White Collar Support Group 350th Meeting Reflection: “Phase to Phase”, by Fellow Traveler Aillyn Aulov

Aillyn Aulov is a member of our White Collar Support Group that meets on Zoom on Monday evenings. On March 6, 2023, we will hold our 350th meeting – 7 years of community! In honor of this milestone, we’ve asked our group members, guests and supporters to contribute written reflections for publication on our websites, emails, newsletters and social media. If you would like to submit your contribution, please contact us at info@prisonist.org. Thank you!


I have been a traveler through the criminal justice system for close to 4 years now. I was convicted of healthcare fraud last January, 2022. I served 7 months in 2 federal facilities before being released on Cares Act on home confinement. While I am profoundly grateful to be home to finish out the rest of my sentence, I am exhausted from all the travel.

You see the thing about this kind of travel is we cannot see what is at the end of each phase, or tunnel we pass through. There is the investigation phase, the pretrial phase, the sentencing phase, prison phase and so forth. We try our best to squint and see what is on the other side but no matter what we do, we cannot plan anything. “Man plans and G-d laughs” We thought our plans were awesome and we were on top of the world for a while. We were respected members of society with much status. We lost all that when we chose to do what we did.

While I was in each phase of the judicial process, I prayed and prayed and thought, okay now this is the end of the line. I thought for sure the deepest darkest tunnel was prison and prayed every day to be released. I soon entered the next phase, the halfway house. I quickly learned that the re-entry center is not serving any purpose but to remind me at least 5 times a day that I am still an inmate with a different title now. I was told the day I arrived, “You are still serving your sentence, you just have the convenience of sleeping in your own bed at night.”

I must gather mental strength each day to continue traveling, knowing my journey is far from ending. I might have to travel for the rest of my life. I must look in the mirror each day and remind myself, “Your job does not define you. You are a human being who made an unwise decision. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to heal.”

I am preparing myself for the next phase which also has its unknowns, probation. I pray because that is all I have left to help me. Pray deeply with all your heart knowing that things will get better again and your life will take on a new normal.

G-d grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.