Former Detroit city councilwoman Monica Conyers has reported to a federal prison in West Virginia to begin nearly 3-year sentence in connection with Detroit’s city hall sludge hauling scandal.
The Bureau of Prisons said Conyers arrived Friday afternoon at the minimum-security camp in Alderson, West Virgina — nicknamed “Camp Cupcake.”
The minimum-security facility is the same place where Martha Stewart was sent after being convicted in a stock-trading case in 2004.
At Sweet Kingdom Baptist Church in Detroit, where Conyers is a member, the congregation is praying for the best.
“And we won’t give up on praying for her. Even what happened, we’re still going to pray for her,” one supporter told WWJ’s Stephanie Davis.
“We still love her — and all of this is in God’s hands. What is gonna be gonna be. But, we love her, and we just want her to know we are praying her. We’ve been praying for her all the time,” said Assistant Pastor, Rev. Herman Magee.
Conyers is trying to withdraw her guilty plea in the case. A federal judge has already refused her request. An appeals court has turned down her request to delay her sentence.
Conyers was sentenced to 37-months after pleading guilty to bribery in connection with a multi-million-dollar city contract.
She is the wife of U.S. Rep. John Conyers, a Detroit Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
Birmingham Attorney Neil Fink, who deals in federal criminal law, tells WWJ that life behind bars isn’t pretty– and anyone who says differently hasn’t been incarcerated.
“This urban myth, when you talk about Country Club prisons and and “Club Fed,” that just feeds into a notion that is not true and uncharacteristic of the restrictions that people are placed under in dormitory living,” Fink said.
According to Wikipedia, there is no barbed wire surrounding the prison, but prisoners do have set schedules and each one must work.
The prison is located about 500 miles from Detroit.
(Copyright 2010 WWJ Radio. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)