Dennis Hastert Is About to Become Inmate 47991-424

Former Speaker needs to report to prison Wednesday
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 22, 2016 6:38 AM CDT
Dennis Hastert Is About to Become Inmate 47991-424
The entrance to the Federal Medical Center in Rochester, Minn.    (Elizabeth Nida Obert/The Post-Bulletin via AP)

Former US House Speaker Dennis Hastert must report to a federal prison in Minnesota by Wednesday afternoon to begin serving a 15-month sentence in his hush-money case, one that revealed the 74-year-old sexually abused at least four boys decades ago when he coached wrestling at a suburban Chicago high school. When he enters the prison gates, the nation's longest-serving GOP speaker, who for eight years was second in the line of succession to the presidency, will be known to prison guards as Inmate No. 47991-424, the AP reports. A look at what awaits Hastert, who will become one of the highest-ranking US politicians in history to do prison time:

  • Hastert must show up at the Rochester Federal Medical Center by 2pm Wednesday. Inmates-to-be usually wait until just before the reporting deadline, but Hastert, who has been free on bond, could choose to report earlier to elude a crush of reporters and TV cameras.
  • US District Judge Thomas M. Durkin recommended this facility for the ailing Hastert during sentencing on April 27. Hastert nearly died from a blood infection and suffered a stroke after he pleaded guilty on Oct. 28 last year. He also has diabetes.

  • It's not known whether Hastert will travel the more than 300 miles from his Plano, Illinois, home to Rochester by car or by plane. When he arrives, he'll be subject to the same protocol as other new inmates, which includes a full-body strip search for contraband.
  • The 64-acre facility, which specializes in health care for physically ailing or mentally ill inmates, has all the features of a prison. It is surrounded by razor-wire fencing and holds around 800 inmates from all security classifications, including convicted killers (among them, Jared Lee Loughner) and a large population of child molesters.
  • Hastert's life will be highly regimented, from frequent head counts to occasional shakedown searches. Internet access and cellphone use are prohibited. All physically able inmates must work from 7:40am to 3:30pm. If he is required to take a job, the congressman-turned-high-paid lobbyist could end up mopping floors for as little as 25 cents an hour.
(More Dennis Hastert stories.)

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