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McKee to report to prison Monday

January 11, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Former Maryland Del. Robert A. McKee is scheduled to report to prison Monday, but no one would say where ahead of time.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons doesn't reveal where inmates will serve sentences before they report to prison, spokeswoman Linda Thomas said.

She said an inmate might be told ahead of time where he will serve his sentence and report directly to that prison, or might be led to the prison by the U.S. Marshals Service.

McKee, 59, of Halfway, a former executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County, was sentenced in November to 37 months in prison for possessing child pornography.

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Through an employee in his office, Timothy F. Maloney, McKee's attorney, declined to comment on Wednesday.

Two messages left for McKee last week were not returned.

U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles Jr. said during the Nov. 21 sentencing that McKee would have to report to the Bureau of Prisons Monday.

Quarles ordered that McKee be supervised for life by a probation office, have mental health counseling, register as a sex offender and not use a computer without his probation agent's approval.

McKee, a state delegate from 1995 to 2008, pleaded guilty in September to a charge of possession of child pornography.

Under the plea agreement, he could have been sentenced to a maximum of 41 months in prison.

Thomas said various factors are considered when deciding where an inmate should be housed, such as the type of crime, past incarceration, and if he or she has tried to escape before.

There are five federal prison security levels, according to the Bureau of Prisons:

o Minimum, or prison camps, have dormitory housing and limited or no perimeter fencing.

o Low, or federal correctional institutions, have double-fenced perimeters and dormitory or cubicle housing

o Medium, which could be prison camps or federal correctional institutions, have strengthened perimeters (often with double fences and electronic detection systems), and mostly cell housing

o High, or U.S. penitentiaries, have highly secured perimeters, with walls and reinforced fences, cell housing and closely controlled inmate movement

o Administrative, which have special missions, such as holding pretrial offenders, dangerous inmates or inmates with medical problems.

Inmates can't be guaranteed they will be sent to a prison close to home or relatives, but can make a request, Thomas said.

The nearest federal prison to Washington County is the Federal Correctional Institution in Cumberland, Md., which houses medium-security male offenders and has an adjacent minimum-security satellite camp, also for male offenders.

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