How those days will be played out was examined by the Associated Press, and it amounts to a sad, lonely existence for someone who was once looked at as a pillar of his community.
Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant coach who used his charity organization to prey on young boys, will be able to work a 30-hour week to make something that amounts to chump change. He’ll be able to watch Penn State football, but not violent movies, like all other inmates.
If receives a long state prison term, which is expected, he will find himself far removed from the comfortable suburban life he once led, placed under the many rules and regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
Even Sandusky’s attorney, Joe Amendola, said that whatever sentence his client receives will likely live out his days inside a state prison. Prison officials, written policies and former offenders provided a detailed look to AP about the regimented life behind bars that Sandusky faces.
Sandusky has been housed in isolation inside the Centre County Correctional Facility in Bellefonte since his conviction in June on 45 counts of child sexual abuse, and has spent his days reading and writing, preparing a statement for sentencing, and working out twice a day, defense attorney Joe Amendola said.
”Jerry is a very likable guy – he gets along with everybody,” Amendola said last week, as he worked with Sandusky to help get his affairs in order, including a power of attorney and updated will. ”He’s a model inmate. He doesn’t cause problems, he’s sociable, he’s pleasant.”
Assuming Judge John Cleland gives him at least two years – the minimum threshold for a state prison sentence – Sandusky’s first stop will be the Camp Hill state prison near Harrisburg, where all male inmates undergo a couple weeks of testing to determine such things as mental and physical health, education level and any treatment needs.
Prison officials will assign him a security level risk and decide which ”home prison” to send him to.
Although Sandusky’s home in the Lemont area of State College is only a couple miles from Rockview state prison, there is no way to predict where he will end up.
Older inmates sometimes end up at Laurel Highlands, which can better treat more severe medical problems, or Waymart, a comparatively lower-security prison in the state’s northeastern corner.
The roughly 6,800 sex offenders are scattered throughout the prison system, which has no special units for them. Treatment is available for sex offenders, and those who hope to be paroled have to participate.
”My guess is he’ll wind up in a minimum-security facility, and probably a facility for nonviolent people,” Amendola said.
A convicted sex offender who spent 10 years in prison, and who works with other released sex offenders through the Pennsylvania Prison Society, said Sandusky won’t be able to keep a low profile.
”You can have some control over how obscure you are as a prisoner,” said the 52-year-old man from the Philadelphia suburbs, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the stigma attached to sex offenses. ”You can either make yourself standout, or you can stay closer to the woodwork. There’s no hiding that man.”
The state will provide him with clothes, shoes and bedding, and the first set of toiletries. He’ll be able to bring a wedding ring without gemstones, a basic watch worth $50 or less, eyeglasses and dentures. Sandusky uses a machine for sleep apnea and takes medications.