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March 1, 2010

"Lil Wayne set to test how jails handle celebs"

The title of the post is the headline of this new piece concerning the special (or not-so-special) treatment that some celebrity prisoners get.  Here are snippets:

Lil Wayne ... is expected to start a yearlong jail term Tuesday after pleading guilty in a New York City gun case....

For now, jail officials say only that they will assess the multiplatinum-selling Lil Wayne as they do every other new arrival and find an appropriate place for him among the city’s roughly 13,000 inmates.

He might follow the path of rapper Foxy Brown, who spent about eight months in 2007 and 2008 in city jails on a probation violation after pleading guilty to assault in a fracas at a nail salon. Because of threats against her, she was held largely in protective custody in a cell of her own, with access to a day room, said Horn.

Defense lawyer Stacey Richman said she intends to ask for protective custody for Lil Wayne, as well as for attention to dental problems that postponed his sentencing by two weeks. “If Wayne had his druthers, he would not be asking for anything for himself,” Richman said, but she said she was concerned for his health and safety.

Some jail officials prefer to hold even famous convicts in circumstances as ordinary as possible — a desire the inmates sometimes share. Prison consultant Herbert J. Hoelter, whose clients have included epic fraudster Bernard Madoff and NFL quarterback Michael Vick, generally tells clients not to request anything special. Otherwise, “you’ll be viewed by other inmates and the prison system as thinking that you’re ’more deserving,“’ he says....

New York state prisons sometimes put celebrities together in protective custody units, where they interact with each other but not the prison population at large, spokeswoman Linda Foglia said.

Ex-New York Giant Plaxico Burress and former “Sopranos” actor Lillo Brancato Jr., for example, have been in the same unit at an upstate prison, she said. Burress is serving two years after pleading guilty to a weapons charge; Brancato is serving 10 years on an attempted burglary conviction.

March 1, 2010 at 01:44 PM | Permalink

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