Skip to comments.Best Places To Go To Prison
Posted on 09/17/2002 12:12:03 PM PDT by wallcrawlr
NEW YORK - As disgraced former Tyco Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski faces new charges of fraud and theft on top of multiple tax-evasion indictments, prison time seems nearly certain.
Where does a man who has everything go to do hard time? While convicts don't get to choose their poison, er, prison, they can make requests. With that in mind, we reviewed the federal penitentiary system and picked the five very best places to go to prison.
Wherever Kozlowski ends up, he'll likely be in good company, since Adelphia founder John Rigas has been cuffed and the Feds are circling WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers. And still on the Department of Justice's to-do list are Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia's namesake, Global Crossing's Gary Winnick, Qwest Communications' execs and, of course, the Enron alumni who ushered in the era.
Eglin is the original "Club Fed," nicknamed as such back in the 1980s when prisoners were allowed to wear their own clothes and even go home to have dinner with their families. Those fast and loose days are long gone, but the nickname has stuck. Inmates maintain the golf course at nearby Eglin Air Force Base, but make no mistake--they never get the chance to hit a few themselves. Disgraced shoe designer Steve Madden is scheduled to do his 41-month sentence here.
Location: Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Opened: 1962 Capacity: 800 Population: 792 Amenities: Open dormitories hold 50 men who sleep in two-man cubicles. Softball, basketball, soccer, flag football, universal weight machine, free weights. Vocational training offered in diesel and small-engine mechanics; dental assistant apprenticeships. Prisoner perks: Eglin has an active music department that sponsors a number of inmate bands and also has a stash of instruments that prisoners can check out. Also of note is the camp's strong religious studies program that even goes so far as to offer Native American practitioners a small hide tent that can be used as a sweat lodge.
Nellis is one camp that is often requested by white-collar criminals because it's the only minimum-security facility on the West Coast that's freestanding--or, in other words, that isn't located alongside a higher-security prison. Camps that co-exist with hard-core cellblocks feel more like "real" prisons since camp inmates often have to work inside of them, surrounded by the razor wire and watchtowers.
Location: North Las Vegas Opened: 1990 Capacity: 415 Population: 588 Amenities: Men sleep four to a cubicle in open dorms that hold up to 40. Softball, basketball, soccer, flag football, universal weight machine, free weights, stationary bikes and stair stepper machines, as well as pool and pingpong tables. Classes offered in leatherworking and general art. Prisoner perks: The dormitories at Nellis are air conditioned, which is unusual for a system that's generally bereft of any creature comforts. And Nellis' gym is better equipped than those at other camps. Most prisons just let inmates pump iron, but Nellis actually has cardio equipment (albeit very old), including stationary bikes and stair climbers.
Perched amid the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains of West Virginia, Morgantown is one of the most picturesque camps in the system. Inmates say it is not unusual for them to awake in the morning to the sight of deer grazing on the compound.
Location: Morgantown, W.Va. Opened: 1969 Capacity: 935 Population: 1,009 Amenities: Dorms house up to 300 men, sleeping in two-man cubes. Weights, pool and pingpong tables. Classes in leatherworking, art and wood carving. No organized team sports. Vocational training offered in data entry and welding, plus apprenticeship programs in baking, commercial photography, computer technology, air-conditioning systems, landscaping, printing presses, painting and plumbing. Prisoner perks: Morgantown is the only prison camp that isn't located on a military base. This means that instead of taking three or four hours getting cleared to enter the base and then the camp, Morgantown visitors can practically breeze right in and out.
Otisville was designed primarily with the Orthodox Jewish community in mind, although it is not officially designated as a Jewish facility. It was built in response to the fact that Orthodox Jews often tried to get out of doing time by making the legal argument that the Bureau of Prisons violated their First Amendment rights because it could not accommodate their religious lifestyle.
