Former Federal prosecutor and prominent criminal defense attorney Harold James Pickerstein is officially “Inmate number 24400-014” and is locked up in the Federal prison in Devens, MA. It is a modern facility that has a “medical center with and adjacent satellite camp.” The camp has 127 inmates. The main prison has about a thousand guys locked up.
When Pickerstein was sentenced his attorney asked Federal Judge Bolden if he could be sent to Otisville. Otisville is considered the place to go if you are a white collar criminal. Not that it is such a great prison, it’s just that all the other prisons are much worse. The facilities at Otisville are very old and run down. Its like living in a temporary construction site, with one story buildings that look like tractor trailers. But it is known to offer more “freedom” to inmates than other facilities.
Otisville is never static. Depending on the mood of the warden, or if they get a new warden, rules get changed all the time, some rules enforced more than others. Otisville is more strict when it comes to computers and cell phones. At other prisons guys smuggle in cell phones, and don’t get in too much trouble, or don’t get caught. Who can blame guys for smuggling in cell phones? The prison only allows 10 minutes of phone calls a day, and charge you twelve cents a minute. With a cell phone you can talk as much as you want and not get charged nearly as much as a prison phone.
At sentencing Pickerstein said he had medical issues and thus should be spared incarceration. That argument may have worked many years ago, but today you have medical and old age prisons such as Devens, which are turning into nursing homes with long prison sentences mandated by the Sentencing Guidelines. Guys get into fights with their wheelchairs. Even though Pickerstein asked for Otisville he got sent to Devens for his 30 day sentence. It doesn’t matter where the Judge orders you to go, after you get sentenced you are turned over to the Bureau of Prisons, and become the property of the BOP.
It is not clear whether Pickerstein chose to go to Devens instead of Otisville because Larry Noodles has been blogging about how Pickerstein got off easy with his high placed Federal connections. PIckerstein may have feared that the Otisville inmates will prejudge him unfavorably before he gets there. Unlike sentencing Judge Bolden, who judged Pickerstein to be a “loving man” not the bad guy the Federal prosecutors made him out to be.
Judge Bolden said to Pickerstein at sentencing, “You may not have loved yourself as much as you should and not as much as all of the people around you do. Martin Luther King Jr. said that before you can love others you have to love yourself. I urge you to love yourself, you have been loving to others but now is the time to love yourself, truly love yourself. You can also love yourself by letting all those whose lives you touched show their support for you in this time of need, let them show their love for you. But if you need it and it does not seem to be there, ask for it and it will be there. With that love a greater love for yourself and a willingness to let those who love you show that they love you, you’ll make it through the darkest of days… ” The Federal prosecutor told Judge Bolden that in a few months from now there will be a case similar to Pickerstein’s, and Judge Bolden will have to decide whether to give the next guy 30 days for stealing $600K. Will Judge Bolden invoke the words of Martin Luther King Jr. to cut a poor Black man with no high placed Federal connections a break? Time will tell. And Larry Noodles will be there to report about it.
Larry Noodles has heard that the Head Blueboy in Charge of Otisville has banned copies of this blog from entering the camp. As a former attorney, I believe that the Federal government has engaged in illegal censorship, in violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution. If the ACLU is reading this blog, I urge them to file a lawsuit ASAP.
All inmates are given a number and considered “Federal property” by the Department of Corrections. Pickerstein will soon have his number memorized, because you need to type in your number every time you use the computer for emails, and when you use the telephone for your ten minutes of phone calls a day.