EXCLUSIVE: Deputies Told To Watch Over Balloon Boy Dad In Prison

Jan. 11 2010, Published 6:11 a.m. ET

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Richard Heene, the mastermind behind the balloon boy hoax, may be in jail for his attention-getting antics but he can at least thank his notoriety for possibly keeping him out of harm’s way as he serves out his jail sentence. has been told that officials will be especially vigilant of Heene’s safety.

Heene’s Mug Shot

“Obviously, the deputies have been told to keep an eye on him because of his notoriety and he is being housed with the general prison population,” a prison insider told exclusively.

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Heene, who began his sentence on Monday at the Larimer County Detention Center in Colorado, is expected to be housed in a cramped 12ft by 5ft jail cell with another inmate. The facility – which was originally constructed in 1983 – now has 557 beds and over 10,000 inmates on average per year.

“This morning there were over 500 inmates inside the detention center, which is pretty full, so it’s likely that he will be sharing a cell,” the source added. “All the inmates are taught to be respectful of the deputies and the inmates are addressed as ‘Mr.’ too at all times by the staff.”

Breaking News

Heene was tight-lipped when he arrived at the facility at 8:30 am. He had driven himself in the family’s mini-van. His wife Mayumi and their three sons were also inside the car.

“Heene was very co-operative when he entered the detention center and we do not envisage any problems,” the insider said.  “A lot of the inmates are waiting trial or court dates and high risk inmates are placed in a ‘special pod’ if the authorities think they are more likely to cause any trouble but Mr. Heene does not fall into this category.”

As for his daily life, inmates have three scheduled meals a day and regulated recreation time. Over time, inmates can gain other benefits like library time and bible classes.

“In addition there are various classes that he may want to partake in and scheduled visiting times but his family will have to apply in advance to go and see him. As long as Mr. Heene is respectful and acts appropriately we do not envisage him having any problems during his stay.”



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