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‘Bad Boys’ Actor Sean Penn Getting Along Well in Jail

August 4, 1987 GMT

BRIDGEPORT, Calif. (AP) _ No one came to see Sean Penn on visitors’ day at Mono County Jail in this bucolic mountain hamlet described by one resident as the kind of place that should help the ″Bad Boys″ actor get ″mellow.″

Sheriff Marty Strelneck insisted Monday the 26-year-old Penn will be treated ″the same as any other prisoners are in here. We’re not running a hotel here.″

The sheriff refused to give much detail about his celebrity inmate’s activities in the dormitory-style cell he shares with four inmates, saying, ″We’re not going to make a spectacle of him.″

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The attention drawn to this town of 500 people since Penn surrendered Friday night to begin serving a 60-day sentence for violating probation has annoyed some residents.

″Everyone’s going a little crazy with the whole thing. I mean, people are taking pictures of the jail for crying out loud,″ said Shannon Nolan, 19.

She said the star of ″Fast Times at Ridgemont High″ and ″The Falcon and the Snowman″ is being coddled, since authorities let him pay about $50 a night to serve time in an out-of-the-way jail rather than in Los Angeles, where he was sentenced.

″It’s kind of dumb. I think he could have stayed down there,″ she said.

Officials have said such an arrangement is not uncommon for prominent people and makes it easier to maintain security.

One businessman suggested that after a stay in Bridgeport, with its clear, unpolluted vistas at the 6,400-foot level of the eastern Sierra Nevadas, Penn will leave ″with a nice mellow attitude.″

″This is like a vacation resort. If you’re going to be in jail, you might as well do it here,″ said Rick Rockel, owner of a sporting-goods store.

Visits and telephone calls at the jail are permitted on Sundays and Wednesdays. No one came to see Penn on Sunday, but he made two calls, said Sgt. Terry Padilla.

Penn is among 10 prisoners in the 24-inmate capacity jail 300 miles north of Los Angeles near the Nevada border.

Prisoners can volunteer to wash county cars or work in the jail kitchen, but Penn hasn’t shown an interest in either activity, the sheriff said. There is also an exercise yard and TV area, and books are available.

Jailer Al Fry said it appeared Penn had been reading a script.

Penn was jailed after being charged with reckless driving and with punching an extra on the set of his film ″Colors.″ He was on probation at the time fro hitting a man he thought tried to kiss his wife, singer Madonna.

With time off for good behavior, he could serve only 32 days of the 60-day sentence, said Los Angeles Municipal Court Commissioner Juelann Cathey.