I-TEAM: Where would Corrine Brown go if sentenced to prison time?

Judge denies former congresswoman's latest request for sentencing delay

By Lynnsey Gardner - Investigative reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - With a second request for a sentencing delay denied, embattled former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown is hurtling toward learning her fate after she was convicted of using a fake charity to steal from needy children and donors.

Judge Timothy Corrigan ordered Friday morning for Brown's sentencing on multiple counts of fraud and other charges to take place as scheduled Nov. 16.

A source told the I-TEAM that a court officer is expected to recommend Brown, 70, be ordered to serve seven to nine years in federal prison for taking money raised for the One Door for Education Foundation and lying on her taxes and congressional financial disclosure forms.

The I-TEAM dug through national data to figure out where Brown could be headed if she is sentenced to prison time.

At 70 years of age, female and convicted of financial crimes, Brown would be in the smallest minority of prisoners with limited options for a minimum-security prison.

Convicted felons can ask the judge to consider sending them to the prison of their choice.
Since Brown is not a violent offender, that request would likely be a minimum-security prison camp where there are no fences and prisoners live in a dorm-like setting with few guards, who largely don't carry guns and don't do nightly lock-ups.

Brown would spend her days on work or educational programs.

The I-TEAM found there are only two such camps devoted to taking solely low-risk female offenders in the U.S. One is in Bryan, Texas, and the other in Alderson, West Virginia.

Federal inmates breakdown

Statistics from the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Alderson is where Martha Stewart served her prison time and would be the closest location to Brown's daughter, Shantrel Brown, who lives near Washington, D.C.

The I-TEAM found two medium-security prisons in Florida with adjacent minimum-security satellite camps, similar to the facilities in Bryan and Alderson. One is in Sumterville, and the other is in Marianna.

Those locations might be appealing to keep Brown close to Jacksonville, where her mother and friends would be nearby, but she would also find herself dangerously close to violent people.

She could also ask to go to a low-security prison in Tallahassee.

According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, low-security facilities are double-fenced, but do allow prisoners to live in dormitory rooms and also have work programs during the day. There are more guards at those facilities than at the minimum-security camp.

It's unclear whether prosecutors will push for a more restrictive prison, as they have been adamant that they want Brown in prison to "pay for her greed."

Brown herself is still holding out hope for leniency and a sentence of probation.

If she is sentenced to prison, she likely won't be whisked away at sentencing. She would instead be given a day to report to a specific place, likely within the next month.

Another possible scenario at sentencing is that Brown's attorney could ask for bond pending appeal, as Brown continues to fight to overturn her conviction.

Legal experts told the I-TEAM that could delay her prison sentence another six to 12 months.

Delay denied

In a motion filed Wednesday, Brown's attorney said she is being evaluated for certain medical, mental and emotional conditions that could have an impact on her sentencing.

In response, prosecutors said the medical, mental and emotional issues were never mentioned to the probation officer who completed a presentencing report last month. They called the motion "bare-bones,” saying it lacked specific reasons for the delay request.

Corrigan said he reviewed Brown's medical records provided by her attorney, but that nothing in them gave a reason for the court to postpone the sentencing.

He wrote that Brown's motion raised issues that she contended warrant a delay, but that "they are all matters that can be readily addressed at the sentencing hearing."

Corrigan did extend deadlines for any more sentencing motions, giving both sides until 5 p.m. Nov. 10 to file anything new.

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