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By Rhonda Turpin

In their heart of hearts, every federal prisoner is a celebrity. 

Many fellow inmates have approached me, stating, “Ms. Turpin.  You should write a book about me!  My case was all over the news and I am known everywhere!”  They brag.

Instead of stating the obvious fact that I have never heard of them, I let them rant and then walk away.

A Reality Show celebrity from the Real Housewives of New Jersey will be premiering at Danbury Camp today, Monday, January 5, 2015:  Teresa something or other.

Danbury Prison will be in the limelight once again.  During the Summer of 2013, Grammy Award winning Lauryn Hill served a 90-day sentence at Danbury Camp.  Lauryn was an A-lister.  Teresa is not.  I tolerate reality shows, at best, so I did not take the time to learn her last name.  I write celebrity memoirs, which is a lane of my own, since I have happened to share living space with two of them during my incarceration.  The other A-lister I wrote about was Martha Stewart.

Theresa is on the bottom end of the C-list, and maybe even no higher than the D-List.  Writing about C-listers and other self-proclaimed celebrities does not generate royalty income. 

However, the groupies are riled up, and bickering over who will be Teresa’s friend and escort.  My prediction is that once the mild sensationalism fades, the majority of inmates here will return to their normal prison-lives, as they did with Lauryn Hill and Martha Stewart. 

There is legislation heading the Sentencing Commission’s priority list that will be voted on January 9, 2015, at the preliminary level, to create realistic sentences for white collar, non-violent crimes.  My question is, “Why did Teresa have to come to prison, at the high cost of $32,000 a year, charged to the taxpayers?”  America is a prison country, we all know this, but the country needs to cut it out.

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).

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