What Life In Prison Will Be Like For Lori Loughlin

Life will change for actress Lori Loughlin when she surrenders herself to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) on November 19, after she pleaded guilty for her role in the college admissions scandal. Her lawyers have already recommended that she serve her two-month sentence at a federal prison near Victorville, California; the presiding judge in Loughlin's case has already said it was "a good location" for the BOP to consider (via Deadline). Pink Lady Prison Consultants describes the facility as "a minimum-security women's federal prison" located in Adelanto, Calfornia, and is said to house "278 female federal minimum-security inmates sentenced and charged with Federal Crimes in U.S. District Courts."

Holli Coulman, who served 15 months at Victorville, tells The Mercury News that there is will be a  "profound culture shock" when Loughlin enters prison. When a person enters a receiving room, she will hand over her clothing and underwear to a guard, and then be searched for contraband. Her only personal space will be a shared bunk in a dormitory. She has to be up by 6:30 a.m. to make her bed and get it ready for inspection, and lights out is at 10 p.m. She'll also have to sleep through the noises made by other inmates. Her time will be strictly regulated, so she can't decide when to do things like watch TV, eat, shower, or call her daughters. As Martha Stewart, who herself went to prison in 2004 put it, "It was horrifying... Nothing is good about it, nothing."

Life inside a federal prison

Evie Litwok, who spent time at the same federal prison Martha Stewart was incarcerated in, told Yahoo! Entertainment that despite that prison's seemingly easy nature, it was nowhere near a walk in the park. "Prison is traumatizing for life," she said. "There are 4,000 to 5,000 prisons, jails and detention centers in the U.S. with about 2.5 million people in them. Is it possible that some people in some prisons — not necessarily camps —are having an easy time? Yes. I'd say a handful. But those instances, certainly in women's prisons, are not the norm."

Litwok outlined how restrictive the prison environment was for her. She noted that while inmates can make phone calls and email people, all communication is monitored, which means prison staff reads every word typed and they listen in on phone calls. It's likely Loughlin will have the same experience, and the property she can possess will be also limited — and staff can restrict certain publications (via Federal Bureau of Prisons). The only clothing she will be able to wear will be issued by the staff, which means her regular style of dress will no longer be possible within the walls of the prison.

She will also have the opportunity to work at one of many different jobs, according to Pink Lady Prison Consultants. She could work as a groundskeeper, work with food or trash services, or could even be employed as a driver.

While Litwok notes that celebs like Loughlin could have an easier time, she'll still have to eat the same unappetizing prison food everyone else eats, and it's possible the corrections officers won't be starstruck at all and could make her life even less pleasant. 

The pandemic may be a game-changer for Lori Loughlin

But even while lawyers were fighting in court to get prosecutors to drop the case (via the Associated Press), People reported back in January that the actress had hired someone to handle what life in prison would be like if she ended up serving time. "The whole point is to have someone tell her how to keep herself safe," a source close to the actress. "She needs to keep a low profile if she's incarcerated. Obviously, she's going to stand out, because of all the publicity and because she's a star. She can't do anything about that. But she doesn't want to stand out because she's so green that she does the wrong things... She wants to understand what the experience will be like, and how to not only survive it, but flourish in it."

The source added, "Table manners are different; social interactions are different. Here on the outside, eye contact is a good thing. You meet someone and you shake their hands and stare them in the eyes. In prison, you might not do that. You don't want to challenge someone. Prison is a very different world than Hollywood,"

If anything, Deadline says Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli may be spared from going into prison, thanks to COVID-19. But with November still a few months away, we'll have to wait and see.