Reality star Todd Chrisley says he's denied church services in prison

Todd (L) and Julie (R) Chrisley
Todd (L) and Julie (R) Chrisley | YouTube/Inside Edition

Ex-reality TV star Todd Chrisley, who was convicted alongside his wife Julie Chrisley of bank fraud and tax evasion in June 2022, claims he has been prevented from attending church services as he continues to serve a 12-year sentence behind bars in Florida. 

Chrisley, a 54-year-old real estate tycoon who rose to fame with his family on the USA Network series "Chrisley Knows Best," told NewsNation in an interview that the Federal Prison Camp Pensacola has refused to allow him to attend services and to speak with his wife Julie, who was sentenced to seven years in a Kentucky prison. 

He claims he is being targeted and mistreated.

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Chrisley told the outlet he believes the restrictions are the prison's way of retaliating at him for his previous participation in public interviews with NewsNation about the conditions he and others are being held in at the Pensacola facility. 

Chrisley claimed that the warden stopped the prison's church services because he planned to do another NewsNation interview. Since then, he claims he hasn't had the chance to attend religious services. 

He further asserts that on two different occasions, priests were interrupted during the middle of services and asked to leave the prison facility's premises.

"That was their way of trying to intimidate me," Chrisley told NewsNation. "I just walked out and said, 'It ain't going to change what I'm going to say.'"

Regarding requests to speak with his wife, Chrisley says the warden "denied it within 15 minutes of getting the request," adding that he has not spoken with his wife since arriving in Pensacola. 

"[The warden] does not talk to me," he said. "The warden does not come around me. She does not speak to me."

Chrisley alleges the warden told other prison staff to stand firm when associating with him.

"[The Warden said], 'unless you are afraid of doing your job, you call [Chrisley] in, you write him up, you sanction him. I want him sanctioned,'" the former TV star told the outlet. 

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons says it "does not comment on the conditions of confinement for any individual in custody" but stressed that "Humane treatment of the men and women in our custody is a top priority."

"It is the mission of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to operate facilities that are safe, secure and humane," BOP spokesperson Benjamin O'Cone told NewsNation.

"We take seriously our duty to protect the individuals entrusted in our custody, as well as maintaining the safety of our employees and the community.

BOP guidelines state that "inmates of all faith groups" are provided "reasonable and equitable opportunities to pursue religious beliefs and practices, within the constraints of budgetary limitations and consistent with the security and orderly running of the
institution and the Bureau of Prisons."

The Chrisleys' 26-year-old daughter Savannah voiced her displeasure with the conditions her parents are facing behind bars and has tried to advocate for them, claiming officials are trying to make an example of them because of their celebrity status, according to  NewsNation.

Todd Chrisley claimed the prison does not have a doctor or dental hygienist on staff because they "resigned and left" because they knew "they were falsifying medical records." 

He said another inmate had a massive heart attack, and another inmate who is a doctor had to rush to his side because of the insufficient medical care at the prison. The man allegedly underwent triple bypass surgery at a local hospital before being returned to the prison. 

"They don't even have the supplies to take care of this man," Chrisley said to NewsNation. "They didn't even have a urinal to bring down here. They brought a mop bucket."

The ex-TV star said he has high hopes that a release may come sooner rather than later as there are reports his wife's sentence may be shortened. 

"God is going to take me out of here," Chrisley told NewsNation. "God knew when I was coming in here, and he knows when I am going out."

Nicole VanDyke is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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