Disgraced former Congressman Michael Grimm began an eight-month prison sentence in Pennsylvania Tuesday. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed this report.
His days of freedom are over.
Tuesday, former Congressman Michael Grimm turned himself in to a federal prison outside of Pittsburgh... to serve an eight month sentence for tax fraud.
The Federal Correctional Institution in McKean is a minimum security facility some have dubbed "Club Fed."
It's a nickname former police commissioner and convicted felon Bernard Kerik says just isn't accurate.
"The deprivation of freedom is far more profound than anybody could imagine. And the only people that would say minimum security prisons are not that bad are people that's already institutionalized," Kerik says.
Kerik served three years at a minimum security facility for tax evasion and conspiracy, an experience turned him into an advocate for prison reform. He says the life Grimm faces inside is drastically different than what he's used to living outside.
The Bureau of Prisons says Grimm can expect 6 a.m. wake up calls, five daily headcounts and restricted access to recreational areas.
"He's going to eat food that he would never eat on the outside. He's going to be demeaned, demoralized, and degraded, by staff, and that's what prison is.
Grimm fell hard and fast. He won reelection in November, despite being indicted on charges related to a health food restaurant he once co-owned.
He pleaded guilty in December, and then resigned from Congress after beginning a new term.
He's kept a low profile ever since, working out, and spending time with friends and family who threw him a fundraiser days before he left.
Now, as inmate 83479-053, Grimm will need all the support he can get, Kerik says.
"Eight months is a long time. The reality is, he's got to stay strong, keep his head up, realize he's going to get through it," Kerik says.
Grimm faced up to three years in prison, and being sentenced to just eight months is considered by many to be a blessing.
Still, that means he's not eligible for time off for good behavior, so the soonest he'll be released is May.