Five Things to Know About Wesley Snipes' Prison Stint

By noon today, the actor must check into the minimum security prison camp known "Club Fed". What, exactly, is he in for?

By Gina Serpe Dec 09, 2010 5:37 PMTags
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As recently as Tuesday, Wesley Snipes was griping about having to spend the holidays behind bars. But guess what? You don't (allegedly) bilk the federal government out of millions of dollars in federal taxes without spending a little time in the clink.

So he's going. For three years. Starting today, actually, as Snipes reported to Pennsylvania's McKean Federal Correctional Institute this morning to begin serving out his sentence.

But what, exactly, will he be doing during his stay? (Other than holding on tight to the soap, that is?) Here are five things you should know about Snipes' prison stint:

1. It's no Camp Cupcake…but it is Club Fed! While the McKean Federal Correctional Institute itself is a medium security prison, the 48-year-old Snipes will be housed in the adjacent satellite minimum security prison camp. As federal prisons go, it's supposedly one of the nicer facilities, alternately getting dubbed "Club Fed" or "McKean the dream." It houses 290 white-collar criminals in total, all of which live in dorm-style living quarters. While his sentence is officially 36 months, he's only expected to serve in the ballpark of 26 months, and may even get transferred to an early house sometime around the two-year mark.

2. He shouldn't count on getting any beauty sleep. As an inmate, Snipes will be subject to a daily wake up call at 6:35 a.m. and must have his bed made everyday by 8 a.m. Which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the five daily headcounts for which he must be standing at attention in his lit quarters—the rough part is that these counts take place every day at 12:01 a.m., 3 a.m., 5 a.m., 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

3. It won't be too far a cry from craft services. Sure, the reputation of prison food is only slightly lower than the reputation of plane food, but at least Bureau of Prisons Inmate No. 43355-018 will have some options when he tucks in at the communal dining table. The prison offers a selection of "religious diet" programs as well as "heart healthy" and "no flesh protein alternative" meals. The only mealtime no-no is staging an impromptu gun show—no sleeveless shirts are allowed in the meal hall. And if that doesn't offer enough sustenance for Snipes, he's allowed to spend up to $290 a month in the commissary.

4. He'll work hard for his money. Like all inmates, Snipes will have to hold down a job for seven hours a day and could do anything from landscaping to food service to painting. While working, as while in the prison camp, he must don his khaki uniform and black boots (no tennis shoes allowed!) at all times. He'll report to work by 8 a.m. and be paid not-so-handsomely for his efforts: usually between 12 cents and 40 cents an hour.

5. He can kiss those conjugal visits goodbye. The most physical contact allowed between inmates and their visitors in the visitors room is a kiss. And while he'll miss out on spending the holidays at home, Snipes will be able to host up to three adult and three child visitors at any time. As for other forms of communication, he will be allowed a personal radio, and can place unlimited phone calls, provided he does not go over 300 minutes per month.