The lengthy sentence imposed on former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling recently is a stark reminder that the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines have made federal prison a reality for many first-time offenders.

In fact, one third of all federal inmates are first-time, nonviolent offenders. Moreover, because of the length of their sentences, many of these individuals, like Skilling and WorldCom founder Bernie Ebbers, are denied placement in camp facilities.

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