Temporary Quarters: Where McDonnells Could Spend Time 


Former Gov. Bob McDonnell, convicted of corruption, badly wants to avoid going to prison. But the slammer looks increasingly likely now that he’s exhausted almost all of his appeals.

His last chance is if the U.S. Supreme Court accepts his case. But if it doesn’t, where will he do time?

The mostly likely hoosegow is just down Interstate 95, called the Petersburg Satellite Prison Camp, a minimum security facility that has no perimeter fence.

In that 343-bed Big House, McDonnell could serve at least part of his two-year sentence with little privacy. There are shower curtains, although inmates often line up 20-strong to wait their turns.

The former governor is likely to have a roommate and will be required to have a job. In an interview with WAVY-TV in Portsmouth, a former inmate says that given McDonnell’s education, he’ll probably work as a tutor for other prisoners.

He’ll be allowed 10 visitors a month, but he’d better make sure they’re low-profile. That’s the advice from U.S. Rep. Robert W. Ney, a Republican from Ohio who was convicted of the same kinds of crimes as McDonnell. Ney told a Washington television station that inmates get jealous if there’s any sense that a politician is getting special treatment.

Cuisine isn’t exactly like the rich pasta feast cooked by mobster Vinnie, as played by director Martin Scorsese’s father, Charles, in the 1990 movie “Goodfellas.” At Petersburg, it’s cafeteria-style.

What are the incarceration options for the governor’s wife, Maureen, if she loses her appeals of corruption convictions? She’s been sentenced to one year and a day.

There are number of federal prisons for females in the region, but one possibility is the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson in West Virginia, not far from the famous Greenbrier resort.

The minimum security facility was made famous in 2005 when Martha Stewart, the arbiter of taste, spent five months there for financial fraud.

Camp Cupcake, as the prison was dubbed in honor of Stewart, is the destination for women convicted of lesser crimes such as recreational drug use. It’s also housed female spies, such as Mildred Elizabeth Sisk, aka Axis Sally, who contributed to Nazi propaganda radio broadcasts during World War II.

The former governor may learn his fate within the next few weeks.


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