The days when white-collar prison sentences were a walk in the park - sometimes literally - are long gone, according to the new issue of The American magazine, which is published by the American Enterprise Institute. These days, the minimum security facilities are becoming tougher, even more dangerous. The bank robber is treated much the same way as the corporate criminal and the drug dealer, which means no more weekend furloughs or wearing your own civilian clothes. Mark Morze, who spent five years in federal prison for his participation in the ZZZZ Best Co. scam (you remember Barry Minkow, the carpet cleaning crook), remembers being in Lompoc when he saw an inmatwe kill another with an exercise weight.
When Morze was incarcerated in Lompoc, corrections officers and administrators would wistfully recall the good old days of the 1970s, when several Watergate con≠spirators were imprisoned there. Back then, inmates would order expensive chili from the legendary Chasenís restaurant in Beverly Hills, or maybe shoot a few holes of golf at a neighboring course. Occasionally, an inmate would even sneak out for a late-night visit to the prostitutes who were hud≠dled in the back of a Winnebago parked nearby, the prison officials told Morze.
Today, nearly all inmates remain on the grounds for their entire sentences, wearing prison-issued uniforms just like inmates at higher-security facilities. Each month, inmates can spend no more than $290 at the commis≠sary and 300 minutes on the telephone. At the same time, regulations regarding camp vis≠its have tightened, and inmates seeking to com≠plete their sentences at halfway houses face more hurdles.