Life In Federal White-Collar Prisons “Like A Boring Groundhog Day”


There's nothing cushy at even the low-security federal prisons where many a VIP has done time, says the Washington Post. With celebrity convicts in the news, like “Real Housewife” Teresa Giudice beginning a 15-month term yesterday and former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell’s sentencing, scheduled for today, there is renewed interest in what life is really like on the inside. “It's kind of like a junior college setting,” explained Larry Levine of Wall Street Prison Consultants, which advises clients before going into lock-up. “I don't want to call it a stress-free environment, but it's a lot of hanging out with the other inmates, you know, just bull—-ing.”

Levine, who served 10 years in federal prison for racketeering, among other charges, said that a typical day at a low-security prison camp starts with wake-up call a 6 a.m., a mad dash to the overcrowded bathrooms, breakfast at 7:15 a.m., work duty, lunch, more work, a head count at 4 p.m., mail call, dinner an hour later, free time, another head count, then lights out at around 11 p.m. It's not girl scout camp, but it's not HBO's jailhouse drama “Oz” either. “It's like a boring Groundhog Day,” Levine said. Danger, he says, is the big difference between a “supermax” penitentiary and the type of prison camps with no barbed wire perimeter fences that convicts with sentences of less than 10 years hope for.

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