Mike Tyson has declined to eat prison food and to cooperate with an educational assessment, two actions Indiana correctional officials say represent "pretty typical behavior" for a new inmate.
Prison officials confirmed Monday that the former heavyweight champion hadn't taken solid food during his first five days in prison and that he faces disciplinary action for giving his autograph to fellow inmates.Tyson, 25, was sent to prison last Thursday after he was sentenced to six years for convictions for rape and criminal deviate conduct. He was found guilty of assaulting Desiree Washington, a Miss Black America beauty pageant contestant, in his Indianapolis hotel room last July.
Kevin Moore, a Department of Correction spokesman, said Tyson has taken fluids but refused to eat solid food during his first five days at the Reception and Diagnostic Center in Plainfield, about 15 miles west of Indianapolis.
Moore said counselors have talked to Tyson about the ramifications of failing to eat over a long period. The boxer told his attorney during his February trial that he was about 30 pounds heavier than his normal 220-pound fighting weight.
Moore said Tyson will go to a disciplinary hearing with the prison officer assigned to him today. Like all prisoners, the boxer was warned that it is a violation of prison rules to give anything of value to another inmate, and his autograph is considered valuable.
"Mr. Tyson was specifically counseled that included his autograph, and we found a couple of offenders who had autographs," said Moore. "He said, `Yeah, I gave them. That's what I always do."'
As a result, Tyson received his first disciplinary write-up for what Moore called a minor offense. At the disciplinary hearing, Tyson faces sanctions ranging from a reprimand to loss of his good-time credit for days served so far, Moore said.
Also Monday, Tyson declined to help prison staffers doing an assessment of his education. He can't be forced to take part in the assessment, but doing so would speed up the evaluation process that will determine where Tyson should be assigned permanently, Moore said.
Officials will now contact Tyson's former schools to complete the education assessment.
Tyson remains in a single cell at the center where most of the 380 inmates are awaiting assignment to other institutions. Although only 5 percent of the cells at the Plainfield facility are singles, Tyson was assigned one because of "media reports of his temperament and mood swings," said Moore.