As Julie Chrisley Settles Into Prison Stint, Details Emerge About Her Time Behind Bars

2023 has been quite the eventful year so far for the Chrisley family of reality TV fame, with parental figures Todd and Julie Chrisley having started their respective years-long prison sentences after both were convicted of bank fraud and tax evasion. (Not to mention the fact that USA announced at the tail end of January that a 10th season of Chrisley Knows Best is apparently set to debut soon after seemingly being cancelled.) The couple reportedly spent their last days of freedom in a happy place, and Savannah Chrisley has released her first podcast episode recorded after they were locked up, in which she opened up a bit about how her mom’s prison stint has been going so far.

Savannah Chrisley has arguably been the most outspoken member of the family in the aftermath of her parents’ guilty verdict, and has railed against the legal system both on and off of her podcast Unlocked with Savannah Chrisley. In her latest installment, the 25-year-old slightly walked back her anti-government stance (what with her parents’ lawyers continuing their attempts to appeal for a retrial) and spent the bulk of its runtime sharing that she’d been in communication with both of them in the time since they were imprisoned. And while she knows it might sound odd, she says things are going okay so far. In her words:

I will say, my mom, honestly, she's doing really well. And I know it sounds crazy for me to say that. It sounds crazy for me to say, 'Alright, they're doing really well.' But they are. My mom, she's made friends. She's keeping busy. She's going to church. She's working.

It's been right at two weeks since Julie and Todd Chrisley went off to jail, with the former being shipped off to Federal FMC Lexington in Kentucky on January 17, after she'd previously been set to serve her time at Federal Correctional Institute Marianna. The latter would have had her far closer to her husband's current Florida location, Federal Prison Camp Pensecola, while the latter is also the place where Cheer vet and convicted sex criminal Jerry Harris is serving out his own sentence

Julie Chrisley will presumably serve her entire seven-year sentence within that facility, before being released into 16 months of probation. So being able to quickly make friends with other inmates is a definite plus, as is the ability to keep one's mind off of things by staying busy. Considering the Chrisleys are known for their religious leanings, it makes perfect sense for the matriarch to take part in the prison's church services. 

According to Savannah Chrisley, staying busy behind bars also includes taking part in a family-favorite game, and apparently excelling at it. Here's how she put it:

She's playing some Spades. When I tell you playing, she is running a dog on everyone. Anyone that knows my family knows that Spades is our game. It's what we play. It's just our thing.

One can only assume how emotional things will get the next time the family is able to play Spades again as a whole unit, which presumably won't happen for another 12 years, which is when Todd Chrisley is scheduled to be released. 

Though there were issues initially, Savannah Chrisley did confirm that her parents are now able to contact either other via email, saying:

They are allowed to communicate through email, so they are going to be emailing back and forth with each other. They didn't get to right off the bat, but they are now. And that makes me so, so happy. I spoke to my dad on the phone, and he just had tears rolling down his eyes because he got the approval to email my mom. The amount of love between the two of them, and respect, it's just amazing to watch as their daughter.

Understandably, Savannah Chrisley got a little choked up and teary-eyed at several points throughout the podcast's recording, both from feeling sorrow about the situation and from the happiness that comes from knowing her parents are finding ways to stay content behind bars.  And fans can likely expect to hear more emotional anecdotes in future podcast episodes.

Past episodes of Chrisley Knows Best can be streamed with a Peacock subscription, with new episodes reportedly set to premiere on USA on Monday, February 6, at 11:00 p.m. ET. Head to our 2023 TV premiere schedule to see what else is set to debut soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.