Actor Wesley Snipes Reports to Pennsylvania Federal Prison


Most high-profile inmates fear and struggle with the same aspects of prison life, notably the lack of privacy and the absence of a personal security team, said Bales.

"He'll have a bit of a shock if he's used to luxury accommodations," said Bales. "But everyone gets accustomed to it -- even Martha Stewart and Leona Helmsley."

Stewart served time in 2004 for securities fraud and Helmsley was incarcerated for tax evasion in 1992.

"He's still going to know he's in prison every day and if he ever forgets, the guards will remind him," said John Webster, the managing director of National Prison and Sentencing Consultants.

Webster said he once had a client, who had lived a privileged life before being sent to prison, and asked a correctional officer for a cup of coffee from his cellblock.

"The guard looked at him like he was absolutely crazy," recalled Webster. "They locked him up in the hole."

The hole is a so-called jail within a prison where inmates are put on 23-hour lockdown, normally after receiving a disciplinary notice.

Like other prison consultants, Webster, Bales and Levine make their livings advising soon-to-be inmates on what they can expect behind bars.

Some consultancy agencies will offer clients everything from psychological treatment, to help cope with being locked up, to advice on how to appeal to a judge for placement at a particular prison.

Levine said that clients often come to him "scared" and "confused."

Prison Consultants Give Snipes Prison Advice

Some of the best advice he gives his clients is to get into a routine as quickly as possible once they settle into prison life, said Levine.

Snipes, like all federal prison inmates, will be expected to work a job that may range from landscaper to food service to painting. He'll be paid anywhere from 12 cents to 40 cents an hour for his labor, said Levine.

Snipes' income totaled more than $13 million during the three-year period he was convicted of failing to pay his taxed, according to court records.

He will also be allowed to make phone calls -- up to 300 minutes per month -- and will be allowed a personal radio.

Reeling in his celebrity status, said Levine, will be imperative for the duration of his prison stay.

"If Snipes called me today, I'd tell him that he's not better than anyone else and nobody is going [to care] that you're Wesley Snipes," said Levine.

"Dont' become confrontational, show lots of respect to people," he said. "Don't change the channel on the [community] TV, don't reach across someone's plate."

Reaching across someone's plate in prison is the "ultimate disrespect," said Levine, who said he's seen fights break out over the misstep.

"It's a camp, so he's not going to be in there with violent offenders, but there is tension," said Levine. "It's the holiday season, and that's the worst season because people are missing their families."

"Snipes needs to remember that everyone's main goal is to get out and get back to their families."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 12345648.
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...