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updated: 2/15/2012 12:39 PM

Blagojevich to serve prison sentence in Colorado

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  • Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will serve his 14-year sentence at a low-security prison outside Denver.

      Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich will serve his 14-year sentence at a low-security prison outside Denver.
    Associated Press

 
 

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been granted his choice of prisons and will serve his 14-year sentence at a low-security facility in a suburb of Denver.

Blagojevich is due to start serving his sentence March 15 at Federal Correctional Institution Englewood near Littleton, Colo.

However, defense attorney Carolyn Gurland said she is disappointed that people are focusing on Blagojevich's destination because Blagojevich's defense attorneys have worked tirelessly to keep the former governor's future destination under wraps.

"The entire defense team has been very cautious to not release where his destination was," she said this morning. "I'm disappointed that people are talking about it, and disappointed that it's a topic of conversation. This is a private family issue."

Officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Department of Justice would not confirm Blagojevich's tenure with the correctional center. Officials from the prison bureau said they cannot announce where a prisoner is staying until the prisoner arrives at the site.

The Sun-Times is reporting that Blagojevich's family is not planning to move to Denver, but there are direct flights from Chicago to Denver.

Blagojevich's legal team had requested that he be sent to Englewood, which has a reputation for being less crowded and violent than other facilities in the federal system, according to the Chicago Tribune. There also is an adjacent work camp, which offers more freedom of movement for prisoners and which Blagojevich could transfer to at some point while serving out his sentence, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.

Englewood gets high marks from inmates for its location, as the area is surrounded by lakes and golf courses, and the more than 300-acre compound is wooded and filled with wildlife, all framed by distant Rocky Mountains, former prisoners told the Tribune.

The former governor hopes to enroll in a substance-abuse program at the prison, which could shave up to a year off his sentence.

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