Free yesterday and back in the slammer today! Rapper T.I. and his behavior yesterday proved too much for the Feds. This was so predictable. One would think that he would know the rules by now.
T.I. was released from federal prison August 31 and was to report at an Atlanta Halfway House to begin his re-entry back into society yet again. A person may transfer from federal prison to a Halfway House via private transportation, but that mode of transportation must be approved, and so does who is actually transferring the released person. So, surprise, surprise when reports surfaced that T.I. arrived at the Atlanta house in a tour bus followed by several cars in a private “motorcade.” It is obvious that T.I. had been approved to be driven in one of the cars and then went on the tour bus. A big NO NO. The Bureau of Prisons is very particular about how people behave while they are in the custody of a Halfway House.
T.I. has a long history with the Feds. In fact, he served a very light seven months in Federal prison in 2009 after he was arrested for trying to by guns from an undercover Federal agent. This after he served time on other charges going back to 1998. The 2009 sentence was a revolutionary Alternative Sentence that combined light prison time with house arrest and community service. In that case T.I. was looking at a 10-year prison term. Yet, T.I. did not learn his lesson despite a reality show called The Road To Redemption and was sent back to prison in 2010 for violating probation in that case.
Now it seems T.I. is at it again. So, how do we explain this? SIMPLE- he has an utter lack of humility. The key ingredient in life after prison is a level of humility. It is the same thing I coach people to practice during their investigative phase and a trial. Hello Blago and Conrad Murray listen up!
The main message here is that we need judges to keep offering alternative sentences to people and yet cases like T.I. make it difficult for them. But hey, at least we have Michael Vick and a true example of humility, Restorative Justice and hard work.
Successful re-entry is possible, but just as I said on Nancy Grace, Prison is easy, re-entry is tough. T.I., change is possible keep working on it.
Rapper T.I. appeared in court today and was sentenced to 11 months in prison. This, as Federal Judge Charles Pannell Jr. revoked T.I’s probation and said T.I. had had enough second chances. This is a real setback for defendants in all cases, especially Federal.
Most states have many different alternative sentencing options, but alternatives are rarely offered in Federal cases. Now we see why. Change, even for judges and our criminal justice system, is hard. Judge Pannell had tried what he called “an experiment” in this case. You see, T.I had received what many thought was a light sentence on his weapons case. But, part of his sentence was probation as well as 1,000 hours of community service. This sentence was built by the rapper’s own lawyers on promises that T.I. could become a role model to at risk youth, those on drugs and part of gangs. In fact, prior to his surrender to Federal Prison, T.I. had starred in his own TV show- MTV’s Road to Redemption. Great strategy and much promise if only T.I. had really walked the walk. Judge Pannell stated “T.I. had dropped a lot of smut on this experiment.” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates also said “We had hoped that this would be a new, innovative opportunity,” she said. “We’re not giving up on Mr. Harris, but … if you veer off the road of redemption, there are consequences.”
Well, true that! T.I. everyone makes mistakes, and often we fall off the road, but today you showed you may never have been on the right road. You failed to take responsibility and pled for mercy while blaming your addiction. T.I. even went so far as to bring testimony into court regarding a man he helped earlier in the week. While that may have been genuine, it is not a reason to keep T.I from facing the consequences of his 15-year career in the criminal justice system. Others who have been in these shoes have faced YEARS in prison, not months.
SO, here is hoping that we all can learn from this-especially the many fans who have looked up to T.I. And- here is to hoping that this one “experiment” does not dissuade other judges from granting alternative sentences.
T.I., this Insider wants you to truly start on YOUR road to redemption and realize that change is possible with hard work. In the future we all need to take alternative sentencing seriously.
Filed under bail, celebrities, community service, Criminal Justice, Federal Prison, jail, prison consultant, Prison Consulting, prison preparation, prison re entry, rapper T.I., reality tv, rehab, Restoratice Justice, War on Drugs