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Inside America’s cushiest jail where celebrities like Felicity Huffman join ‘Club Fed’


When Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman was embroiled in a colleage admissions scandal last year, the showbiz world waited to see how she would fare behind bars.

As it turns out, the Federal Correctional Institute, Dublin, isn’t all that bad – making in onto Forbes’ 2009 list of America’s 10 Cushiest Prisons.

The prison, just outside San Francisco, has even been jokingly branded “Club Fed” by the media.

The low-security, female-only institution has housed names like Real Housewives’ Teresa Giudice and Dance Moms’ Abby Lee Miller.

A former Hollywood madam, Heidi Fleiss, was also kept there for 20 months in the Nineties for tax evasion – and she didn’t think Felicity had anything to worry about.

Felicity served two weeks

She told ELLE that Felicity’s prison fortnight was probably pretty easy on the star.

In fact, The New York Times reports that while mobile phones are strictly banned, radios and computer access are readily available.

Even more extravagantly, the prison offers Zumba and yoga classes, and even boasts fresh renovations to its volleyball court and horseshoe pit.

It’s been dubbed ‘Club Fed’

There’s even a prison commissary where inmates can spend up to $320 every month on sweets, ice cream, coffee, toiletries and greetings cards.

TV is available on weekdays, but there’s a strict cut-off at 8:45pm – though the prison can be flexible in certain circumstances, like a big sporting fixture.

Inmates can get jobs in various sectors while serving their sentence, and extend their education with English and Spanish lessons, and training in computer graphics and software.

As if that’s not enough to fill the prisoners’ time, they can take on apprenticeships in plumbing, landscaping, construction and more.

It’s not far from San Francisco

It’s a far cry from a Los Angeles mansion but it’s not all bad at Club Fed

The Bureau of Prisons handbook details the physical activities on offer, like volleyball and weight loss programs.

The handbook reads: “These programs help inmates develop an individual wellness concept.

“Physical fitness and weight reduction programs are also important activities for an inmate and contribute to mental health, good interpersonal relations and stress reduction.

Prisoners are encouraged to use their time constructively to help their mental health

“In addition, inmates can learn to use their free time constructively.”

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Showbiz editor’s picks

Visiting hours aren’t too shabby either, meaning Felicity’s husband William H Macy and their two daughters were able to visit her on Saturdays and Sundays between 8am and 2pm.

Good Morning America reported that meals could consist of fruit, cereal and bread in the mornings, sandwiches and steamed rice, as well as a dessert, at lunch, and in the evenings beef, black beans, potatoes, corn and gravy.





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