O.J. Simpson might be released from prison as soon as Oct. 1 after his parole hearing at 1pm ET tomorrow—but his time behind bars hasn’t exactly been grueling, one retired correctional officer told USA Today.
Lovelock Correctional Center—where Simpson has spent the last nine years on armed robbery and kidnapping charges—is “a cruise ship with barbed wire,” said Jeffrey Felix, who worked at the prison for 20 years.
“Inmates in Nevada have a saying: ‘Lovelock is easy time,’” Felix told the newspaper. “I mean, that prison is not like a normal prison. The food at Lovelock is very good. That prison is super duper clean.’’
Lovelock includes a gym, a softball field, volleyball courts, ping pong, as well as access to movies and cable TV, Felix said.
“There’s plenty for him to do at that prison and he’s always happy,’’ said Felix. “O.J.’s been happy there since day one. He’s always in a good mood, always laughing, always telling jokes.’’
Simpson himself had nothing but praise for the prison in a 2013 parole hearing.
“To some degree I feel lucky that I ended up here,’’ he said then. “… And to some extent as distasteful the majority of the crimes are that’s here, I find that there’s no stress. I find that there’s virtually no gang activity happening here. And honestly I feel respected to some degree by most of the inmates here.’’
Simpson said he worked in the gym, as well as coaching and umpiring sports games—a natural fit for the former football star, who is now 70. He has no write-ups for behavior violations, according to Felix.
Though Simpson has spent almost a decade in prison after entering a Las Vegas hotel room and robbing someone of sports memorabilia at gunpoint, he is perhaps most remembered for his 1994 arrest in the murders of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. He was acquitted of the crimes in 1995.
In Oxygen’s "The Jury Speaks: O.J. Simpson," the original jurors in his homicide case will be interviewed and will vote at the end of the show as to whether they would acquit or convict him if they had to recast their votes today. The show airs Saturday, July 22 at 9/8c.