Convicted murderer Jean Harris is doing just fine in prison. She says her cell is cozy, she's getting lots of sleep and she doesn't worry when the phone rings because "it's not for me."
Harris, the former headmistress of Madeira School in McLean, Va., was sentenced to at least 15 years for fatally shooting Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower March 10, 1980. She is serving time at the Bedford Hills, N.Y., Correctional Facility.
In an interview with Kristi Witker of WPIX-TV of New York City, Harris said she was enjoying life in prison.
"I'm enjoying things I never thought I'd enjoy . . . like having only cold water in my sink. It's actually very refreshing," Harris said.
"There's also a special kind of privacy here," she said. "I can read, write, eat, sleep and teach . . . and know that when I hear a phone ring, I don't have to worry."
When Harris was sent to Westchester County Jail Feb. 24, she weighed 98 pounds and was put under a suicide watch. After sentencing, she was sent to Bedford Hills. Now, 2 1/2 months later, Harris has gained more than 15 pounds and looks rested and relaxed, Witker said.
The prisoner gave a rosy description of her life behind bars. She said her 7-by-8-foot cell is "a cozy room with a big louver-shuttered window and a beautiful view of Bedford Hills."
She spends most of the day as a teacher's aide in one of the prison's "modern, airy classrooms," she said. She tutors other inmates in English and math and helps them prepare for high school equivalency exams.