Location: Otisville, N.Y. Opened: 1980 Capacity: 100 Population: 119 Amenities: One dorm with two-man cubicles. Playing cards, board games and walking. No athletics. No vocational training. Prisoner perks: Kosher kitchen, weekly Shabbat observances. Every year during Passover, Jewish convicts are flown into Otisville temporarily to participate in a seder.
Allenwood is mentioned often by the media, probably because so many convicts from the New York City area are sent there. And like Eglin, inmates used to be permitted privileges like having food from the outside sent in. But after the public became outraged by these cushy conditions, the camp was overhauled and is now considerably more austere.
Location: Montgomery, Pa. Opened: 1993 Capacity: 567 Population: 584 Amenities: Dorms house up to 80 men in two-man cubicles. Softball, basketball, soccer, flag football, universal weight machine, free weights, pool and pingpong tables. Vocational training offered in horticulture. One program is 150 hours, another is 500 hours. Graduates of both receive certificates of completion. Prisoner perks: Its musical program not only provides instruments but also offers inmate-led instruction. Allenwood is also known for having a particularly diverse inmate population--which, according to experts, makes it a little easier for white-collar convicts to fit in.
Many times, I've noticed the Club Fed men milling around drink machines in the BX parking lot...the ones dressed in Navy Blue Dockers with pressed white shirts..:~)
I think they were supposed to be doing hard labor, picking up trash in the parking lot.
The real culprits of inflated stock values were Bob Rubin and Alan Greenspan. Why aren't you calling on them to be investigated, or sent to prison? The ratio of dishonest to honest people is the same as it's always been. That's why capitalism evolved in a way that allows risk to be diversified. Most new businesses fail. That's always been the case, but the few good businesses that survive more than make up for it. Our capitalist system can handle that high level of risk. It always has. The only times it's appeared to fail is when the government got too involved.
The current attitude in this country, as evidenced by our post, is going to end up punishing the good businesses, and the good investors, while the government, more than willing to satisfy your lust for corporate blood, will continue to flourish more than ever at the taxpayers expense.
But the government is growing, and spending more money than ever, so it must be healthy ;-)
I have no problem with expensive shower curtains as long the funds were legally obtained. That shower curtain creates jobs and wealth for people who make and sell them. As long as our government fails to implement pro economic growth and pro investment policies, people will have to work harder for the same or less money. Be careful of policies that punish the rich. For each unit of suffering they endure, the middle and lower classes will endure several times more.
I just can't imagine what kind of political repercussions are going to result, can you?
I can. More regulations, more government debt and more taxes. Each day the private sector gets villified, the closer we get to totalitarian government.
I don't think you're getting the point I'm trying to make. We Americans have been hearing a drumbeat from Corporate America for the last twenty years, telling us that we have to work harder for less or else they'll ship our jobs overseas. There are engineers who spent eight years in college who are having their salaries driven down by imported H1-B labor. Meanwhile, the people in the executive suites are buying things like hundred million dollar mansions, $6,000 shower curtains, $2,200 wastebaskets, and $450 pincushions. Can you see the potential for popular resentment?
Let me acquaint you with a little bit of history. Do the words "Let them eat cake" ring a bell? Remember the unpleasantness that came shortly after those words were spoken? I'm thinking that what's about to come will make that look like a tea party. Stories like these only add fuel to the fire.
Yes, I can. I've worked for corporations run by A__holes. And do you see that the reason corporations do that is the high cost of government and regulatory compliance that everyone has to pay? The other major factor is the myth that full employment and higher salaries cause inflation. They don't, but they do give more clout to the working class.
No, we were stationed at Hurlburt Field.
The guest housing at Eglin is by the water, very close to the prison (which is also by the water)..Yes, these guys have it rough.
We vacation in the Emerald Green Water Paradise every year, tho...:~)
Ha ha ha.
This country is based on the free market and not some mythical "fairness" doctrine.
