May 18, 2009
Posted: 11:48 PM ET
Federal rules require that Madoff live out his sentence in a maximum-security prison—but he'll have a lot working in his favor: he's elderly, he's a criminal father figure, and he stole from the rich. Here’s what he can expect when they throw away the key.
Bernie Madoff is going to jail for the rest of his life. But when he was first turned in by his sons in December, a number of my acquaintances who work in the criminal justice arena noted that, despite the enormity of the charges, he was not paraded in front of TV cameras with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Circumventing the humiliation of the perp walk was probably negotiated with the Feds well in advance of his surrender, and his ability to do this highlights the easier ride that virtually all white-collar criminals enjoy in the justice system. But Madoff will have additional advantages working for him even if he doesn't go to "Club Fed." American prisons are home to a counterintuitive subculture, one where certain traits that would normally be a strike against you can actually work in your favor.
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