Chicago rates highly in many categories, but not apparently as an accommodation for federal prisoners.
At least that's what Piper Kerman writes in Orange Is the New Black, her recently published account of spending 13 months in federal prisons for drug-related misdeeds she'd committed shortly after leaving college.
Kerman spent most of her sentence at a prison in Danbury, Conn., but toward the end of her term she was transferred to Chicago to testify in a drug case. She refers to the Chicago Metropolitan Correctional Center as "a tall, triangular fortress on a city block in the crowded Chicago Loop" with "a filthy, decrepit and disorganized R&D."
As she sat down with two other inmates, she writes, they, too "were staggered by how awful the Chicago MCC was; we agreed that it was hard to believe it was a federal facility. ... The misery of the women surrounding me rattled me, as did the pointlessness of every day that passed here, and the complete disrespect and indifference with which we were treated."
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