That means if you choose the wrong employer and are not able to make that employer stick to their word, then it's your fault and your fault only (unless under contract). If you are being screwed, that's why we have the civil and criminal courts, which you may petition.
Personally I don't give a hoot that anyone bought a $6,000 toilet seat. I only care that the deal I make with an employer or client is legitimate and enforceable, and that I'll get my money. If the company goes bad, well, it was my fault for not doing due diligence on that company (whether as an employee, contractor, or vendor).
We live in a country where that is the case. You agree to pay me at the 31st of the month, well by gosh you'd better have the money.
Yet if I screwed up in my assessment of whether you could or would do so, that's my bad. Not "the system".
Your arguument is entirely based on jealousy. No if, ands, or buts about it.
Absolutely right! Another federal country club. They even give the inmates time to go off Maxwell to play golf at the local courses!
In over a decade of international travel and reading, the views you espouse are held mainly by avowed communists, socialists, and statists.
Most recently that mantle is being held by psychotic Islamists (read the PLO founding documents or thae statements of bin Laden). Plain and simple. They are murderers and socialists.
Americans and their supporters are being murdered out of jealousy Plain and simple.
That is the way of totalitarians, whether named Hitler ("the Jews") Arafat ("the Jews") or Amin ("the Indians") or Mugabe ("the Whites") or bin Laden ("the Americans, the Jews").
Now, if you allow the legal system to become corrupted by money, and if you allow the political system to become corrupted by money, then you have VIOLATED the social contract that we all live by. That violation will result in anger on the part of the average person. I do not advocate it, I fear it, because I know the want and despair that is spread by Communism.
That having been said, perhaps now you can understand my concern about the activities of some of the ruling elite of this country. I've personally been seriously shafted in some of my dealings in Silicon Valley, I've seen things that would make your hair stand on end. You see, I believe in property rights, including intellectual property rights. I also believe that people who create wealth should partake of some of that wealth. Do you disagree with that premise?
What I DON'T believe in is the sort of "lassez-faire" economy where rule of law is circumvented via corruption and the political system of redress is totally short-circuited by big money contributions.
What is really funny about the "jealously" argument you are making is that I'm rather well off, thank you. Twenty-five years of frantic workaholism has paid off for me, and I now have some free time. I like private enterprise, I like the free market. I don't like corrupt greedheads who lie, cheat and steal at every turn perverting the whole idea of the free market until the average lemming is SCREAMING for socialism! I don't want Communism! I want free enterprise, with a functional legal and political system that can act to curb the excesses of the free market. I hope I have made myself clear.
Eminently. And we have more in common than you may know.
Sorry if I misinterpreted your previous comments.
Whoever spends the most wins. It's just that simple.
Not true. He has the most persistence wins. I know that as a personal fact, it is quite indisputable beyond any doubt in my own experience.
He who has the persistence, the facts, and the truth wins.
I'm sorry things didn't work as you expected.
As we grow older we accept with equanimity that "The wheels of justice grind slowly, BUT they grind exceedingly fine."
You will get a fair hearing, but it may take very long time.
...Prisoner perks: Kosher kitchen, weekly Shabbat observances. Every year during Passover, Jewish convicts are flown into Otisville temporarily to participate in a seder.
What a Country!
I would have pursued one particular case until my death day. It was against a law firm for $138.00 USD.
I don't know what your case was about.
Mine was about the truth.
I've been living and working at Eglin for over 20 years, and the prison camp is not as cushie as this article implies. The inmates here do all the installation upkeep--mowing lawns, raking leaves, picking up cigarette butts, etc.--that otherwise the already overworked airmen would get stuck doing. There are few discipline problems with these guys cause they know they're headed to the big house if they screw-up and the good thing is they will do at least 85 percent of their sentence before they get a shot at parole. While I think whitecollar criminals should do hard time just like the doper that robs a convienence store, the federal prison system arrangement at places like Eglin and Tyndall do have some good points.