Felicity Huffman’s prison sentence is reportedly irritating inmates and staff.
The former “Desperate Housewives” actress who is serving a 14-day sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin, Calif. for paying $15,000 to inflate her daughter’s SAT score in connection to the national college admissions scandal, has already been approved for visitation, a process most inmates have to wait weeks or even months for.
“She’s wearing tennis shoes, she got her visits approved in three or four days, all of that smells of special privilege. Do you know how irregular that is?” Larry Levine, the founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants, who served 10 years at nearly a dozen correctional institutions, told FOX Business.
Huffman was photographed on the grounds of the low-security prison in California on Saturday wearing a dark green jumpsuit, sneakers, a white baseball cap, eyeglasses and what appeared to be a black watch on her wrist. Her husband, William H. Macy, 69, and daughter, Sophia Grace Macy, came to visit her on Saturday. A photo of the actress, Levine says, was taken by an inmate with an unauthorized cell phone. Now, he claims, the phone and email privileges have been banned at the prison because of it.
“Now, the BOP [Federal Bureau of Prisons] has turned off all the telephones, and cut the email for all the inmates which is really going to piss people off. They’re doing this to protect Felicity. Her presence there has put the inmate population on edge; it’s disrupted their ability to remain in communication with their families,” a source at the correctional institution told Levine.
"They've [inmates] been warned by the staff not to discuss her; not to call home and talk about her; not to email about her. Now, the staff is telling inmates what they can and can't talk about."
And if inmates can't make phone calls, Levin said: “It’s possible she [Huffman] won’t be able to use the phone or email for the rest of her sentence.”
A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons did not immediately return a FOX Business request for comment.
Huffman, 56, surrendered to authorities last Tuesday to begin her 14-day sentence but will only serve 13 days because she received credit for time spent in custody following her arrest in March, the Federal Bureau of Prisons told Entertainment Tonight.
The former “Desperate Housewives” star pleaded guilty to mail fraud and honest services fraud in May for paying college admissions counselor William Rick Singer to correct her daughter’s wrong answers on her SAT exam, which inflated Sophia Grace’s score 400 points above her PSAT score.
The prison about 25 miles southeast of Oakland, is a low-security prison with 1,232 inmates, according to its website.
To get approved to visit an inmate in prison, family members or friends must complete a form, mail it back and wait for a potential background check that may be requested, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.
“Usually when an inmate goes into custody, it could take two, three, four weeks for them to get their visits approved. She goes into custody on a Tuesday, she’s getting visits on a Saturday. You know how irregular that is?” Levine told FOX Business.
Huffman was one of the first major public figures revealed in the college scandal the FBI dubbed “Operation Varsity Blues.” The bribery scandal involved 35 wealthy parents who paid millions of dollars to boost their kid’s chances of getting into prominent colleges and universities around the country, including Yale, Stanford, and the University of Southern California.
“Full House” star Lori Laughlin has taken a different legal approach to her role in the admissions scheme, pleading not guilty to money laundering and conspiracy charges. The decision to fight the charges may result in a tougher prison sentence according to local prosecutors.