"...the most interesting part to me was hearing Conte talk about his four-month prison sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution (near Bakersfield, CA). It's a privately-run minimum security federal prison with 1,700 inmates, and Conte's account of the goings on there is astounding:Further details (and a video of the interview), and a comment thread at BoingBoing. This is the type of for-profit prison facility where white-collar criminals (bankers, lawyers, politicians) would be imprisoned.
Sports complex "The first morning, when I woke up it was a kind of university-campus like setting. I walked out and in the middle of the courtyard was a huge sign that said 'Sports Complex.' Basketball, football, baseball, soccer, bocce ball, volleyball, handball...
Rec center ... there were six pool tables, six foosball tables, six ping-pong tables."
Music department "... this huge music department... We have a routine on Friday nights and the bands play concerts outside.'"
Drugs This is my first 10 minutes -- I was on the compound I started walking with some guys around the walking track and I went [sniff] -- 'Are they smoking weed around here?' And they said, 'Yeah! You want some weed?'... But yeah, anything that you wanted -- alcohol -- any and every type was $25 for 8 ounces. They had meth, they had steroids, they had cocaine."
No fences "...That Christmas, about 25 guys just walked out on the freeway and they had their families pick them up and they left. So it's kind of an honor system."
Female prison guards as hookers "... they had several really nice-looking female correctional officers there... And they said 'Listen, you want some action?' I'm telling you the straight scoop. My understanding is on average they were making about $30,000 a month."