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Collins scheduled to begin prison sentence today

WBFO file photo

"It is not the sort of facility that we're used to when we think of prison," said Jerry Zremski, Washington Bureau Chief for the Buffalo News,, as he described the Florida federal prison where former Congressman Chris Collins is scheduled to begin his jail sentence today. In a morning conversation with WBFO, Zremski discussed the prison and how Collins remains defiant over his prosecution on corruption charges. Collins, of course, was sentenced after pleading guilty to the charges earlier this year. 

"People live in dormitories, in bunk beds, as they would in a summer camp, perhaps,"  said Zremski, expanding on his description of the federal prison.

"There's minimum security. There's an outdoor recreation area. There's an outdoor track that they can walk or run on. There's a movie night."

Collins was originally scheduled to start his prison sentence in March. That deadline was pushed back due to concerns over the coronavirus. Collins, who is 70 years-old, reportedly suffers from asthma and hypertension. His defense team has attempted to delay the sentencing again. Another request to have Collins serve his sentence at home was denied.

Zremski's colleague at the Buffalo News, Bob McCarthy, spoke by phone to Collins for 45 minutes on Monday.

"It's a fascinating look into what Chris Collins is thinking on the eve of reporting to federal prison," Zremski said. 

The former Congressman is upset with the judge for denying another delay of his prison term.

"He was mad at the prosecutors for going after him."


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Jay joined Buffalo Toronto Public Media in 2008 and has been local host for NPR's "Morning Edition" ever since. In June, 2022, he was named one of the co-hosts of WBFO's "Buffalo, What's Next."

A graduate of St. Mary's of the Lake School, St. Francis High School and Buffalo State College, Jay has worked most of his professional career in Buffalo. Outside of public media, he continues in longstanding roles as the public address announcer for the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League and as play-by-play voice of Canisius College basketball.