Where will Abby Lee Miller serve her prison sentence? That’s the question fans of the Dance Moms star are asking after she was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison. And while the questions remain unanswered for now, it’s not unlikely that she’ll serve her time near L.A. So, what will life be like for her on the inside?
Inmate’s Requests Taken Into Account
When an inmate is sentenced for a federal crime, the Bureau of Prisons has the ultimate say on where the inmate will serve his or her time. According to Executive Prison Consultants (yes, prison consulting is actually a thing), the Bureau of Prisons Designation and Sentence Computation Center (DSCC) in Grand Prairie, Texas, decides where to send an inmate.
The Bureau considers a variety of factors when making that decision.
- The inmate’s support system – that is, the Bureau considers how close the inmate’s friends, family, and clergy are to where the inmate will serve.
- The inmate’s security risk.
- Facility availability.
While the Bureau generally tries to honor inmates’ requests when placing them, ultimately that decision resides with the Bureau, and the inmate’s request is only one factor to be considered.
A Minimum-Security Facility Near L.A.
According to ET Online, Miller’s lawyer requested on her behalf that Abby be sent to a facility near Los Angeles, even though her crimes were committed in Pennsylvania, saying that Miller lives in L.A. and her support system is closest to L.A. Chief Judge Joy Flowers Conti agreed to make that recommendation on her behalf, although whether or not that ultimately happens remains to be seen (see the above paragraphs).
One such possibility is the Federal Correctional Institution, Dublin, a minimum-security, female-only facility in Dublin, California, about 350 miles from L.A.
If she serves her time there, Abby wouldn’t be the first celebrity to have done time behind bars in Dublin as Hearst Corporation heiress Patty Hearst and “Hollywood Madame” Heidi Fleiss also spent time there.
What Prison Will Be Like
What Abby’s prison experience will be like depends on a lot of factors; not the least of which is her own attitude towards her incarceration. Based on some remarks after her sentencing, it’s clear that she’s been preparing herself mentally for the experience.
“There’s a few physical limitations, dietary limitations [in prison], of course, but it’ll be OK. It’s a realm of the world I know nothing about. I just know what I know and I do the best I can.”
Being something of a celebrity, Abby may well be separated from the other inmates if prison officials believe her celebrity status is going to cause problems for her (for example, putting her at risk of being exploited by other inmates) or other inmates. Then again, she may well likely be placed in General Population with the rest of the inmates.
Perhaps the most famous female celebrity to be convicted of white-collar crimes and serve time in a federal minimum-security prison was Martha Stewart. And while she doesn’t like to talk about her time in prison, it seems that for Martha, the experience, while not a positive one, wasn’t the baroque horror it could have been. In fact, as People reported in 2005, the other inmates even gave her the affectionate nickname of “M. Diddy.“
Not for nothing, but Martha Stewart has completely rebounded from her time in prison. Today, stock in her company is up, her products are selling, and she’s back on TV.
Maybe, just maybe, if Abby Lee Miller keeps her head down, doesn’t make a nuisance of herself, and stays out of trouble while she’s in prison, she may yet come out ahead on the other side of her sentence.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]