SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Nation/World

October 8, 2012

What Sandusky can expect in prison

(Continued)

Inmates can buy a television with a 13-inch screen for their cells, at a cost of about $275, with prison-designed programming of about 15 channels that costs some $15 a month. The channels include the networks but no R-rated movies or shows with a lot of violence.

He’ll be able to watch college football, including Penn State, when the games are broadcast on ESPN or another major network.

“A lot of guys live for it,” said man who works with released sex offenders. “Football season is huge.”

Sandusky, a regular attendee at a Methodist church in State College, will be able to go to religious services.

There’s also a shared television in the day room, a common area where inmates congregate when not confined to their cells. The guards usually decide what channel to have it on. Cards are popular, as are dominoes and board games.

If he has a musical bent, Sandusky will have a list of approved instruments to choose from for purchase.

Sandusky, who has a master’s degree, will be encouraged to work, and most inmates do, although it’s not technically mandatory. An inmate’s first job is often in the kitchen or doing janitorial work, while more coveted occupations include maintenance, landscaping, clerical work or tutoring.

The pay barely covers the cable bill: 19 to 51 cents an hour, with a 30-hour work week. Some of that money may go to pay fines or costs, or toward the $10 copay for a doctor visit.

If people on the outside put money on his account, it also can be deducted to pay any fines and costs.

For those who can afford it, the commissary sells snacks, cigarettes and toiletries. He’ll be able to have books and magazines sent to him inside prison, but if personal property starts to pile up, officials will direct him to box it up and send them home.

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