Blagojevich to serve time in Colorado

February 15, 2012 3:04:34 PM PST
The Colorado prison where ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich will serve his prison term has a pretty good reputation, according to Scott Fawell.

At his request, Blagojevich will be placed at a low security federal facility in Littleton, Colorado. The Englewood Prison is a 300-acre compound surrounded by woods and lakes.

"It's got a pretty good reputation within the prison community of being safe and clean, and at least you're somewhere in a pretty nice area. I mean you're in the foothills of the Rockies," Scott Fawell said. Fawell, who served as an aide to ex-Gov. George Ryan, spent five years in federal prison after being convicted of racketeering and mail fraud in 2002.

Blagojevich had no comment as he left his Ravenswood home to take his daughter to school Wednesday morning. One month from today he will report to Englewood, the facility requested by Blagojevich and recommended by Judge James Zagel.

Englewood isn't far from Denver, and that airport will make it easier for the Blagojevich's wife, Patti, and two daughters to visit. The Blagojevich family is expected to live in Chicago.

After his conviction, Fawell was sent to prison in South Dakota.

"When I was in Yankton, South Dakota, people had to fly to Omaha, drive two and a half hours, you know. Yeah, it's like planes, trains and automobiles. It is not easy to get to," Fawell said.

The Colorado facility is where Fawell's co-defendant Larry Warner served his sentence. Englewood also houses former Enron executive Jeffry Skilling. The prison is known for white collar criminals and not being as crowded as other federal prisons.

"Without being overcrowded, you have less chance of violence in the prison because violence happens because you're crowding people into rooms or cells that are made for two people and suddenly they have four," Fawell said.

Blagojevich will spend his first few years in a cell with only a small window. However, after he's down to 10 years or less, Blagojevichwill get to spend more time outdoor at a prison camp.

The former governor will try to shave a year off of his sentence by entering a rehab facility.