It really sounds like Jen Shah is making the most of her time in federal prison.
And we don’t mean this like one of those “sources say” reports, either. This is straight from the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star herself. That’s right! The embattled 49-year-old reality TV star is speaking out from behind bars!!
Of course, the Bravo-lebrity is serving a 78-month prison sentence at Federal Prison Camp Bryan in Bryan, Texas, following her conviction in that infamous telemarketing fraud case. But that doesn’t mean she can’t do promo! On Thursday, she corresponded with The Messenger via email to discuss what life has been like for her in the big house.
For one, the Salt Lake City resident sounded extremely remorseful about the actions that led to her prison sentence. When asked about how she’s holding up, Shah wrote:
“Daily introspection and self-examination are helping me learn many valuable lessons about how I ended up here. I took shortcuts and broke the law. I own and understand my actions created victims. I hurt people and I must reiterate that I blame no one but myself.”
Wow! That’s actually very mature and reasonable. The remorse is really good to hear! It means she’s growing!
And she continued:
“I am committed to doing the work necessary to make my victims whole and prove worthy of a second chance. I’ve learned to focus on what I can and cannot control. I can control my attitude and how I approach each day with a desire to improve.”
She’s not kidding about that “doing the work” stuff, either.
When asked what she’s been doing behind bars to prove herself “worthy of a second chance,” Shah explained she is offering GED and ESL (English as a second language) tutoring to other inmates, along with other activities:
“I have found multiple ways to mentor other prisoners, [including] tutoring GED and ESL students, mentoring women on their release plans, teaching multiple workout classes (abs, Pilates and HIIT training) and tutoring on reading, writing and vocabulary.”
She also says she has been trying to help less-fortunate inmates “put together their resumes … using Prison Professor workbooks” so they may have stronger employment options upon release.
She’s also offering job-related culture and fashion trainings to inmates via a Dress for Success program on the inside. That, she hopes, will “help justice-impacted individuals prepare for the job interview process upon re-entry.” That’s not too bad at all!
Regarding her push to help others while serving her time, the Bravo vet added:
“I find meaning by helping other women here at Bryan by finding ways to make a positive impact in their lives to help them find purpose which gives me purpose and a drive to do better.”
Shah has effectively been forced into these connections in the first place, as she explained she is living in a pod with a group of other women — and not a single or double prison cell away from others.
Still, now that she has found people with “similar values,” the reality TV alum claims she’s doing her best to “find consistency” in her actions:
“The details within my relationships take on more meaning. I don’t take these relationships for granted and truly value and appreciate the meaning my family and loved ones add to my life. The true meaning is consistency — to find consistency in my prayers, and actions. Emotions run up and down in my environment, so I must strive for consistency in my actions and emotions.”
Shah’s prison consultant Justin Paperny was also interviewed by the outlet for their Thursday report.
He confirmed the disgraced reality personality has “embraced her reality” behind bars, and added:
“She is pursuing educational opportunities to advance her release. By actively participating and successfully completing educational programs, she may increase her chances of earlier release or other benefits.”
That’s the end goal, of course. Makes sense!
Ultimately, Jen is hopeful that she can continue to prove herself to people who doubt her comeback commitment. She concluded:
“I am grateful for the opportunity to earn a second chance. I know some people doubt my sincerity and commitment. I can only control what I do daily and how I prepare for my life after federal prison. … I have learned about the value of time. I must be efficient and grateful and never complain. God has given me a moment to reset my life and I am grateful for that.”
So there you have it.
Two more minor footnotes, as well: first, The Messenger reports that Jen’s husband Sharrieff Shah “has visited his wife behind bars,” so that’s nice.
And second, and more interestingly, neither Jen nor her prison consultant Paperny would comment about whether the RHOSLC alum has met disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes. As you may recall, Holmes surrendered herself to federal authorities at FPC Bryan back in May. She is now one of the 627 inmates currently serving at that institution alongside Shah, per the Federal Bureau of Prisons.
But “due to security reasons,” per news outlet, Paperny would not comment on whether Shah and Holmes interact regularly — or whether they have even met at all. Ah, well. You can catch up on Shah’s interviews with The Messenger at the links HERE and HERE, if you’re curious.
Reactions, Perezcious readers??
[Image via Bravo/YouTube.]