Blagojevich Wins An Extra Month Before Going To Prison

UPDATED 12/13/11 9:37 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) — Deposed Gov. Rod Blagojevich has won an extra 30 days before he will have to report to prison.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole reports U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel approved Blagojevich’s request for extra time so he could sell his house and help his family move.

Blagojevich’s reporting date has now been moved from Feb. 16 to March 15.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

CBS 2 Legal Analyst Irv Miller said it’s not uncommon for a judge to agree to push back a convicted felon’s date for reporting to prison when family matters are at stake.

“It’s done very frequently. If there’s any reason whatsoever you need more time getting your affairs in order or family reasons, it’s a request that’s typically granted by a federal district judge,” Miller said.

Blagojevich’s attorneys on Tuesday also requested a prison where the ex-governor will serve his sentence. Blagojevich is hoping to go to the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood in Littleton, Colo., 15 miles southwest of Denver.

The low-security facility houses male offenders, and also has a dorm-style prison camp for minimum-security offenders.

The inmate orientation handbook doesn’t sound too bad. The introduction describes the Englewood prison as being “located along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in the southwestern suburbs of Denver.”

The facility has pool tables, ping pong, foosball and a prison library, but reality sets in on page 3 of the handbook, where it reads, “If you are a new commitment, you are not permitted to bring clothing, toilet articles, a watch or smoking materials into the institution. They will be mailed home or destroyed. If married, you may keep in your possession one plain wedding band with no stones.”

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

Federal Correctional Institution Englewood topped Money Magazine’s list of best places to go to prison, located 15 minutes outside of Denver.

The facility’s low security area is still surrounded by barbed wire, but inmates are housed in four-man open cinder block cubes, not behind bars, and they have the use of a commissary, library and typewriter.

According to the visitation regulations in the handbook, “Physical contact between inmates and visitors will be limited to an embrace and kiss at the beginning and end of each visit and holding hands during the visit. No other contact is permitted. Violations will cause the visit to be terminated.”

Miller said, “Knowing he has to go to a (low-security) facility, this is among the best of the low facilities in the entire nation; a smart choice.”

Although the final decision is up to the federal Bureau of Prisons, defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky said Zagel’s recommendation should help a bit.

“I would say it’s a granule of sugar in favor of going to that place,” Sorosky said.

It was also noted in court the Englewood prison has a drug and alcohol abuse program. There is no apparent evidence Blagojevich struggles with substance abuse, but if he eventually does, taking part in the program could shave up to a year off his 14-year sentence.

“It’s something the Bureau of Prisons considers at the moment the inmate arrives at the front door. We don’t know what’s going to happen between now and that particular day when he arrives,” Miller said.

Scott Fawell, who was chief of staff to former Gov. George Ryan and served five years in federal custody on his own corruption conviction, said he signed up for the inmate drug and alcohol abuse program, called RDAP, when he entered prison. He thinks Blagojevich, whether he thinks he needs it or not, might want to do the same thing to shave some time off his sentence.

“No matter if you’re there 24 months, 26 months, 48 months or 14 years, the reality is once you’re in there, your goal when you walk in the door is to get out of there,” Fawell told CBS 2’s Mike Parker.

Zagel sentenced Blagojevich to 14 years in prison on last Wednesday. He was convicted over the summer on 17 counts of corruption, including trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. Senate seat.

Blagojevich must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence, and thus will be eligible for release in about 12 years.

  • zatso

    This is what gets people upset. He should have been locked up immediately after conviction.

    He is sludge that the so called no nonsense judge just keeps spreading out for the PUBLIC.


  • Wolf

    What nonsense…after all this time …cost…and raping of the taxpayers…will he die before serving his time? Should be behind bars already…

  • lil Bubba

    He can delay all he wishes, but Bubba will get him in the end!

  • Hair Today Gone Much Later

    The worst criminals always have the best attorneys. Leave his hair alone.

  • Larry Horse's Arse Horse's Arse

    Yet again, Blago using his family as an excuse.

  • Jmason

    What happen if he doesn’t sell the House. He doesn’t go to Jail.

  • Fast Ed

    He will regret this extra delay when his release date is postponed.

  • th

    And George Ryan was not allowed to go see his dying wife while in prison? Our new governor is not any better either. First takes $325 more out of our paychecks for IL taxes, then doubles the tolls adding $30 more a month for our household, and now talking about taxing IL drivers on how many miles they drive when I have a long commute each day. Can not sell your house and move either. Loving this state – the state of corruption.

  • gibson

    I heard he had no bites on his house. So why are you giving him an extra 30 days. I am so tired about hearing that this person got so little years for worse crimes. Blago’s crime is his ego always has been, it is inflated beyond his hair.

  • baja252

    He wil be out in one or five years….Presidential Pardon

  • Just Axin

    Great, extra time so he can bang his wife.

  • Tim


  • Toonces

    Whatta crock. Who is he gonna find dumb enough to buy a house in ILLAnnoy?

  • george

    five dollars cash money, he runs before the start date…

  • Jim Hamilton


    • Jim Hamilton

      Who is this guy that keeps leaving these posts using my name and words from my pryor posts? It’s that Gabe person

  • just the Average Joe

    Glad to know where he is going. I hope he can have an iPad as I will send a new one when they are released in March. He can at least use the 3G to text and email all his friends in IL.

  • Centurion

    There is no hair dye in prison. Within a year…Blagos hair will be grey

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