Photo by Splash News
Felicity Huffman, well known actress, was one of almost 50 individuals, charged with involvement in a college admissions fraud scheme. Huffman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, for paying $15,000 as part of the admissions college scheme, to cheat on her daughter’s SAT test scores. She was sentenced to 14 days of incarceration, a year of supervised probation, 250 hours of community service and fined $30,000.
Huffman’s attorneys requested that she serve her time at the Federal Correctional Institution Dublin, which is near San Francisco. This low security facility has approximately 1100-1200 female inmates. According to the Prison Inmate Handbook, Huffman is expected to make her bed, put on her khaki green uniform (incl. name & her prison no.) and have her room ready for inspection by 6:30 a.m. Though the facility is low security, she will have to comply with all of the prison’s regulations.
Photo by: tmz.com
Does the sentence fit the crime. There is no doubt that Huffman committed fraud to help her daughter obtain a higher SAT test score, but she did not have any prior record. Does two weeks in a federal low security facility impose the appropriate punishment, or even constitute a real deterrent to other parents?
In my opinion, Huffman should not have received any jail time. As it now stands, we have too many inmates and prisons in the United States. 25% of the world’s inmates are serving time in the United States. Instead of a sentence of 14 days of imprisonment and 250 hours of community service, Huffman should have received 600 hours of community service and no jail. At 40 hours of community service a week, Huffman would have performed 15 weeks of community service. Fifteen weeks of public service would help the community, probably act as a greater deterrent– than 2 weeks in prison, and society would save the cost of her imprisonment.