The same federal judge who sentenced Rod Blagojevich to one of the longest corruption sentences in Illinois history has recommended a prison rehab program for the ex-governor that could help shave time off his staggering 14-year sentence.
U.S. District Judge James Zagel, referencing a report from the U.S. Probation Department, on Tuesday recommended that Blagojevich be placed in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Residential Drug Abuse Program, said the former governor’s lawyer, Shelly Sorosky.
But Sorosky said he didn’t know what type of drug or alcohol use Blagojevich would be treated for if the 55-year-old is found qualified for the program.
Known as “RDAP,” the program aims to help inmates with substance abuse issues — including drugs or alcohol. Zagel’s recommendation is only that — it would be up to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to determine if Blagojevich qualifies.
“Probation said he may be a ripe candidate for it and Judge Zagel said [to the bureau of prisons] ‘consider him for it,’ ” Sorosky said.
A prisons spokesman told the Sun-Times last week there typically has to be a documented history of abuse for an inmate to qualify.
Sorosky said there is documentation.It's interesting that last week the Sun-Times ran a story quoting Scott Fawell, a high-ranking member of Gov. George Ryan's administration who did time in federal prison and cooperated with the feds in putting away his former boss, advising Blagojevich to fabricate a drug problem in order to shave time off his prison sentence as he had done:
Scott Fawell, the former chief of staff of a different convicted governor, George Ryan, is offering a tip on how Rod Blagojevich can cut his lengthy 14-year sentence.
The former governor may be able to make a request with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to take part in a substance abuse program.
Fawell said that’s what he did before going into prison.
“What you do is say that in between the time you’re sentenced and the time you report, you just couldn’t stop drinking,” Fawell said.
It shaved time off of Fawell’s 78-month sentence he received for corruption that happened while he worked for Ryan. He went through a nine-month program in prison, then got six months off in a halfway house plus one year of credit for doing the program. That’s on top of time off for good behavior.
“I didn’t want to do it at first. I said: ‘I’m going to save a little shred of dignity,’ ” he said. “But it’s the only game in town. It’s the only way you can get time off” in the federal system.Maybe Lincoln Plowman has a drinking problem too, eh? No wait, he doesn't drink alcohol. That won't work.