Federal white-collar criminals still go to prison

Asking many people in Atlanta about what they think the living conditions are like for those convicted of federal white-collar crimes may produce a picture of a rich man’s jail. In reality, however, someone convicted of embezzlement, theft or money laundering ends up at the same kind of federal prison as everyone else. And, ending up in federal prison also means there is no parole available to even the best-behaved prisoners.

Being charged with a federal white-collar crime is extremely serious. A conviction could mean long prison sentences, prohibitively high fines and the utter destruction of a reputation. Anyone under suspicion or formally charged with a crime should immediately seek legal help, as trying to handle accusations of embezzlement or money laundering could very easily end badly.

Just like in every other federal prison, individuals convicted of white-collar crimes must follow a regimented life. There is little privacy and few creature comforts. Though some low-security prisons have amenities such as television, Internet access and a library, all of them are tightly controlled and prisoners may have severely restricted access to them. Most of the time, prisoners must go to work or sit in their cells.

By working with a criminal defense attorney, however, someone suspected of a white-collar crime may be able to clear his or her name and avoid prison altogether. For those who are convicted, their lawyers may be able to minimize or eliminate a prison sentence, leaving the individual with a fine or some kind of alternative sentence. For most people, those options are priceless when the only other option is 20 plus years in prison.

Source: CNBC, “White Collar ‘Country Club’ Prisons? Not So Much,” Scott Cohn, Oct. 22, 2012