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Aunt Becky Picked Her Own Prison, Which Offers Pilates, Yoga, Crochet, Ceramics, and Guitar Theory

Illustration for article titled Aunt Becky Picked Her Own Prison, Which Offers Pilates, Yoga, Crochet, Ceramics, and Guitar Theory
Image: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images)

In August, when Aunt Becky (actor Lori Loughlin) was sentenced to serve two months in prison, pay a $150,000 fine, and participate in 100 hours of community service for her involvement in the college admissions scandal, she made a few requests: to let her husband, Mossimo Giannulli (of the Target Mossimos), serve at a different time so their adult daughters would have one parent around, to and let her pick the prison. According to US Weekly, Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton approved the second request, and Loughlin is off to a medium-security prison, the federal correctional institution in Victorville, California, which is close to her home. It also sounds like a nice vacation.

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According to Vulture, the prison houses only 300 inmates and “offers Pilates, yoga, cross training, spinning, and step aerobics as daily exercise programs, in addition to crochet, beading, painting, ceramics, and origami as crafts. If Loughlin fancies, she can also take classes in guitar theory, nutrition, wellness, calisthenics, and… song writing.” Is she going to camp?

LeBron James also found these conditions to be absurd, delving into the discourse over the weekend when he learned Loughlin was able to pick her prison. “I’m laughing cause sometimes you have to just to stop from crying!,” he posted on Instagram, Deadline reports. “Don’t make no damn sense to me. We just want the same treatment if committed of same crime that’s all. Is that asking for to much??? Let me guess, it is huh. Yeah I know!! We’ll just keep pushing forward and not expecting the handouts! STRONG, BLACK & POWERFUL!” Award-winning actor Viola Davis echoed his feelings in the comments. “Whaaaaatttt???!!! Uhh….is it punishment if you get to choose? Is she going to choose her meal,” she wrote.

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My issue, of course, is not in the creature comforts provided by this particular prison—it’s that those should be available to all inmates, not just the rich and famous and white. Anyway, Aunt Becky must surrender before 2 p.m. on November 19. I’m excited to see if her prison fashion game pales in comparison to Martha Stewart’s hand-knit sweater poncho or Felicity Huffman’s stylish green jumpsuit.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

HaHaYouFool
HaHaYouFool

Due respect to LeBron James and all the others voicing the issue of unfairness in treatment between white/rich and POC/poor individuals in the justice system - which is absolutely legit - but this is a bullshit take.

People are people. Human dignity should not end at prison doors. Families separated by prison sentences endure real trauma, and that should be minimized as far as possible by ensuring incarceration happens as close to home as possible. Prison assignments far away from home effectively add additional punishment to the sentence, as it makes in-person visits from friends and family - absolutely vital to even a minimal level of well-being and sanity - impossible for the vast majority of individuals.

People require physical activity and mental activity to stimulate their bodies and minds. The services provided - exercise classes and craft instructions, etc - are by no means luxurious. They’re conducted by volunteers, almost universally, with second- third- or fourth-hand equipment in the dingy, unused spaces of the prison allotted to them by a prison administration frequently hostile to the idea of rehabilitation. These aren’t SoulCycle classes with a glass of cucumber water at the end.

I understand that Aunt Becky is among the most privileged individuals on the planet, and in her particular case, some genuine hardship and deprivation is probably good for her. But she is the exception that proves the rule. Prison is a prison. It’s not summer camp, period. We ought to be celebrating the fact that there even is a facility anymore that attempts to meet these basic human needs in the current climate, and working to expand such things.