Jimmy Dimora's new prison cell described as 'crown jewel' of federal prison system

New friends could include swindler Bernie Madoff

CLEVELAND - Former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora has requested to spend the next 28 years at federal prison that's been described as the "crown jewel" of the federal prison system.

It's the Butner Federal Prison near Durham, North Carolina -- the largest medical and psychological complex in the entire federal prison system.

It's also a facility that's been described as looking more like a college campus than a prison.

Butner houses more than 3,600 inmates who begin their day at 6 a.m. and are required to work a 7.5 hour day -- usually in food service, groundskeeping or maintenance.

Dimora, who was described in court testimony as dining on expensive steaks, will instead be fed a strict prison diet that includes skim milk, fresh fruit, vegetables and magrarine -- no butter.

Among Dimora's new neighbors are convicted swindler Bernie Madoff, former Adelphia CEO John Rigas and Omar Abdel-Rhaman, known as the blind sheik, convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Dimora's attorney requested Bunter and Federal Judge Sara Lioi recommended the facility.

The Federal Bureau of Prison will make the ultimate decision.

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