Why Is Bernie Madoff in a Southern Prison?
Bernie Madoff is going to be serving his til-death sentence at Butner Federal Prison in North Carolina. Why there? Nobody knows, really! But it won't be so bad for Bernie—he'll have landscaping, environmentalism, and a hospital bed.
Madoff's lawyer tried to get him sent to Otisville, just 70 miles away from NYC, but the Feds opted for Butner. The WSJ points out that once you're convicted of a federal crime, the Bureau of Prisons can send you wherever the fuck it pleases, thank you very much. And they don't particularly care how rich and famous you are. For example:
Design diva Martha Stewart didn't get her first choice for prison. In 2004, attorneys for Ms. Stewart, convicted of obstructing justice, convinced the judge to recommend that she be imprisoned in Danbury, Conn.
The facility was overbooked. Her second choice was in Coleman, Fla., which she said was preferable to a prison camp in West Virginia because it would be easier for her mother and lawyers to visit, according to documents she filed in the case. It didn't work. The bureau placed her in West Virginia.
"Take that!" we imagine Bureau of Prisons officials exclaiming to themselves as they send wealthy inmates off to the ass ends of America. Bernie is going to be a in a medium security facility at Butner, and when he gets old and sick they can transfer him right next door to the prison hospital facility. Meanwhile he'll get a job like "landscaping or tutoring." And he can take satisfaction knowing that he's giving back to the world by serving his time in an environmentally friendly place: The first, and only, LEED-certified federal prison.
So that's something.