John Ford reports to federal prison camp - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Janice Broach

John Ford reports to federal prison camp

Ford, sitting in the back seat of a silver Chrysler, showed up at his new home about 30 minutes before the 2:00pm deadline. Ford, sitting in the back seat of a silver Chrysler, showed up at his new home about 30 minutes before the 2:00pm deadline.

Former Tennessee State Senator John Ford reported to a federal prison camp in Pollock, Louisiana early Monday afternoon.

Ford, sitting in the back seat of a silver Chrysler, showed up at his new home about 30 minutes before the 2:00pm deadline.  Ford could be seen sitting in the back seat of the car, and didn't stop to talk to reporters before speeding through the camp's gate.

Once inside, Ford was expected to be processed into the camp, which will serve as his home for the next five years.

"All the inmates, when they arrive here, get an initial screening," prison spokesperson Karen Million said. "We give them an orientation of what to expect, where they're going to be living, and where they'll eat."

Ford will then spend the next several days getting acclimated to his new home.  He will sleep in an open building with bunk beds, along with all of the other inmates at the camp.  Million said he will take community showers, and will receive new clothes.

"Heavy duty kind of clothing for the work, and black work boots," she said.

Ford will not be serving hard time.  The prison camp in Pollock has no fences, and inmates could walk away if they chose to.  If they did, however, they would eventually go over a fence to the maximum security prison next door.

Officials at Pollock said the presence of the higher security prison is a good deterrent to those with thoughts of leaving.

Inmates at the prison camp are allowed to participate in activities like basketball and soccer, as well as crafts like leatherwork.

Officials said Ford will be assigned a job at the prison, like cooking, gardening, or maintenance.

Federal sentences have no provisions for parole, and Ford's only expected forays outside the camp will be court appearances in Nashville, where he is scheduled for trial June 24 on corruption charges unrelated to Tennessee Waltz.

At Ford's trial in Memphis, jurors watched secretly recorded videotapes of him taking stacks of $100 bills from an undercover FBI agent pretending to represent a company called E-Cycle Management.

E-Cycle, which was supposedly in the business of buying and reselling government computers, turned out to be a fake created by the FBI. The investigation led to criminal charges against 11 defendants, including five former state lawmakers and several local officials in Memphis and Chattanooga. All were convicted.

Ford, a Memphis Democrat, spent three decades in the Senate and was the best known of the accused. He is the brother of former Memphis Congressman Harold Ford Sr. and the uncle of former Rep. Harold Ford Jr., D-Tenn.

In taped conversations, Ford told undercover agents that he traveled first class only, staying at top hotels and eating at the best restaurants when working for clients like E-Cycle. He flashed a diamond-encrusted Rolex, boasting he got it from a real estate developer for helping head off state pollution fines.

The Rolex, worth about $70,000, was seized by the government when Ford was arrested in 2005.

The federal camp, about 15 miles north of Alexandria, La., and 400 miles from Memphis, is part of a correctional complex that also includes a high-security prison for 1,500 inmates.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here to send an email to Janice Broach.

Powered by Frankly