After being convicted on 17 counts of corruption, Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich faces a possible lengthy prison sentence. Former Cicero Town President Betty Loren-Maltese spent seven years in prison herself, and she has some advice for Blagojevich.
“It is going to be a shell shock for him, because he’s lived such a kind of gifted life,” Loren-Maltese said.
Loren-Maltese said she grew up in a blue collar family and had done menial jobs before, so prison was a bit of an easier adjustment, and she worried Blagojevich was not in the same boat. She said she heard the warden was told to give her the worst jobs in the prison, so she worked in the kitchen cleaning floors and cleaned toilets.
If Blagojevich gets sentenced to more than 10 years in prison, Loren-Maltese said, he’ll be in a maximum security prison and it could be tougher.
Loren-Maltese said she thinks Blagojevich’s celebrity status will “hurt” him when he gets to prison and he won’t be well-liked by other inmates off the bat.
“He’s going to have to make friends quickly because there are many fights in prison. He’s just going to have to come down and face reality, because he’s just going to be a regular person in prison,” Loren-Maltese said.
The hardest part, Loren-Maltese said, is being away from your family. She said she spent most of her time in prison thinking about her daughter, and she was also sent to a prison in California, very far away from her family.
“I feel bad for the family, and I don’t think a lot of officials in the prison system realize that in a way, they are incarcerating their daughters too,” Loren-Maltese said.