Jerry Sandusky’s jail-house interview by a documentary filmmaker has put the convicted pedophile back in the national spotlight. It’s not such an unusual move for Pennsylvania’s prison inmates, however, to give interviews from behind bars.
Excerpts of the interviews aired on NBC’s “Today.” More than three hours of phone calls were recorded, since inmate visits are not allowed to be recorded in any way.
It’s common for inmates to give these kinds of over-the-phone interviews, said State Department of Corrections spokeswoman Sue McNaughton.
Sandusky would not have been able to receive money for the interviews, she said.
McNaughton says phone calls, which usually are limited to 15 minutes, are monitored and recorded.”It’s really not, I would say, uncommon for people to make the phone calls, for inmates to make the phone calls, and then for a TV crew to tape the other end,” she said. “They’ll put the phone call on a speaker and then they’ll tape it.Inmates are allowed to receive money from family members to buy pre-paid phone cards at the commissary. McNaughton couldn’t say whether her agency has seen any unusual spikes in contributions to Sandusky’s account.
Sandusky, a former assistant coach at Penn State University, was convicted last summer on 45 counts related to child sexual abuse. At 68 years old, he is serving what amounts to a life sentence of 30 to 60 years for abusing 10 boys over 15 years.