12.17.09 --- Sources buzz that rapper T.I. may be home as early as the top of the year.
T.I. (born Clifford Harris Jr.) is in the midst of a 366-day prison term following a guilty plea for illegal firearms possession and possessing a gun as a convicted felon. According to a Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesperson, the rapper could be eligible for release to a halfway house, where he could serve out the rest of his term, as early as January.
"If his full-term release date is in March, it's not uncommon for an individual to be released to a halfway house to serve out the last portion of their federal sentence," Bureau of Prisons spokesperson Edmond Ross told reporters. "There are a number of factors that need to be considered: if the person is not a danger to the community, the current offense, the individual's prior criminal history, the availability of programs and space availability."
Ross, who does not have specific knowledge of T.I.'s case, said the decision on the halfway-house release would be made by the unit team at the Forrest City Low facility in Forrest City, Arkansas, where Tip is being held, with that recommendation sent up to the warden of the facility for a final decision. Ross said it is not unusual for inmates to serve out the last part of their sentence in community corrections to help ease their transition back into society.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that T.I., who began his sentence in May, could be released as early as March 23, after serving 85 percent of his sentence. The paper also noted that T.I. could spend the final month of his sentence on home confinement.
T.I. was arrested in October 2007 on the eve of the BET Hip-Hop Awards after attempting to receive machine guns and silencers from his bodyguard, who had illegally purchased the weapons from undercover officers. He pleaded guilty in March 2008 to federal weapons charges as part of a plea deal that included 1,500 hours of community service speaking to at-risk children and teens, a $100,000 fine and another year on house arrest after his release, as well as two years of probation.