Monday, January 5, 2015

Teresa Giudice Starts 15-Month Prison Term Today
Starting Monday, Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice will be trading her sexy designer duds for elastic-waist khakis and a poly-blend button-down shirt when she begins her 15-month prison sentence for fraud.

She'll be sleeping next to strangers and could be assigned to a job scrubbing toilets or washing dishes. If she wants sunglasses, she can buy them for $1.50 in the prison camp commissary.

"For somebody who has lived life on a reality TV show, prison is going to be hard," says the star's former legal crisis counselor, Wendy Feldman.

Feldman knows firsthand what Giudice faces, since she herself served time in a federal prison camp. After pleading guilty to securities and wire fraud in 2006, Feldman was sentenced to 27 months in a women's prison camp in Arizona, serving a 16-month sentence in the end.

After she left prison, she took what she learned and created Custodial Coaching to help clients through their own court cases, prepare for incarceration (if necessary) and reenter society when they leave prison.

Giudice, 42, is said to be heading to the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut, a minimum security prison camp for women that inspired the hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black, based on the memoir by Piper Kerman. It's also possible, though, that she could be sent to the Alderson Prison Camp in West Virginia, where Martha Stewart served five months in 2004 and 2005 for obstructing justice and lying to federal investigators about a stock sale.

Before Feldman dropped Giudice as a client in the fall, she gave her plenty of pointers about what she can expect when she walks through the prison camp doors Monday. 

After Giudice gets dropped off, she'll begin the Admissions and Orientation (A&O) process. Once inside prison walls, she will be taken to the receiving area for processing. "She will sit and wait because other women will probably be received that same day," Feldman tells PEOPLE.

During processing, she will be strip-searched and urinate in a cup in front of an officer. "They do that to see if someone is on something, in case they have to go through any kind of detox," Feldman says.

Giudice will also have to do the "squat and cough." "They do that because the majority of people incarcerated in the U.S. are there for drug crimes," Feldman says. "They want to see if you are hiding drugs. It's standard procedure. They do it to everyone."

After she is photographed, she will eventually don the khaki pants, button-down shirt and black, steel-toed work boots that will become the staple of her wardrobe for the next 15 months. At Alderson, the A&O handbook says, "The clothing issued will be clean and presentable but not necessarily new or 'in style.' "

What She Can and Cannot Keep

Giudice will have to hand over the bra, underwear, shoes and clothes she wore to prison, Feldman says.

She will be allowed to bring a metal wedding band with no gems or stones and a metal religious medallion on a necklace and eyeglasses – but no earrings.

"She can bring photographs with her and a certain amount of legal paperwork, which they will go through," she says. "She can bring a list of medications and addresses, and that's it." 
RELATED:  PICTURE EXCLUSIVE: Teresa Giudice attends Sunday mass with family in New Jersey on her last day before federal prison