Servis Begins His Sentence At “Cushy” Prison

Jason Servis | Jockey Club of Saudi Arabia

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Home for Jason Servis for the next four years will be Federal Prison Camp Pensacola.

Sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to using banned, performance-enhancing drugs on his horses, Servis reported to the Florida prison Wednesday. The prison is 175 miles west of Tallahassee, opened in 1988 and has a population of about 460 inmates. Notable residents included disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, Congressman Chris Collins and Billy Walters, a professional sports gambler convicted of insider trading.

But FPC Pensacola, a minimum-security facility, is, perhaps, best known for being for one the country's “cushiest” prisons. In 2009, Forbes rated the nation's prisons and listed Pensacola second on its list of “America's 10 Cushiest Prisons.”

“If you've got to do time, you may as well do it off the Gulf of Mexico,” Forbes wrote. “Pensacola's prisoners also tend to have better jobs and recreational choices due to the proximity of a large naval base.”

Prominent defense attorney Allan Ellis, who annually publishes a “Federal Prison Guidebook,” told the Buffalo News, “These federal prison camps are much better to be at that than other federal prisons.”

In a 2016 blog posted by former Pensacola inmate Kenneth Flaska, Flaska described his day, which included making coffee, watching CNN, reading, doing Soduko puzzles, checking his email, reading the Wall Street Journal , talking to his wife on the phone and exercising. Flaska wrote that the meals were “not bad by prison standards.”

Pensacola's recreation department offers intramural sports programs, weight training and fitness, racquetball, bocce ball, horseshoes and hobbies and crafts. The rec department also sponsors a movie program, with a new film being shown once a week.

Inmates are required to have a job. Depending on that position, they are paid between 12 and 40 cents per hour.

Servis will be served three meals a day, breakfast at 5 a.m, lunch from 10:45 to 11:45 and dinner from 4:30 to 5:30. 'Lights out' is at 10:30 p.m. Visitors are allowed on Saturdays, Sundays and on Federal holidays.

He was sentenced on July 26 by judge Mary Kay Vyskocil in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. Four years was the maximum sentence that Vyskocil could have levied against Servis for the guilty pleas on two counts, one a felony, one a misdemeanor.

The former trainer has a home in Jupiter, Florida.

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