There are many misconceptions about prison life and expectations thanks to TV shows and movies that either paint prison as a place to make friends or a place of non-stop violence. This can make any person unsure of what to expect should they be convicted and sentenced to prison, but first-time non-violent offenders could be among those who are the most unsure.
If you are convicted of a white collar crime, chances are that you will not serve your prison sentence in a maximum-security facility. Under many circumstances, first-time offenders who commit a financial crime will be sentenced to a minimum-security facility. There is a big difference between these two types of prisons, as discussed in this article in The Atlantic.
Unlike maximum-security facilities, institutions such as federal prison camps are not populated with dangerous criminals convicted of violent offenses. This means that inmates are motivated to follow the rules and serve their sentence peacefully, as failure to do so could lead to a transfer to a higher-security facility.
This is not to say that serving a sentence for white collar crime in a minimum-security facility is easy.
Generally speaking, time in these facilities is upsetting and stressful. You have little or no control over your environment; you cannot see your family when you want to; you can be manipulated by other people serving a sentence. It can be isolating, sad and quite boring most of the time.
While you may not be looking at time in a maximum- or medium-security prison if you are convicted of a white collar crime, you are looking at a prison sentence, and this should not be taken lightly. Prison is hard and it is something that you will want to avoid if at all possible.
In order to avoid prison altogether, it can be critical that you start building your defense as soon as you learn you are under investigation or have been charged with a white collar offense, like fraud or embezzlement. Consulting an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible can help you take steps to protect yourself and work to avoid serving any time in prison.