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Blagojevich unlikely to land in ‘Club Fed’

Federal Correctional Instituti4000 ArkonRoad Milan MI | Google Maps image

Federal Correctional Institution 4000 Arkona Road, Milan, MI | Google Maps image

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Updated: January 9, 2012 10:15AM

Most people think corrupt politicians get to spend their prison time in cushy confines, referring to it as “Club Fed.”

But because of Rod Blagojevich’s lengthy sentence prison sentence of 14 years, it’s highly unlikely he will initially qualify for a prison camp – the most relaxed security facility available in the federal system.

Blagojevich will likely end up in a low-security prison, said Jeffrey Steinback, known as a sentencing expert.

Some possibilities, he said, are in Milan, Michigan; Sandstone, Minnesota, and Englewood, Colorado. None are in the state.

“They’re not really built for convenience,” Steinback said.

Blagojevich must report to prison on Feb. 16th. His lawyers said they would research the most appropriate facility and ask U.S. District Judge James Zagel by Friday to recommend it to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, which has final say on the ex-governor’s placement.

The Michigan facility would be the closest at 262 miles or a 4 ½ hour drive from the Blagojevich’s Northwest Side home.

In a camp, people move more freely, there’s no bars and guards or outside fence.

A minimum security has bars and guards and is a more strict, intense environment.

However, once Blagojevich serves down his sentence to 10 years and below, he will have a greater chance of getting moved to a prison camp, Steinback said.

Still, it’s no walk in the park, he said.

“The notion of ‘Club Fed’ is nothing more than a fiction manufactured by law and order conservatives who grouse about prison as if it’s an easy place to be,” he said.

“They are spartan environments, they are isolated from the people you care most about. It’s a tough transition to make.”

Contributing: Lauren FitzPatrick

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