Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Blagojevich's Last Day of Freedom

Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Rod Blagojevich heads to prison Thursday for a 14 year sentence. NBC Chicago's Lauren Petty describes the scene outside the former governor's Ravenswood Manor on his last day of freedom.

    UPDATE: Blagojevich Leaves Chicago for Prison

    The last day.

    Triumph to Tragedy: Blago in Sound Bites

    [CHI] Triumph to Tragedy: Blagojevich in Sound Bites
    Rod Blagojevich was twice elected by the people of Illinois as their governor, but corruption brought him down.

    Convicted former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's final hours of freedom are winding down before he must report to Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) Englewood in Littleton, Colo., Thursday to serve his 14 years for corruption.

    On Tuesday, Blagojevich took his wife and two daughters to Lincoln Park Zoo to enjoy the mild weather. When they arrived home, neighbors greeted them, offering the former governor support.  On the sidewalk outside his home, posters are still seen with messages thanking Blagojevich and expressing outrage at the severity of his sentence.

    What Can Blago Expect in Prison?

    [CHI] What Can Blago Expect in Prison?
    James Laski, a one-time Chicago City Clerk who spent a year in a West Virginia federal prison, describes prison life and offers some advice for Illinois' convicted governor.

    Blagojevich plans to make a statement at 5:02 p.m. Wednesday. It's not clear what he'll say, nor how he'll spend the hours before he leaves.

    "This is what I try to get all my clients to understand," said Wendy Feldman, a prison consultant and coach. "There is a reason that you’ve gotten yourself this ticket to prison. [Blagojevich] is going to have to learn humility, and then respect, and then he’ll need to ease in to the process, because he’s got such a long time to be there."

    Once he's in prison, Blagojevich will be assigned to a two- or four-man room. He'll need to be up at 6:30 a.m. every day and will be assigned a job, mostly likely latrine duty because it's typically given to newcomers.

    Blagojevich will now have his mail opened and read before he ever sees it. He will have to submit a list of just 30 people he will be allowed to call, and those calls will be limited to a total of just 300 minutes a month.

    "They are going to be hard on him," said Feldman. "Other inmates are going to be exceptionally hard on him."

    But Blagojevich still has today. He'll speak Wednesday evening outside his Ravenswood Manor home.