Former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman next week may leave the minimum security federal prison in Louisiana where he’s been held since 2012 for confinement at his Birmingham home.
His brother confirmed Siegelman could move to house arrest Feb. 8 in a brief phone interview Wednesday.
“That’s what we’ve been told,” Les Siegelman said. “We’re holding our breath that that happens.”
Reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, Siegelman’s son, Joseph, declined to comment on the matter.
A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons also declined by email to discuss an inmate’s “specific conditions of confinement or release,” for privacy reasons.
Home confinement has been a tool of the bureau’s since at least the early 1990s, according to policy guides available online.
Sentencing rules make the option available for those given probation, or, as in Siegelman’s case, to inmates nearing the end of their prison terms.
Those granted home confinement are still considered under the bureau’s jurisdiction, and are often supervised by either a probation officer or community corrections manager, according to bureau policy documents.
If the former governor, a Democrat, is granted home confinement, his brother said, it would be “extremely restrictive.” Siegelman will be required to wear an ankle bracelet tracking his steps and tethering him to his home, his brother said.
Siegelman, who will turn 71 later this month, would be able to get a job. He may be required to pay for his monitoring.
He’d be required to clear any errand that took him from his home with his probation officer. But Siegelman would also gain freedoms he’s not known since incarceration: among them, the ability to receive guests at home, and to choose what and when he eats.
Governor from 1999 until 2003, Siegelman’s legal troubles began in 2005, when he was indicted on federal charges of bribery and mail fraud.
A jury found he and Richard Scrushy, founder of HealthSouth, guilty of some of those charges, after prosecutors argued that Siegelman sought and Scrushy gave a $500,000 donation to the then-governor’s campaign for a lottery in Alabama.
In return for the donation, prosecutors said, Siegelman appointed Scrushy to an important state health care board that the executive had served on through several previous Republican governorships.
Siegelman fought to overturn the 2006 conviction for six years, but was re-sentenced in 2012.
Outgoing President Barack Obama on his last day in office denied a pardon request from Siegelman earlier this month.