare. Most people take plea deals, either because they don’t think they have enough evidence to beat the charges or because they’re led to believe that they have no other options.
Lindberg learned that it’s often not so beneficial for the accused to strike a plea deal. Lindberg met prisoners who were promised incentives to plead by prosecutors, and their own lawyers, only to have those promises ignored by the sentencing judge. Lindberg’s book is told from the inside of a federal prison, and it’s a story that can’t be found anywhere else.
Probation vs. Prison
There are numerous stories about promises broken by the federal justice system, but one seemed particularly tragic to Lindberg. He used it as a way to illustrate a much bigger issue. He never names the person, but he tells the tale of a 40-year-old man he referred to as “Mr. X” while promoting the book, who was in for a securities transaction.
First, Lindberg did his homework. He read through the inmate’s court docket and saw that the charges were both minor and straightforward. The inmate was encouraged when not only his lawyer, but also the case prosecutor, promised him probation.
With so many people on his side, Mr. X figured there was little reason to fear the judge. The prosecutor was recommending probation, so why would the judge deny that? He wasted no time telling people that he wouldn’t be sent away. As a recently married man, his worried wife was calmed by the likely probation.
The catch was that the judge wasn’t on board with the plan at all. As the person with the final say in the matter, the judge issued him 78 months in prison. As Lindberg put it, “The judge hammered him. The judge said, ‘I don’t like people like you.’”
Unfortunately, the inmate, to whom Lindberg had grown so close, wasn’t able to feel positive about any of it. The man couldn’t let go of his probation expectations, and over time, became more and more incensed by his circumstances. He showed his anger by defying the guards, which is a huge risk in any prison. His behavior earned him a transfer to a much stricter facility.
At the prison camp in Montgomery, Lindberg at least had some degree of freedom. His friend ended up behind razor wire, doing what’s known as “hard time.” Normal reactions to prison, like depression, aren’t handled with any kind of compassion. They’re handled with transfers that can further destroy a person who’s already feeling hopeless.
This is a huge part of why Greg Lindberg started a YouTube series. When he was in prison, he was able to try intermittent fasting, work on his flexibility, and improve his memory. At 52, he feels like he is 25, crediting his changes to having the right mentality from the moment he walked into his cell.
Fighting for Change
Prison might have ultimately had a positive effect on Lindberg, but that doesn’t mean he wants people to end up there. In 2020, he founded Interrogating Justice, a nonprofit organization devoted to bringing more awareness to corrupt government actors so that they can be held accountable for their actions.
Greg Lindberg’s Story Available on Amazon
In 633 Days Inside, Lindberg encourages people to fight their cases. While plea deals certainly may look attractive at first, it’s often not worth getting lured in by the empty promises. The judge is the one who needs to approve the deal.
Lindberg’s autobiography, 633 Days Inside: Lessons on Life and Leadership, is available on Amazon and through a number of other outlets. He’s also made digital copies available to both incarcerated inmates and their families. And the company he founded, Global Growth, has affirmed that it does not turn people away from employment opportunities due to a previous conviction.