Rapper T.I. released from prison, sent to halfway house

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 31, 2011 1:28 PM
Rapper T.I. released from prison, sent to halfway house

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Grammy Award-winning rapper T.I. was released from a federal prison in Arkansas on Wednesday and will spend the next month in a residential transition facility, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman said.

The Atlanta entertainer, whose real name is Clifford Harris, was sentenced in October 2010 to serve 11 months in prison for violating the terms of his probation after he was arrested on suspicion of possessing the drug ecstasy.

In 2007, T.I. faced a possible 30 years in prison on federal gun charges after he was arrested the same day he was due to have starred at the Black Entertainment Television awards, where he had been nominated for a series of honors.

A judge eventually sentenced him to just one year in jail after he pleaded guilty and agreed to do 1,000 hours of community service, warning young people about the dangers of drugs and gangs -- work for which he was widely praised.

At his sentencing last year, T.I. acknowledged he violated the terms of his probation when police stopped him for a traffic violation in Los Angeles on September 1 and found drugs in his car.

"I screwed up. I screwed up big time and I am sorry," the rapper told U.S. District Judge Charles Pannell during the sentencing.

Federal prisoners typically spend the last portion of their sentences in Residential Reentry Centers, formerly called halfway houses, said prisons spokesman Edmond Ross.

Prisoners normally are assigned to centers in or near their hometowns, he said.

T.I.'s career began as a rapper in 2001 but he then branched out into other areas of the music and film industry, finding success both as a producer and actor.

(Reporting by David Beasley; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Greg McCune)