Gov. Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14-year prison sentence in a Colorado prison. Former Missouri state senator Jeff Smith served a year in federal prison on obstruction of justice charges. He offers sober advice to Blagojevich on what to expect, and what and what not to do behind bars.

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I’m Neal Conan.

Former Governor Rod Blagojevich left his house in Illinois this morning and arrived at his new residence in Colorado where he’ll begin a 14-year prison sentence for corruption. Last night, he made a public statement to supporters and reporters.

ROD BLAGOJEVICH: I am proud as I leave and enter the next part of what is a dark and hard journey, that I can take with me the sense of accomplishment and the real belief that the things that I did as governor and the things I did as congressman has actually helped real, ordinary people.

CONAN: Someone with a special insight in just how dark and hard that road might be offered some words of advice to the former governor in the Chicago Tribune this morning. Former Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith spent 2010 in federal prison after he pleaded guilty on charges of obstruction of justice. In his op-ed, he offered some advice from one politician inmate to another.

So if you’ve done time in minimum security, call us with dos and don’ts for the disgraced former governor: 800-989-8255. Email us: talk@npr.org. You can also join the conversation on our website. That’s at npr.org. Click on TALK OF THE NATION. Jeff Smith, now an assistant professor of politics at The New School and joins us from our bureau in New York. Nice to have you with us today.

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