Rapper Clifford 'T.I.' Harris out of prison, into a halfway house
Rapper T.I., a.k.a. Clifford Harris, who since March has been serving a 366-day sentence on weapons charges, has been released from a low-security penitentiary in Forrest City, Ark., and moved to a halfway house in Atlanta, a move that his attorney said is not unusual.
"It happens across the board as long as the inmates are eligible," attorney Steve Sadow told E! Online. "They decided that three months in a halfway house would assist him with reentering society."
The Grammy winner had served seven months and was eligible for time off for good behavior. He also got credit for time served in home detention.
At the halfway house he'll have more contact with his family and might be allowed to leave the house during business hours, his attorney said.
That's good news for longtime girlfriend Tameka "Tiny" Cottle, who last month said she planned to marry T.I. upon his release. Just a few weeks back she said he was doing well but was ready to come home.
So, why was he in prison in the first place?
In 1998 he was convicted of possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute, a felony. As a felon, he couldn't own guns. But on Oct. 13, 2007, he was arrested after he had a bodyguard (who turned out to be an informant) buy machine guns and silencers for him.
T.I. is expected to live at the halfway house for three months, CNN reports, and then he still owes about 500 hours of community service and 20 to 60 days of home incarceration -- in addition to a $100,300 fine.
Still, that's better than the sentence he originally faced before striking a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Before going to prison, he completed 1,000 community service hours, talking to at-risk kids about nonviolence.
Wonder if his welcome home party will be anything as lavish -- and as filled with support -- as his going-away celebration was on Miami's Star Island back in March?
We were gonna embed a video showing lots of support, and cool watches too, but shoot if someone didn't cuss right before the six-minute mark.
Instead, scroll down to see T.I.'s press conference from around the same time, in which he expresses the desire that others would learn from his mistakes.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
Photos: Clifford "T.I." Harris speaks with youths in Atlanta on Feb, 20, 2009, top, as part of his agreed-upon community service. And on Oct. 10, 2009, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle reads a letter from the rapper during the BET Hip Hop Awards '09 in Atlanta, right. Credits: John Bazemore / Associated Press, top; Taylor Hill / Getty Images, right.
The Ministry has plenty of dish about celebrities getting their day (or days) in court. Recent names intersecting with the legal system include Buju Banton, John Stamos, Pauly Shore and Lil Wayne and other Grammy winners.