The question:

Is serving a sentence in federal prison better than in a state prison?

The answer:

Not necessarily.

We compared the U.S. Penitentiary - Tucson, where Nassar is currently housed, to the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia County. Former USA Gymnastics and MSU doctor Larry Nassar will most likely not live to serve his Michigan sentence, but he would most likely be housed at Bellamy Creek if he were to begin serving his state sentence, right now.

Both facilities house male offenders only, but Bellamy Creek's prisoner population is about 1,750 compared to the 1,387 prisoners in Tucson.

Inmates also have access to a law and a leisure library at both facilities, as well, as three provided meals per day.

But federal prisoners are only granted 300 minutes of phone calls per month, whereas state prisoners are allowed however many minutes they can afford.

The access to mental health care in federal prison is more extensive than it is at Bellamy Creek. But both facilities offer access to psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers.

Tucson also offers a sex offender program.

Bellamy is a multi-level security prison: Lower level offenders may be placed in dormitory style cells, however, an offender like Nassar would be housed in a traditional single or double cell with a door and a toilet.

Tucson is a high security prison, and while the prison would not disclose how prisoners like Nassar are housed -- according to their handbook, prisoners generally have their own cell.

The exterior security measures at both facilities are similar including: a gun tower, patrolling officers and razor ribbon fences.

Both facilities offer recreational programs and activities ranging from shoe-making to gardening, as well as, education programs.

While these two facilities have a number of differences, neither jump out as particularly 'comfortable' or 'better' than the other.

More information:

Tucson's commissary list

Tucson's handbook

Bellamy Creek Operations

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