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Blagojevich’s Countdown To Prison Reaching Its Final Hours

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Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich walks through a hoard of media toward his house before giving a news conference outside his home March 14, 2012, a day before reporting to prison. (Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images)

Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich walks through a hoard of media toward his house before giving a news conference outside his home March 14, 2012, a day before reporting to prison. (Photo by Frank Polich/Getty Images)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – In less than a day, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich will trade his civilian clothes for a prison uniform and will be known by his prison number.

Blagojevich will be leaving his family and his Ravenswood Manor home sometime Thursday morning to fly to Denver, then drive to the FCI Englewood prison in Littleton, Colo., by 1 p.m. Chicago time.

CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports Blagojevich won’t have a throng of supporters there to greet him, just prison officials and reporters covering his prison surrender.

Once his sentence begins, he’ll be up at dawn every day, and he’ll spend the next decade or more behind barbed wire and metal fencing.

“It’s hard for me to say that I have to go to prison. That’s a hard word for me to say,” Blagojevich said in what was billed as his last public statement before he becomes a federal inmate.

But he did say it and that will be Blagojevich’s reality when he walks through the doors of FCI Englewood on Thursday.

“Tomorrow, saying goodbye to Patti and my kids will be the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been putting off the thought about what that’s going to be like. I can’t even think about it now,” he said.

Denver defense attorney Rick Kornfeld said when Blagojevich walks into the facility to report for prison, “It wouldn’t surprise me if he’s met by the warden or one of the assistant wardens. And there is an orientation process.

Once inside, blagojevich will be given a uniform and get a photo ID that he’ll have to carry at all times. He’ll meet his unit team, which will include his case manager, correctional counselor and corrections officer.

He’ll be assigned a full-time prison job with the eventual possibility of earning performance pay.

Blagojevich can spend that money in the prison commissary for personal items, but will be limited to $320 a month.

He’ll live in a small room with at least one roommate.

“The fact that he is a former governor … they don’t care. He will be a number,” Kornfeld said.

As for his personal grooming, or prison haircut, the prison guidebook states he can keep whatever hairstyle he wants – as long as it will not cause a disruption among the inmate population.

People familiar with prison check-in said he better be on time. If he’s late, it will be considered escape status.

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