The eternal optimist braces himself, merrily, for prison

class=img_thumbleft>Since he was convicted of accepting bribes from a developer last summer, former Minneapolis city councilman Dean Zimmermann has retained a freakishly upbeat public posture. That didn't change after Zimmermann announced he would be serving his 30-month sentence in Littleton, Colorado--a city best known as home to the Columbine High School killers and burial site of the notorious cannibal Alfred Packer.

In an email to supporters, however, Zimmermann made note of another distinguishing feature of Littleton: the federal prison there--where he is scheduled to report on January 29--is regarded as one of the 12 best places to do time in the country.

In support of this claim, Zimmermann sent a link to an article in Forbes magazine that singled FCI Englewood as among the best federal pins in the country. Among the perks, according to the magazine: inmates can shoot pool and play ping pong and foosball.

In his email, Zimmermann also laid out his plans and hopes for his stint in the big house (or, more accurately, the "big camp"--as Zimmermann will likely spend his time in the insitution's minimum security wing):

Just to bring everybody up to date: I was given a 30 month sentence. I am going to go through a substance abuse treatment program, and for that, I will get from 6 to 12 months off my sentence. Then if I get the standard 15% off for good behavior that will be another 4 1/2 months off. So the best case scenario is that I will be in for 15 1/2 months. But probably more.

So I expect it will be between 16 and 22 months. We shall see. It is kind of like going off to college, but not for so long. I am hoping to be able to do some teaching while I am in. I would like to do literacy if possible and perhaps to teach plumbing and electrical skills to young inmates-give them something they can earn a living with when they get out. When I get there, I will volunteer to be on the maintenance crew. If I can get on the maintenance crew, I will see if I can get them to assign an assistant or two to me, so that I can teach them handyman skills. Well, that is my thinking, who knows if it is possible.