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LEAVENWORTH, Kan. -- The Federal Bureau of Prisons, being squeezed in a budget crunch, has converted 36 cells of the prison here to transient accommodations for business travelers. In a program dubbed "Incorporation to Incarceration," prison officials hope to make up for a budget shortfall while at the same time offering businessmen the opportunity to see what it feels like to spend a night or two in "the big house."
Sgt. Frank Gilionne, a spokesperson for the prison said that the conversions will meet the immediate intersecting needs of both the government and commercial market. "It will," said Gilionne, "provide additional revenue to operate the prison system and at the same time give future inmates, who are still corporate officers, the chance to get a feel of things to come, kind of a 'get acquainted offer.'"
Corporate rates of will start at $178.55 per night and will include a continental breakfast. For an additional $2.45 (the daily, per inmate cost of meals), guests may also take their other daily meals with the general prison population.
Initial marketing, to begin with advertising spreads in Business Week, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, and Hustler, will be directed at business travelers. "But as the program rolls out over the next 18 months, and if the demand is there," said Gilionne, "we may begin to market to leisure travelers as well. After all, we have a well managed recreational program already in place."
According to Gilionne, a concierge service is planned to be added early next year, and soon afterward the prison is expected to introduce "Intermittent Inmate," a rewards program for frequent guests.
While still under development, it is expected that some of the rewards to be offered through the Intermittent Inmate program are free stays at other prisons both in the U.S. and Iraq. Also, available at higher reward levels will be such items as metal files, hack saws, and self-tattoo kits.
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