SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 8, 2012

What Sandusky can expect in prison

(Continued)

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.

State prison menus rotate monthly, and two of the three daily meals are hot. Exercise rules vary, but inmates generally spend an hour or more a day in the yard, which might entail walking, playing ball or lifting weights. If he’s at a prison that allows baseball or softball, the bat has to be tethered and secured to the backstop. In the kitchen, knives also are tethered.

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