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When The Associated Press reported on Sunday that T.I. — due to report to the Forrest City low-security federal prison in Little Rock, Arkansas, on May 26 — had been given credit for 305 days of home detention, "so his stay at Forrest City prison will likely be only two months," the news agency may have misread the sentencing report. The story has since spread on the Internet, but according to Charysse Alexander, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Georgia, it is not accurate.
According to Alexander, the rapper was indeed given credit for the 305 days of home confinement he served while awaiting trial in the case, but that has nothing to do with his prison sentence.
After pleading guilty to two charges of illegally possessing firearms and of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm in March in connection with his attempt in October 2007 to buy unlicensed machine guns and silencers, T.I. (real name: Clifford Harris Jr.) was ordered to serve one year and one day in federal prison. Alexander explained that, at best, according to federal sentencing guidelines, anyone who serves more than one year in prison is eligible for a 15 percent "good time" credit, which in Tip's case could shave almost 55 days off his sentence.
The confusion may have stemmed from mixing the credit for home confinement with the prison sentence, which are separate terms, Alexander said. Once T.I. completes the prison term, he will still have to serve out the remainder of his home confinement, she said, which will amount to about two months.
The crimes T.I. was accused of would typically have landed him in prison for five or more years, but due to the plea deal worked out with prosecutors, he was able to receive a reduced sentence provided he performed more than 1,000 hours of community service over the last year, speaking to kids about the pitfalls of drugs, crime and gangs.
T.I.'s forthcoming prison sentence, of course, was the subject of MTV's recent "T.I.'s Road to Redemption" series.
While MTV News was unable to reach officials at Forrest City for comment by press time, the AP quoted that facility's spokesperson as saying that T.I. will join 1,500 other inmates at the low-security prison and likely be treated like any other prisoner.
"Unless there are custody or security concerns, all incoming inmates are placed in general population," R.D. Weeks reportedly told the AP. He added that each cell is double-bunked, so T.I. will have a cellmate and he will have access to the recreation yard, counseling and any of the facility's 14 religious groups.