The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

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October 9, 2012

A look at what Sandusky can expect in prison

JOHNSTOWN — Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison for molesting 10 boys over a period of 15 years. Some questions and answers about what he can expect:

WHERE WILL HE BE HOUSED?

Prison officials will decide that after testing and classification at a prison outside Harrisburg, Pa.

WHAT CAN HE BRING?

A wedding ring without gemstones, a basic watch worth $50 or less, a religious medal, eyeglasses and dentures.

HOW MANY PENNSYLVANIA STATE PRISON INMATES ARE SEX OFFENDERS?

About 6,800.

ARE SEX OFFENDERS KEPT TOGETHER?

There are no special units for sex offenders in Pa. state prisons.

WILL HE BE ABLE TO WORK?

Prison jobs typically pay 19 cents to 51 cents an hour and include kitchen work, maintenance and other jobs. For the few positions in asbestos abatement, pay can be $1 an hour.

WILL HE BE WATCHING PENN STATE FOOTBALL?

State prison inmates have access to a shared television and can buy one for their room, although they must pay the cable bill. He likely would be able to see most, if not all, Penn State games.

WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?

State prisons offer two hot meals of the three each day.

WHAT WILL HE BE ABLE TO BUY FROM THE PRISON STORE?

Purchases up to $60 can be made once a week, or $75 during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season. Items include noodles, coffee, nuts, pastries, pickles, cheese, crackers, tuna, over-the-counter medicine, dental care items, boots, sneakers, greeting cards and batteries. The ability of an inmate to purchase goods depends on his or her security level — minimum, medium or maximum. That gets established after evaluation by prison officials, and it can change depending on behavior behind bars. Friends or family outside can put money on an inmate's books though JPay.com, a prison system for them to buy him credits for the prison store.

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE ALLOWED?

Games, creative arts, wellness education and approved inmate organizations.

WHAT TYPES OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS ARE PERMITTED?

Guitar, keyboard, harmonica, recorder and electronic drums.

WHAT'S FORBIDDEN AS CONTRABAND?

Those items include weapons, cash, civilian clothing, implements of escape, pornography and cellphones.

 

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