Ex-Manhattan madam Kristin Davis provides tips on prison life from federal lockup
Kristin Davis, from her Facebook page

She ran for governor of New York and claimed to have helped bring down Eliot Spitzer. But now Manhattan madam Kristin Davis has checked into prison, and she's written for XOJane a remarkable diary entry about what it's like in the federal slammer.

Davis was convicted of trying to sell prescription painkillers to an undercover cop and was sentenced in October to two years in prison. She doesn't claim to be innocent or framed -- she did the crime, she says, and now she's doing the time.

But Davis sets out to give other women an idea of what it's like to go to a federal women's prison, and she gives advice on the best ways to make it less traumatic.

For example, don't bring cash with you, she says. It can take two to three weeks for cash you bring with you to be credited to your account and before an inmate can begin buying essentials at a canteen. Davis knew this, and so she wired money to herself instead. "The Bureau of Prisons website says do not send money until the inmate arrives however I sent mine 3 days before I got here and it was available 2 hours after I arrived at this facility," she writes.

She was also fortunate, she says, that she was allowed to "self-surrender" to the federal prison camp in California. That gave her several weeks to get rid of her New York apartment and put things in storage, but more importantly, it kept her from having to be transported while manacled on prison buses or on "Con Air."

She paints a grim picture of prison transport, having spoken to other inmates, and in general she says she wants to push back on the notion of easy prison life. Even in a women's federal prison camp, it's no picnic. But so far, she's found that the other inmates are very helpful and cooperative. (Something tells us things might be a bit different on the men's side.)

Davis says she's writing about the details of prison intake so other women can get a sense of what they're going to face if they find themselves in the same situation. But even for those not heading soon for the hoosegow, the level of detail she provides is pretty fascinating.