By Christopher Zoukis

Ray Nagin, the ex-New Orleans mayor who used taxpayers’ dollars for his own lavish living, will surrender to the Federal Bureau of Prison on September 8, 2014, for service of a ten year term of imprisonment.

Once, Nagin had earned $400,000 a year as a member of Cox Communications.  His new budget will consist of 12 to 40 cents an hour for a prison job.  If he gets into the Federal Prison Industries (which is commonly referred to as UNICOR), he could earn up to $1.15 an hour, though there is a lengthy waiting list for such positions.

While in prison he will be subjected to strip searches, having very little personal property, being assigned sleeping and living quarters, and seeking approval for social visits and telephone lists.  He can look for work in food service, landscaping, maintenance, HVAC, janitorial or clerical jobs, though much of Nagin’s earnings will be used to pay hefty restitution — upwards of $84,000.

The BOP attempts to place inmates within a 500-mile radius of their residence.  While Judge Berrigan recommended that Nagin be assigned to FCI Oakdale to be close to family, it will be up to the Bureau of Prison’s Designation Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) to take factors into account when designating the former mayor.  Because Nagin will serve less than 10 years of actual imprisonment, he may be eligible for “camp” status (the lowest security level in the BOP), where there are no fences, though others convicted of political corruption tend to be placed in medium or low security facilities.

To learn more about this story, read The Advocate’s article “What will life be like for Nagin behind bars.”

Convicted former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin is sentenced to 10 years on bribery and corruption charges Wednesday.

About Christopher Zoukis, MBA

Christopher Zoukis, MBA, is the Managing Director of the Zoukis Consulting Group, a federal prison consultancy that assists attorneys, federal criminal defendants, and federal prisoners with prison preparation, in-prison matters, and reentry. His books include Directory of Federal Prisons (Middle Street Publishing, 2020), Federal Prison Handbook (Middle Street Publishing, 2017), Prison Education Guide (PLN Publishing, 2016), and College for Convicts: The Case for Higher Education in American Prisons (McFarland & Company, 2014).

1 Comment

  1. Dianne Frazee-Walker on July 30, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Is this Karma or what? Swindling money from a community in crisis is almost as evil as murder. This is greed at it’s finest. Gambling $500,00 a year for ten years behind bars making a fraction of minimum wage.



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