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Feature Story May 3, 2003
 
How to Retire in Comfort on $500
 
Page 2 of 3
 
"NEW YORK -- As disgraced former Tyco Chief Executive L. Dennis Kozlowski faces new charges of fraud and theft on top of multiple tax-evasion indictments, prison time seems nearly certain.

"So where does a man who has everything go to do hard time? While convicts don't get to choose their poison, er, prison, they can make requests. With that in mind, we reviewed the federal penitentiary system and picked the five very best places to go to prison."

A CEO can pick his preferred minimum-security pen the way his kid can pick the college he wants to attend. In fact, according to a heroin dealer the eXile once knew in Berkeley who served with Ivan Boesky at one of these places, a tycoon can even take time off when the walls close in. Ivan would disappear from Lompoc for weeks, and when his fellow inmates asked, "Where's Ivan?" the answer would be, "He's having one of his vacations." It seems that if you offer a guard $50,000 to let you take a few weeks on the beach, he'll be very understanding.

But that kind of option doesn't apply to most eXile readers. For Boesky, $50,000 is what a quarter is to you and us. If a nobody like you gets arrested in the US, you'll do your time in Hell. If you come out alive, and you probably won't, you'll come out HIV-positive, having "got in touch with [your] feminine, nurturing side," as the man said in Cape Fear. So you don't want to do your crime on this side of the Atlantic.

Some Americans have already become desperate enough to try our plan. The case of Gardie Shine is typical. Shine was a homeless black man, wandering the streets of San Diego, a city famous for its compassion. He had just been released from the hospital where he was being treated for "depression." Shine thought about his options and, despite his depression, came up with a reasonable plan: he walked into a bank and said, "I need some money." The clerk asked him if it would be savings or checking. He said, "You don't understand. This is a stickup." The clerk counted out $3,000. Shine took $20, saying, "This is enough," then went outside to wait for the cops.

Mr. Shine's theory was sound, but he forgot one essential step: GO TO NORTHERN EUROPE. Because he was stuck in the US, Shine faces the prospect of 17 years in an American prison. That is, in Hell. Gang rape, race war, and a lifetime in the company of some of the most savage mutants our country can produce. If only Shine had thought bigger, and collected enough aluminum cans to finance a trip to Frankfurt, here's what would have awaited him: the glorious retreats we call "The Prisons of Northern Europe." In order to give you an idea of the paradise awaiting you, here are some excerpts from the official website of the Danish Prison System:

"In Denmark...the inmate retains his ordinary civil rights during the sentence. As a general rule the inmate has his own cell/room of about seven sq. metres. It has been decided to abolish the three-man cells to the extent possible.

"The offender can bring with him personal belongings, such as clothes, television, radio, books and pictures.

"...Inmates can receive visits from relatives in single rooms or in their own cells and only in very rare cases will visits be supervised.

"...Inmates in prisons are to have the same offers of training and education as all other citizens in Denmark.... 40 per cent of all leaves in prisons are granted so that the inmate can take part in training, education or work outside the prison.

"...A refrigerator has been set up in each cell for the inmates to store their food.

"In their leisure time, inmates can also take part in a number of sports and hobby activities. The sports offers are largely the same as in a small sports association, viz., football, badminton, table tennis, volleyball and bodybuilding. In several places, contact has been established between the prison and one or more of the local sports associations, and they meet for friendship matches or train together. In addition, inmates in open prisons can take part in local sports tournaments.


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