Marion has been quoted as saying she paid the ultimate price for her errors. Is prison time that ultimate price? "No, I wouldn't consider that the ultimate price. The ultimate price is having your name and your reputation and everything that you stood for just ripped away," she says. "Going to prison ... just tops it off."
During her six months behind bars, Marion says she met some very interesting and inspiring women. "When I started hearing their stories, it started giving me strength. 'You know what? If that lady down the hall can get through it and wake up every morning and smile and have the energy to get through the day, I certainly can. I have three more months here, I can do this.'"
While her media exposure—including a helicopter circling the prison on the day she arrived—ensured everyone at the prison knew her, Marion says she was treated just like all the other inmates. She even had jobs in the prison, working as a baker and cleaning floors.
While being away from her family was the hardest aspect of prison life, Marion says the second-hardest part was having to follow orders. "When you're growing up and you've moved out of your parents' home, you think you're away from that. It's like the biggest slap in the face when they tell you when to stand up and they tell you when to lay down," she says. "It doesn't matter if you're Marion Jones or not."