Reporting Rob Johnson
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CHICAGO (CBS) — He may want to go to “Club Fed,” but ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich is more likely to do time at a medium-security prison.
At least that’s what former mobster-turned-informant Frank Calabrese Jr. predicted as he offered advice to Blagojevich about surviving hard time.
“He’s going to be in there with some criminals that are coming down on a sentence that might have killed somebody — criminals that wouldn’t think twice about hitting him over the head with a sock full of locks,” Calabrese tells CBS 2’s Rob Johnson.
Calabrese did three years at Milan federal penitentiary in Michigan, a place ringed with razor wire and the potential home for the soon-to-be-federal-inmate Blagojevich. The ex-governor, who was sentenced last week to 14 years in prison, has requested incarceration at a lower-security federal prison outside of Denver.
“It’s almost impossible for him to go to a camp, with 14 years of time. He’s gonna probably start out in low and possibly start out in Milan in the medium (security level),” Calabrese says.
Blagojevich, known for his smooth talk, can expect a drastic change when he reports to prison early next year.
“Somebody telling him what to do, somebody telling him when to eat, somebody telling him how to clean his room, somebody going through his locker every day,” Calabrese says.
The former prisoner says the first few months are the toughest, as a new inmate tries to adjust.
Calabrese says he’d advise Blagojevich to keep strong by thinking of his family.
“Be strong. Think of your kids. Don’t feel sorry for yourself. Do what you need to do to get back home,” Calabrese says.
Calabrese says he struggles every day with controlling the instincts he once used to survive in the Chicago mob.
He is in town for two book signings, one Friday night at the Bella Luna in River North and the other on Sunday at the Hidden Shamrock on the North Side.
Click on the video below to watch the complete interview: