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How did Felicity Huffman’s first day as a federal inmate go?

Felicity Huffman is nationally famous these days, both as a TV star and as one of the best-known defendants in the nationwide college admissions scandal. The “Desperate Housewives” star received a 14-day prison sentence that stirred up a serious debate about whether the criminal justice system treats affluent, white-collar defendants with more leniency than poor people of color.

On Tuesday, the 56-year-old Oscar nominee became inmate no. No. 77806-112 when she surrendered at the Federal Correctional Institution in Dublin. That means that her first day as a federal prisoner was both routine and remarkable.

On the one hand, she was probably met with a mix of reactions from staff and inmates because of her fame, wealth, crime and 14-day sentence.

“There are people who are going to fawn over her because of her celebrity status, and other women who can’t stand her because they are doing serious time,” said Holli  Coulman, a former federal inmate who advises female defendants on preparing for life in federal prison for Wall Street Prison Consultants.

On the other hand, Huffman’s first day likely followed long-established U.S. Bureau of Prisons procedures for admitting new inmates. Surrendering to federal custody can be daunting, especially for someone accustomed to a thriving career and Hollywood red carpets. The process involves a strip search, then being fingerprinted, swabbed for DNA and briefly checked for any medical issues or suicidal tendencies, according to Larry Levine, another former inmate who is the founder of Wall Street Prison Consultants.

Inmates also receive prison-issued underwear and clothing, hygiene products and a bunk assignment, Levine and Coulman said.

Huffman’s first prison meal probably wasn’t lunch, if she surrendered early Tuesday morning. Lunch is served as early at 10:30 a.m, and the so-called Receiving and Distributions process typically takes time, said Coulman, who served 15 months at the Victorville minimum-security camp after being convicted for the fraudulent use of a corporate credit card.

But Huffman may have had time to get her bunk, meet other inmates and get to dinner at 4:30 p.m, which was expected to be pepper steak Tuesday, news reports said.

Detention facilities across the United States operate on the same “Groundhog Day”-like schedule that dictates when inmates get breakfast, lunch and dinner, stand for count, go to work assignments and have free time to shower, make phone calls, read or exercise, said Levine, who served 10 years in prisons around the country after being convicted on racketeering, securities fraud and narcotics trafficking charges.

That schedule also applies to Dublin, where Levine and Coulman expect Huffman to be housed in the prison’s minimum-security satellite camp for women. At a camp, women typically bunk in cubicles with several other inmates in a dormitory-like setting.

But as much as Huffman is just another of the bureau’s estimated 221,000 prisoners, she’s also not.

First, Levine said, he suspected that Huffman was able to arrange to surrender earlier than her court-ordered reporting date of Oct. 25. The early surrender allowed her to slip into the prison with little media attention ahead of time.

Levine also said that the Bureau of Prisons — stung by criticism over the suicide of Jeffrey Epstein — will want to make sure that their latest high-profile inmate is kept safe and treated as well as possible.

“The Bureau of Prisons doesn’t need reports that she was mistreated or assaulted,” said Levine.

Previous accounts and writings by Levine, Coulman and other former inmates describe how some federal guards verbally demean inmates and are known to sexually harass and abuse female inmates.

That’s because these guards believe, philosophically, that inmates are in prison to be punished, or because they are on power trips, Levine and Coulman said.

But because of Huffman’s status, Coulman expects that the guards will, at most, be “direct” with her as opposed to demeaning.

The inmates Huffman encounters may be another matter.

In a minimum-security prison, Huffman won’t have to worry about being assaulted by other inmates. But the women could still be hostile, especially if they are doing “serious time” for drug and other non-violent crimes they may regard as no more serious than Huffman’s.

Huffman pleaded guilty to paying $15,000 to have her oldest daughter’s SAT score illegally boosted. Like the more than 30 other wealthy parents indicted in the bribery scheme, Huffman admitted to wanting to give her child an unfair advantage when applying to selective U.S. colleges. Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband Mossimo Giannulli were also indicted, but have not pleaded guilty nor admitted fault.

Levine said Huffman needs to avoid “whining” or talking to others about how “traumatized” she feels about having to serve time. “Do you think anyone else, doing substantial time, wants to hear her whine, bitch and moan about how unfair it is? They do not,” he said.

Meanwhile, the women who “fawn” over her may expect to get something in return, including money or special favors, Levine said.

But it’s also common for a group of inmates to welcome all new arrivals — regardless of wealth or status — by supplying them with toothpaste, lotions, candy and clothing to supplement the basic items issued by the prison, he said.

“They might give her some real shampoo,” Levine said.

Coulman said other female inmates made her first day at Victorville prison bearable by supplementing her prison-issued smock with shampoo, lotion, ear plugs, sweat pants and a Hershey bar. The inmates also showed her how to properly make her bunk and helped her get set up to make phone calls and go to the commissary.

Levine said he wondered if Huffman’s prior arrangements also involved her getting set up to have visitors come as early as Saturday. It usually takes several weeks for an inmate’s visitors’ list to be approved. But because Huffman is in for only 14 days, that approval could have been expedited, he said.

Coulman said Huffman probably also arranged to have money put on her account for the commissary, which she could visit as early as tomorrow to stock up on additional clothing, snacks and medications like Benadryl, which can help with sleep.

Given that prison staff like to keep inmates busy, Levine and Coulman said that Huffman probably will be assigned to some kind of work — raking leaves, cleaning the bathrooms or helping in the kitchen — even if she’ll only be there for two weeks.

But she will need to adhere to the prison’s schedule — waking up at 6, getting to breakfast, reporting for work, then lunch, dinner and lights out. Throughout the day, there are head counts, including times when she will need to be in or near her bunk.

Huffman’s first night in prison could be sleepless, Levine said. Other women will be talking, burping, snoring or moving around, and the guards come in several times during the night to rattle their keys and shine their flashlights in women’s faces.

“That’s where (the guards) could make sure Huffman gets her prison experience,” Coulman said. “They do that because they know that’s something they can get away with.”

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