Kwame Kilpatrick makes his way into the federal court building in Detroit for the last time as a free man in April. (Daniel Mears / The Detroit News)
Detroit — Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was shipped to a federal prison in Oklahoma on Tuesday before being transferred to a permanent facility where he will serve a 28-year sentence for racketeering and corruption.
Kilpatrick is being housed temporarily at a federal transfer center in Oklahoma City, Okla., according to the Bureau of Prisons website. Prison officials would not say where they will transfer Kilpatrick to after leaving Oklahoma City.
Kilpatrick, 43, is scheduled to be released Aug. 1, 2037.
Kilpatrick was convicted of 24 charges including racketeering conspiracy in March after being accused of turning City Hall into a criminal enterprise.
His 28-year term was the longest public corruption sentence in U.S. history.
Kilpatrick is far from the only high-profile inmate to pass through the Oklahoma prison.
Former Boston crime boss James "Whitey" Bulger was sent there in December.
The prison, 1,039 miles from Detroit, primarily houses inmates who are en route to another facility. It houses 1,336 male and female inmates. He had previously been housed at the federal prison in Milan.
Kilpatrick has asked to serve his sentence in a federal prison in Texas near his wife and three sons —a request backed by U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds.
At the prison, typical cells feature two bunk beds, a toilet and sink. Inmates share a common shower. There is a special housing unit for inmates who have safety concerns.
Kilpatrick, who was accustomed to tailored suits — occasionally purchased by city contractors —will be issued a prison uniform. Altered clothing is considered contraband and will be confiscated, according to the prison’s inmate handbook.
Inmates, who typically stay at the facility for no longer than a few weeks, have access to an outside recreation area and can play board games, read paperback books and watch TV until 9:15 p.m.
The prison has a well-stocked snack shop. Kool-Aid costs $2.15; cappuccino $1.75 and honey buns .85.
When he was mayor, Kilpatrick’s staff collected money and bought him a Rolex watch. In prison, he can buy a digital watch for $19.50.
His friend and co-defendant, contractor Bobby Ferguson, was sentenced to 21 years and is being held in Milan. Kilpatrick’s dad, who was convicted of a tax crime and sentenced to 15 months, is incarcerated at a Texas prison.
Also Wednesday, The News learned Synagro sludge scandal figure Rayford Jackson has been released from federal prison after spending almost four years for bribery conspiracy.
Jackson, 49, of Detroit was the local partner of Synagro Technologies Inc. on a $1.2-billion sewage sludge contract the Detroit City Council approved in a 5-4 vote in 2007.
Jackson admitted paying thousands of dollars in cash bribes to former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, who changed her position on the sludge deal to cast the deciding vote in favor. The city later rescinded the deal.
“Welcome home Rayford!” Detroit-based political analyst Steve Hood wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.
Jackson was released from a low-security federal prison in Ashland, Ky., on Friday. He spent three days in a halfway house before being released Monday, according to Bureau of Prisons spokesman Ed Ross.
Jackson won’t officially be released from his sentence until July 8 and must serve three years’ probation.
Former Synagro vice-president James R. Rosendall Jr., who unlike Jackson agreed to cooperate with federal investigators, was sentenced to 11 months in prison.