John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Former United States Representative, Corrine Brown, 71, was escorted to the prison gates by her spiritual advisor about 15 minutes before 12 p.m., on Monday, Jan. 29. Brown began her five year sentence at a minimum-security work camp that is a part of Coleman Federal Correctional Complex (CFCC) in Sumter County, about two and a half hours southwest of Jacksonville.
On Monday, Dec. 4, Brown was sentenced to five years in prison, three years of probation and ordered to pay restitution for her part in a conspiracy and fraud scheme involving a fraudulent scholarship charity. $800,000 was pocketed for personal benefit. Brown appeared before US District Judge Timothy Corrigan on Wednesday, Dec. 20, to request to stay out of prison during her appeal. Due to failure to meet criteria, Brown's request was denied.
Brown arrived in a black limousine-style minibus with tinted windows and had family members with her. According to Brown's spiritual advisor, “She had a humble demeanor. Very emotional, but graceful,” said Bishop Kelvin Cobaris.
According to an admission and orientation handbook provided by the CFCC, Brown was issued a green jumpsuit and basic hygiene supplies. Brown will get up every morning on the week days at 6 a.m. and stand in a line for the bathroom and then for breakfast.
Larry Levine, director of Wall Street Prison Consultants, said that Brown will serve her time along with 391 other female inmates. “I was locked up with politicians – they have entitlement issues, they think they're entitled to things and people resent that,” said Levine. “They're going to think she's rich – she can claim that she doesn't have any money.”
On Sunday, Jan. 28, Brown attended a church in Jacksonville. Before the end of the service, the whole church held a prayer service for Brown before she turned herself into CFCC.
A former prisoner of CFCC said that age is not a factor to the government and the experience was humbling. “Everyone comes through the gates saying, 'I didn't do it. I'm not guilty,'” said the former female inmate who wished to remain unnamed. “At some point, you sit down and say to yourself, 'I must have done it or I wouldn't be here.' Then you say, 'I did it. I just have to get through this time.'”