Inside Jen Shah’s new life behind bars

Jen Shah selfie
Jen Shah is serving her time at a “Club Fed”-style Texas prison. Pic credit: @therealjenshah/Instagram

Former The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star turned convicted felon Jen Shah is the “queen bee and MVP” no longer.

In July, Shah was sentenced to 78 months – six-and-a-half years – in prison for allegedly running a nationwide telemarketing scheme that defrauded thousands of victims, many of them elderly.

On Friday, the former reality star began her sentence at FPC Bryan, the Federal Prison Camp in southeast Texas.

And even though the minimum-security, all-women facility has earned the nickname “Club Fed,” Shah’s new life in prison is no beach vacation.

According to the prison camp’s inmate handbook, the Bravo alum – whose collections of designer clothing, flashy jewelry, and accomplice-assistants once wowed even her fellow Salt Lake City Housewives – is in for a major adjustment.

And, as if losing her luxury lifestyle wasn’t punishment enough, Shah will begin every morning with a 6 a.m. wake-up.

Working for less than one dollar per hour: Inside Jen Shah’s new prison

On top of rising early, prison rules require Shah to keep her cell neat and clean.

This means making the bed “in accordance with posted regulations,” removing trash, and sweeping the floors every morning, including weekends and holidays.

But most of Shah’s days in prison will be spent at work.

At FPC Bryan, all inmates are given a regular job assignment, such as food service or a manufacturing job in a factory operated by the Federal Prison Industries, Inc., also known as UNICOR.

According to the federal Bureau of Prisons, inmates working for UNICOR typically earn as little as 23 cents per hour.  

At that rate, Shah – who, as part of her plea agreement, was ordered to pay up to $9.5 million in restitution to victims of the telemarketing scheme – would have to work for roughly 55 years to pay off her dues.

No more jewelry or designer clothes for RHOSLC’s Jen Shah

While serving her sentence, Shah must also give up the bold designer looks she became known for on RHOSLC.

Per the FPC Bryan handbook, inmates are prohibited from wearing any clothing that is “not government-issued” or purchased from the Commissary.

Blue, black, red, or camo clothing is prohibited.

Instead, inmates must wear a prison-issued uniform, described in the handbook as “khaki pants and a khaki shirt.”

Each inmate is also allowed to wear one plain wedding band and one “appropriate religious” necklace – neither of which can be worth more than $100.  

By that standard, Shah’s diamond-studded wedding ring, estimated to be worth as much as $20,000, is definitely out.  

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is currently on hiatus.

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