What Prison Will Be Like for Teresa Giudice

She surrendered today
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 5, 2015 10:54 AM CST
What Prison Will Be Like for Teresa Giudice
In this Jan. 4, 2012, photo, Teresa Giudice poses for a portrait in New York.   (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

Teresa Giudice started her 15-month prison sentence today, with her attorney confirming to NBC New York that she has checked in at the minimum-security Danbury, Conn., prison on which Orange Is the New Black is based. People spoke to Giudice's former legal crisis counselor, Wendy Feldman, herself a former prisoner who now helps clients prepare for incarceration, about what life will be like for the 42-year-old reality star:

  • Her warm welcome: She'll have to "sit and wait" to be processed, and once it's her turn, she'll be strip-searched and forced to pee in a cup in front of an officer and perform the "squat and cough" to see if she's hiding any drugs.
  • What she'll wear: Elastic-waist khaki pants and a button-down, poly-blend shirt, plus steel-toed black work boots and prison-issue underthings and socks. She'll have to turn over all jewelry she's wearing save a metal wedding band (no gems or stones) and, if she wants, a metal religious medallion.
  • Where she'll sleep: Initially, since she has no seniority, the top bunk of a bed. Eventually, she can probably trade for a preferred bottom bunk.

  • What her daily routine will be like: After a weeklong orientation, her days will begin at 6am. She'll be assigned a job (washing dishes, cleaning bathrooms, working in the commissary, etc.), at which she'll likely work from 8am to 3pm. By 4pm, her sleeping area must be "perfectly clean" for inspection during one of the daily prisoner counts, Feldman says. Then it's time for dinner and free time, which can be spent taking classes, engaging in recreation, watching TV, or talking on the phone (which she can spend 300 minutes per month doing, as long as she pays for it). Once a week, she can go shopping for anything from sweats and microwavable meals to sunglasses at the commissary.
  • What visits will be like: In the prison's visiting room, Giudice's kids "can sit in her lap. They can give her kisses. She can touch them and hold them and love them. They can spend the day with her on Saturdays and Sundays," Feldman says, adding that Giudice will be recognizable to her girls: "She will be able to wear makeup." There's even a kids' room with toys.
  • Whether anyone will care that she's famous: Nope, says Feldman. Plus, "they don't like white collar offenders at all. That's the problem, not that she's on a TV show. There is a belief that white collar offenders behave in an entitled fashion." The good news? She probably won't face any violence, because women's prison camp inmates are "well-behaved, for the most part," Feldman says.
Here's what Teresa did on her last day of freedom, and what husband Joe was spotted doing today. (More Teresa Giudice stories.)

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