No red carpet in pen for Felicity Huffman, prison coach warns

Boston Herald Newspaper – September 13, 2019
Prison-bound actress Felicity Huffman should not accept any favors from fellow inmates and watch out for guards during her two weeks behind bars, a jail coach told the Herald.

“She needs to be aware everybody knows she’s coming,” said Michael Frantz, director of Jail Time Consulting. “She has money and fame and some people will be upset.”

The former “Desperate Housewives” star wept as she apologized Friday in federal court in Boston for paying a proctor to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test. Judge Indira Talwani sentenced Huffman to 14 days in prison, preferably at FCI Dublin in northern California, as her lawyers requested. She has been ordered to surrender on Oct. 25.

The minimum-security, all-female inmate prison was once dubbed “Club Fed.” Former inmates include Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss, Autumn Jackson, who tried to blackmail Bill Cosby, and Russian spy Svetlana Ogorodnikov.

Frantz, who said two others charged in the college testing scam have hired him, advised Huffman to stay “below the radar” and just ride out the two weeks as quietly as possible.

“Don’t go into the shower barefoot, but give back any sandals a fellow inmate loans you,” Frantz said. “You don’t want to owe anyone a favor.

“Don’t talk about yourself. No drama. No screaming. And watch out for guards, too,” Frantz, who once did 36 months in prison for tax evasion, added. “She has to watch out. Bad things can happen.”

Frantz said Huffman will be strip-searched and undergo medical and psychological exams on her first day before before being placed in the general population.

“She’s going to experience a very, very demeaning process,” said Frantz. “But the good news is she’s only in for 14 days.”

He also said the federal Bureau of Prisons may not place her in Dublin. That, he added, could make her two-week stay even more stressful. But there are other low-security prisons available.

“It’s not going to be fun,” he said. “They won’t put her in isolation. They are not going to treat her special. There’s no celebrity rooms.”

The cells are grouped in clusters of 300, with at least one guard stationed at each unit, according to published reports.

Yelp reviews of the Dublin lockup also offer up advice on how to keep your sanity.

“Get a bag of Doritos from commissary. Get someone from the kitchen to liberate some shredded cheese, maybe some olives” and mix it all together, one review stated.

“The prison itself is located in a naturally beautiful setting with geese, hawks, rabbits, and turkeys sometimes seen on the grounds. The inmate I visit has access to classes. For a prison, its pretty nice,” added another Yelp reviewer.

The prison, the warden has been quoted as saying, does offer classes for inmates and the commissary is stocked with everything from French vanilla cappuccino to refried beans.

Frantz added: “All she has to do is stay low.”