Rachanee Srisavasdi reports in today's Register that Orange County Sheriff-turned-felon Mike Carona will likely earn 12 cents to 40 cents per hour working as a painter, plumber, orderly, food server or groundskeeper during his 5.5-year stint--or 85 percent of that--at what most likely will be the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex.
A quick check of the interwebs reveals that Lompoc inmates generally work eight- or nine-hour shifts nine days every two weeks. Knowing how hard Carona toils, we'll give him the benefit of the doubt and expect him to earn the full 40 cents per hour, nine hours per day, nine days every two weeks. Clockwork is no math major, but that is believed to come out to $3.60 per shift and $32.40 per paycheck.
Among the items Carona could thereby purchase with one paycheck include the paperback edition of the Field Guide to the Birds of Korea, a box of 36 tiger rings to be distributed to inmate friends like badges, concealed-weapon permits and assistant sheriff appointments and, a personal favorite, this Seamless V Top Cami from Chez and Terri lingerie, which should make our former top cop the hit of his cell block's Sadie Hawkins dance.
But, surely, our ex-sheriff is not the type to blow his wad on any Russian hook--erm--American product. Indeed, he would be better saving and spending in dribbles and drabs. For instance, long-term detainees owe it to themselves to purchase, for a steal at $7, Michael Santos' Strategy for Successful Prison Adjustment, which details how the author "used a quadrant theory to thrive through a 45-year prison term." Other essentials inside include stamps, envelopes, yoga books (as stretching helps deal with being confined to cell 22 hours per day), word-search games (to keep the mind sharp) and funny clippings (to maintain a good sense of humor).
Of course, there are also the "Mikessentials" he'll need such as protein powder, spray-on Rogaine and rotten fruit from Harry and David that the notorious martini-lover can use to make toilet vodka.
Meanwhile, the Civil Liberties Defense Center advises the following to those corresponding with or sending gifts to federal inmates:
* Please do not mention other nicknames you might know them by. (No word on whether this also applies to nicknames for specific body parts)
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* Do not discuss their cases or anything related to illegal activities. Keep in mind that all mail is read by authorities. (Sorry, Mafiaoso pals)
* Avoid using white-out, stickers, tape, colored ink or glitter. (Sorry, exotic Russian "dancers")
* Spend the day outside hiking, taking some pictures and then send them to a prisoner with a story about your hike. Remember that prison is sensory deprivation to the max, so use a lot of description (sight, sound, smell, taste, moans over the car stereo/police scanner--everything)
* Send pictures of wild places (casinos! Private jets! Yachts in foreign waters!), ones that are vivid in color and show a lot of detail (and camel balls). Remember that Polaroid's are not allowed. (Sorry, exotic Russian hookers)