When Bernie Madoff of Ponzi scheme fame was sent to prison for life in 2009, he drew an assignment to the Butner Federal Correctional Complex about 45 minutes northeast of Durham, NC. At the time, the press called Butner the “crown jewel” of the federal prison system. Butnerfedprison_406x250Judge W. Louis Sands, who sentenced Stewart Parnell to 28 years in federal prison last week, has recommended that the former Peanut Corporation of America CEO also be assigned to Butner. Parnell, who was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service after sentencing on Sept. 21, will probably soon find out whether he will be assigned to the prison that has housed numerous other infamous convicted businessmen. When Madoff was sent there, Butner was described as “the closest thing that exists in the federal prison system to a country club prison.” The low- and medium-security prison is said to look like a college campus except for the razor wire. Because the 61-year-old Parnell has been diagnosed with heart disease, Sands likely recommended Butner for the quality of its on-campus medical facilities. After federal prisoners are initially detained, they undergo an evaluation before being assigned to a prison. Because of the length of the sentence, it is unlikely that Parnell will be assigned to a low-security facility. Butner has one low-security facility, two medium-security units, and the medical center. Together, the units house more than 5,000 inmates.  Among them are  hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam for the longest sentence for insider trading ever; swindler master mind Glen Galemmo. and son of Adelphi Communications founder John Rigas, Timothy Rigas, for his part in a $400 million fraud. For Michael Parnell, Sands recommended either of the federal correctional institutions known as Petersburg and Allenwood. Both are medium-security facilities. Petersburg is located in Hopewell, VA, and Allenwood is in White Deer, PA. Allenwood has held Ronald Pelton, who spied on the National Security Agency (NSA) for the former Soviet Union. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1985, but is scheduled for release next month. If the judge’s specific recommendations cannot be accommodated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons, Sands suggested that the agency do the best it can to locate the defendants near their family homes. He did not make any specific recommendation for Mary Wilkerson, who is being allowed to report once the bureau has an assignment for her at a federal women’s prison. The Parnell brothers and Wilkerson were convicted by a jury in September 2014 of a variety of criminal charges related to the 2008-09 Salmonella outbreak linked to PCA products. They all intend to appeal. That outbreak sickened at least 714 people in 46 states (and likely thousands more who did not report being ill) and was blamed for the deaths of nine people. (To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)