Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Life in "Club Fed"

A former student (and now working correspondent for the magazine) sent me this great interview in Fortune magazine with Mathew Kluger, a Wall Street lawyer convicted of insider trading, who received the longest white-collar sentence ever (12 years) for this particular crime. Kluger compares life in white-collar minimum security federal prison to being at a "spa", and suggests the moniker "club fed" (after the Club Med chain of spas) is not that far off the mark.

Kluger describes a world of gyms, spin classes, downloadable music, email access (for a price), five hour work weeks, fights more analogous to "middle school" than prison, prison movies via Netflix, a college campus like atmosphere of security, and generally conditions "fancier than the average American tax payer would like it to be." While his 8 week stay in solitary for violating an email policy was eye-opening, most of the conditions he describes border on country club like settings.

It's a long read, but an eye opening one. Kluger is alternately laconic and long-winded in his descriptions of day to day to life, but his observations are also strikingly witty and hilarious. I think it's one of the first prison interviews I've laughed out loud at repeatedly. 

Take a few minutes and educate yourself. Thanks to @polina_marinova for the heads up.

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