STEWART
Louis Lanzano  /  AP
Martha Stewart enters Manhattan federal court, Tuesday, March, 2, 2004, in New York.
updated 3/6/2004 12:54:58 AM ET 2004-03-06T05:54:58

White-collar criminals may not take incarceration well -- they’re not exactly used to the hard life. David Novak once owned a small aviation firm, and after a series of unfortunate events in his life, wound up spending a year at the federal prison at Camp Eglin in Florida.

Novak recalls that when he was in Camp Eglin, there were a number of high-ranking regional politicians in prison, and they seemed to have a difficult transition into life in jail. “Generally what these people face is much more difficult because everybody on the compound knows who they are," says Novak. "Certainly if Martha Stewart went to prison, every inmate and every staff member would know who she was and would probably try to get close to her, simply so that they could speak to their family about it.” 

It‘s a long way before Martha Stewart being convicted, if she is convicted at all. And her actually going to jail is not certain.  But, if we vault that distance, what would Novak tell her was the most important thing to make the prison experience bearable?

Novak now consults white-collar offenders facing prison time and has written a book called “Downtime: A Guide to Federal Incarceration.”  He shared some tips with 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann':

This was the No. 4 story on Monday's 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann.' Countdown airs weeknights, 8 p.m. ET

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