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March 16, 2012

"12 tips for Blagojevich" as he starts his 14 years in federal prison

The Chicago Tribubne has this lengthy article providing prison tips for former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich as he heads for prison. T he piece was written by Jeff Smith, a former Missouri state senator who recently spent a year in at the Federal Correctional Institution in Manchester, Ky. as a result of a campaign-finance violation.  Here are some snippets of his fascinating advice:

1. As your grandma probably taught you, God gave you two ears, two eyes and one mouth — use them in proportion....

• Don't ever ask anybody about their crime. If they want to tell you what they did, fine. But you won't know if they're telling the truth. And if you ask and strike a nerve with someone, the result may not be pretty.

• Don't talk about how you got railroaded. So did everyone else.

• Don't ask anything about anyone's family; it will be a sore subject with many, especially those who have not seen or heard from their children or ex-wives in years.

• Don't ever talk about how much time you have. Someone else has more.

2. Embrace your background, but don't try to be a politician....

3. Get in the best shape of your life....

4. Correspond with anyone who writes you....

6. Don't complain about how bad your prison job is, and don't brag about how good it is....

8. Use your unique knowledge and skills to help other inmates....

• Use your legal background to help prisoners who are bringing appeals pro se (representing themselves), but do so quietly so that you aren't swamped with requests.

9. Don't snitch, under any circumstances.

• The only people in prison who have it harder than child molesters are snitches....

• Don't be seen talking to the Cos (correctional officers).  Just like you could be cordial to Republicans but not be best friends with them without arousing suspicion among Democrats, you cannot be "friends" with the guards.  Sure, there may be gangs and racial/ethnic division among prisoners.  But there are really only two teams: inmates versus the prison.  When guards try to get you to regale them with stories, resist the impulse to be on stage again. Do not forget this rule.

10. Don't break prison rules....

12. Don't eat the Snickers....

March 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM | Permalink

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