Former Florida Congresswoman Corrine Brown is now a federal inmate.
She turned herself in at the Coleman Federal Correctional Complex minimum security prison camp about 50 miles north of Orlando in Wildwood, Florida, just before Monday’s noon deadline.
Brown was sentenced last month to five years in prison for fraud, filing false tax returns and other charges.
She lost her fight to remain free while she appeals her sentence.
The former Congresswoman arrived at prison in a rented black limo bus.
The bus paused at the prison complex’s entrance and waited for Bishop Kelvin Cobaris to cross the highway and get on board.
Cobaris had parked across the street from the prison, awaiting Brown’s arrival.
Cobaris, who is the president of the African American Council of Christian Clergy, described himself as Brown’s spiritual advisor.
“She had a humble demeanor. Very emotional, but yet graceful,” Cobaris said. “And as soon as I got on the bus, she greeted me with a smile and a hug, and said, ‘Pray.’”
Cobaris said Brown brought a bag into the prison with her, but did not know what was inside.
“The guards, as far as I saw at the door, they were very kind to her. They just asked her what the things were that she had with her, and escorted her in, and said, ‘We’ll discuss more when you come in,’” Cobaris said.
According to Coleman’s minimum security prison camp Admission and Orientation Handbook, Brown would have been issued a green jumpsuit and basic hygiene supplies when she was admitted.
Each inmate at the prison camp is assigned to a job after being medically cleared by Health Services.
“I think the biggest worry and fear is obviously being separated from family members. As you know, she has an elderly mother who’s in her 90s. Obviously, she’s concerned for the welfare of her daughter. But I think, most of all, she’s concerned about the impact that this will have on her reputation and legacy,” attorney James Smith, Brown’s trial attorney, said.
When Brown is not working, she can spend time at the camp’s recreation yard -- complete with basketball, bocce, racquetball, horseshoe, softball and soccer facilities.
She can also go to the leisure center, where she can find the art room, billiards tables, and games like checkers and scrabble.
She can also keep up with the news in the camp’s television rooms.
Brown will be allowed to spend up to $275 a month at the commissary on hygiene products, snacks and instant coffee.
“Let’s get rid of this idea that she’s going to be on a five-year vacation, because that’s far from the truth,” Smith said. “The reality is that these are not country clubs. These are almost Spartan environments.”
It’s unlikely that we will be able to see Corrine Brown’s mug shot. Unlike county and state corrections facilities, federal prisons rarely release mug shots.
Brown will continue to collect her Congressional pension while she’s in prison until the appeals process has been exhausted.
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