RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Even though Michael Vick is leaving prison this week, he won't exactly be a free man.
For two months, the suspended NFL star will be largely confined to his Hampton home and will wear an electronic monitor that allows federal probation officials to track his movements.
He will be allowed to go to his full-time construction job and likely will be allowed about five hours a week for other court-approved activities, according to Ed Bales, managing director of Federal Prison Consultants, an inmate rehabilitation advocacy group.
Permissible activities for inmates on home confinement typically include things like medical appointments, religious obligations and meetings with probation officials. No dinners out. No chilling at a friend's house.
And definitely no bars.
"He's going to be pretty much read the riot act: `If we catch you in one situation like that, it's back to you know where,"' Bales said.
The tight restrictions are designed to ease Vick's transition from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kan., back into the community. He is serving a 23-month sentence for a dogfighting conspiracy and is expected to be released from federal custody on July 20.
After that, Bales said, Vick will have 72 hours to report to the probation officer to find out what new rules he will have to follow during three years of supervised probation. Typically, those rules include travel restrictions, holding down a job and avoiding known criminals.
One restriction tailored specifically for Vick: He can never again own a dog. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson already made that decision when he sentenced Vick. He also ordered enrollment in a substance abuse program if Vick's parole officer deems it necessary.
During the day, Vick will earn $10 an hour as a general laborer at one of W.M. Jordan Co.'s 40 commercial construction sites, company president John R. Lawson has said.
Bales said less than 5 percent of federal inmates are transferred directly from prison to home confinement. The more usual scenario is a transfer to a halfway house, but all the beds in the area were booked beyond Vick's release date.
In some ways, Bales said, a halfway house is an easier gig than home confinement. Residents generally have a couple of hours of free time after work and are furloughed on weekends, he said. The downside:
"You're with other people, and there are problems that can occur," Bales said.
The only people Vick will be with during his home confinement are is fiancee and their children. The five-bedroom, 3,538-square-foot brick home has an assessed value of $748,100, according to Hampton city tax records.
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