By now we all know that the final spectacle of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will play out in Federal Court over a two day sentencing hearing this week. A two day sentencing hearing is odd, just like the case of Blagojevich. After all, last year when Blago was convicted on only one count and a mistrial was declared on all others, he could have cut a plea deal that would have landed him in prison for a much shorter stint. But, Blago is Blago and he never believed HE would be hitting Fed Town. Rather, he wrote a book and tried to get on the NBC show “I’m a celebrity get me out of Here” and Celebrity Apprentice.
So, here we are. Blagojevich is looking at 15-20 years. Ouch! Blago will most likely not be “camp eligible.” That is he will have to go to a medium security Federal Prison due to the fact that his sentence is likely to be over ten years. What’s the difference? Poor Rod will have a cell with a toilet in it. He will not have private bathrooms down the hall that camps have. And, he will have restricted movement. In a Federal Prison that is medium security or higher, an inmate may not walk freely. Rather, they walk on certain times on the hour in certain directions. Still, not so bad and better than what his family will have to learn to cope with.
What a disaster for his wife and daughters. They will pay the main price. Yes, as Blago relaxes in Federal Prison and orders beef jerky from commissary, they will be left to live the reality of a life not only without a father and provider, but also with the public humiliation that their father has so graciously left them.
Families are the forgotten consequence of crime. That is the harsh reality. Too often we focus on the person going to prison. As a prison coach I have heard it all, and I have been there done this. Believe me, Blago will do fine in the slammer. He will learn much needed humility and the harsh reality that prison is the ultimate equalizer. He may even come home in 2022 or so a better person. But, what should his family do to cope?
Patricia Blagojevich and her two daughters will need to seek a life without the media glare and without the crazy world that was their father. If they can do this remains to be seen. Remember, it was Patricia who took Blago’s place on “I’m a Celebrity Get me out of Here” when the judge would not let Blago himself travel and leave the country. Ahhh. The things people do for their man in trouble?!
But, now Pat must be a mom and take care of her kids. That means therapy and quality experts assisting them, not salacious media. Please no reality shows. How about trying to take the lessons learned and making a positive difference.? Remember, they didn’t do the crime, but they will be doing the time in a manner of speaking. The first step after therapy begins should be some quality community service where the girls can realize they are not their father and where they will gain some much needed self-esteem while helping others.
Change is possible but it takes hard work. Get ready Blagojevich family. This will be a tough task, but you may realize the calm and quiet are much needed and helpful. For the rest of us, let the kids be and hope for the best. Stay tuned…