RHONJ, meet OITNB. Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice faces possible jail time at the same Danbury, Conn. prison that inspired the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, according to a report published Thursday, Mar. 6; Lauryn Hill also served time at the same facility in 2013.
"There are very few women's prisons that are close to the big metropolitan areas," criminal lawyer Florian Miedel told the Daily Mail. "Danbury is the closest and where Teresa is most likely to be sent, but there is talk of it closing imminently and being turned into a men's facility. The next major federal prison would be Alderson in West Virginia, where Martha Stewart served her time."
Danbury is the Connecticut-based facility where former inmate Piper Kerman served 13 months back in 2004. Kerman later published her bestselling memoir, Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison, from her experiences there, which in turn was optioned into the acclaimed hit show starring Golden Globe nominee Taylor Schilling.
In July 2013, ahead of Lauryn Hill's three-month sentence at Danbury for tax evasion, Kerman gave an in-depth interview to the Huffington Post about what life was like behind the prison's walls. "Danbury is where everyone from the Northeast gets designated, from Maine to New Jersey," she explained. "There's a reasonable degree of freedom of movement. You're not locked into a cell. The doors to the buildings are not locked, so you can walk in and out without waiting for a guard to let you."
Though that aspect was better than other facilities, Kerman added, "But it's prison. They tell you when to get up, when to go to bed, when to eat -- it's institutionalized." An analogy she has since shared with outsiders who cannot grasp the experience is "try to imagine living on the subway."
"The prison camp in Danbury is a very decrepit building," she explained. "Every time it rains, the building floods. I think that's one of the reasons they didn't send Martha Stewart there. If you're a woman in the federal system, [the prison where Stewart served is] the best scenario." (Lifestyle magnate Stewart spent nearly five months in prison for insider trading back in 2004 to 2005. The domestic diva, whose homebase was once nearby Westport, Conn., petitioned to be sent to Danbury, which was denied due to the prison's easy access to the public.)
As previously reported by Us Weekly, Teresa and Joe Giudice pleaded guilty to mortgage and bankruptcy fraud charges on Tuesday, Mar. 4. "Today, I took responsibility for a series of mistakes I made several years ago," Teresa told Us in a statement. "I have said throughout that I respect the legal process and thus I intend to address the court directly at sentencing. I will describe the choices I made, continue to take responsibility for my decisions, and express my remorse to Judge Salas and the public."
The parents to daughters, Gia, 13, Gabriella, 11, Milania, 9, and Audriana, 5, are scheduled to be sentenced on July 8.
Kerman gave Hill some insider tips before the Grammy winner hit prison. "She will have to rely on other women to help her," the author dished to HuffPo. "The most important thing is to find what you have in common with the other prisoners. It's a big mistake to expect that the prison staff or the system is going to treat you any differently, and so it's really a wise choice to say, 'I am one of many.'"
This article originally appeared on Usmagazine.com: Teresa Giudice Could Be Sentenced to the Orange Is the New Black Prison: Details