Special Treatment In Prison-How Does One Get It?

I was watching the movie “Goodfellas”-and the part where they all wound up in prison was hilarious! They were cooking their own foods (had cases of lobsters delivered to the prison)-and the main character (Henry Hill) learned how to slice garlic.
Apparently, the gang all lived together in a special area, and spent their days cooking and planning post-prison criminal schemes.
This must be true, at least to a certain extent-I read that the notorious murderers Leopold and Loeb lived in luxury in prison, and were able to obtain sex, drugs, and good foods.
So, how do yo get luxury accomodations in prison? Does it involve certain “payments” to the warden/prison staff?
Or is it granted becase you might be murdered by other prisoners, and the athorities want to have you alive to testify? I know this is done in the case of certain pedophiles/sex offenders (the general prison poplation tends not to like these folks).
As a practical matter, suppose you are sent to prison-how do you qalify for these superior accomodations?:smiley:

Al Capone was another example of a prisoner who got VIP treatment (at Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania).

The big thing is you want to make sure you’re incarcerated in a corrupt prison system. Then just start spreading some bribery around.

In a non-corrupt system, you can still hope to find some corrupt individual employees but you’re going to have to keep your special privileges on the down-low so the regular non-corrupt employees don’t spot them.

Non-corrupt prisons might have honor units which have extra privileges. But they’re going to be more along the lines of a unit refrigerator and microwave and washing machine rather than sex and drugs.

Prisoners separated from general population for security reasons generally get the same privileges as general population.

You can bribe guards. They’re paid pretty low. I read in Texas the average prison guard makes around the mid twenties.

According to Leopold’s book they stuck pretty much by the book. They weren’t allowed press access, the family didn’t really visit them, and the two were kept in separate parts of Joliet prison, then one Leopold was moved to Stateville a newer prison and Loeb’s family lobbied to get him moved there as well

As for Leopold and Loeb, they did get a lot of stuff, but most of it was legit. They hardly lived in luxury. Joliet didn’t even have toilets in the cells. They had to use buckets. Stateville had toilets in the cells.

In their case, back then, the prisoners were allowed to have their relatives deposit money in accounts for them. They could use money to buy things. Of course this allowed Leopold and Loeb to buy a lot more. It wasn’t bribes, it’s just the policy let the family’s put money into account for the prisoners. Being sons of millionaires it was a very unique thing for the time

This was reduced to only a few dollars a month after it got out Loeb’s parents gave him a lot of money to spend and was reported in the press

This made both of them vulnerable then. Leopold claims in his books, it was the lack of money that got Loeb killed as he no longer could buy people off.

Also Leopold and Loeb were college grads, they had more education than most everyone else, remember this was the 1920s. And both started a lot of classes, both basic and college correspondence for the inmates and were involved in prison reform and used their family’s influence to promote better conditions for all prisoners.

It was odd for doing such a horrible thing the boys seem to shape up quite well in prison and do a lot of good.

Henry Hill’s book “Wiseguy,” upon which “Goodfellas” is based, offers some interesting insights on this. Basically it’s a matter of greasing the right palms. And having a really good lawyer doesn’t hurt either.

One thing that wasn’t shown in the movie was that Hill managed to wrangle himself a job in, IIRC, a prison dairy, where he basically worked unsupervised and was able to regular sneak out into town. He also had his wife regularly come by and drop stuff off for him on some isolated corner of the farm, where he would go pick it up.

I have no idea, but I would bet for the most part, except for a few isolated incidents, the days of “Goodfellas” like kid-gloves treatment of rich, connected prisoners is long gone. I just don’t think that the blatant favoritism that the movie portrayed could actually exist in these days of 24/7/365 internet access and digital security cameras recording everyone’s every action.

I would bet that Bernie Madoff and Jack Abramoff, surely two of the richest men to ever go to prison in modern times, have not been able to bribe themselves into any shipments of lobster and chianti, or probably much of anything that wasn’t available to the average prisoner with some $$$ to spend.

As a practical matter, I would assume that it’s way, WAY easier to score cocaine or heroin than the fixings for a gourmet Italian meal or even something as mundane as a fresh, unsplattered copy of this month’s “Barely Legal”.

There was even a scene in Goodfellas where a guard took a bribe.

I can’t recall the date of the article, but there was a story in the Houston Chronicle reporting the fact that numerous (I think it was more than 100!) cell phones w/ chargers were confiscated during a “shakedown” (slang for, search for contraband) at one of the prison units. I seem to remember there was also a case, where a cell phone was found in an inmate cell, that was on Death Row! As there are NO “contact visits” allowed for inmates on Death Row, one would have to assume that it was brought in by corrupt guards.:eek:

Do you think the fact that they were so high profile could account for that?
“Money” does not equal “Money plus the ability to have a skull cracked”.

If you’ve got the money and the political juice, you can even have a prison built to order, as Pablo Escobar did: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Catedral