Bernie Madoff won’t be serving his life sentence in a hellhole.
The North Carolina prison where the convicted Ponzi schemer has been to serve his life sentence is considered “the crown jewel” of the federal prison system. It’s a place where many convicts hope to be sent. It may not be “club Fed” but it is the closest thing that exists in the federal prison system to a country club prison.
The Butner Federal Correctional Complex is about 45 minutes northeast of Durham. From the outside you could mistake it for a college campus, except perhaps for the barb-wire.
It’s often sought after by convicts because its staff and facilities have a good reputation. There are no hardcore maximum security type criminals there. It’s all minimum, low and medium security.
Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling requested he be allowed to serve his sentence there.
Butner is also known for having excellent medical facilities, especially its cancer-treament programs. There have been rumours that Madoff has been diagnosed with cancer.
Butner houses about 3,600 inmates. Notables include former U.S. Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, former Adelphi CEO John Rigas, and former Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Pollard. In the past the Butner prison has housed would be presidential assassin John Hinckley Jr. and televangelist Jim Bakker.
It’s not totally safe for prisoners, however. Madoff may well find himself in fights with other inmates. As the saying goes, in minimum security prisons you get punched, and in medium security prisons you get knifed.
It’s not clear whether Madoff will be in low or medium security. The length of Madoff’s sentence would typically preclude him from being housed in the minimum-security prison.
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