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Out of prison, Mike Vick faces long road back to normal life
Updated 5/21/2009 11:05 AM ET
Michael Vick, who pleaded guilty to dogfighting charges in 2007, is not yet a free man, and a long road to restoring credibility and repaying millions of dollars in debt remains in front of him.

Vick's personal and professional renovation will be scrutinized now that he's been released from federal prison to home confinement in Hampton, Va.

In home confinement, Vick and his activities will be limited. He will probably wear an electronic monitoring device and be allowed to work, visit a doctor or lawyer and go to court, but not much else. There might be unannounced drug and Breathalyzer tests.

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John Webster, the managing director of National Prison and Sentencing Consultants, has two pieces of advice for clients.

"Be where you are supposed to be when you're supposed to be there, and stay drug- and alcohol-free," Webster said. "Those are two main reasons you'll end up back in prison."

Webster said home confinement is easier than a halfway house but warned about the trap of living at home.

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"Your liberty is still very restricted," Webster said. "It's almost an artificial environment. You can't live the way you normally live. And many people slip up just not thinking about it. You're in the comforts of home and want to live that way, and you make mistakes."

Vick, who filed for bankruptcy, owes more than $20 million, and restoring his playing career is the fastest way to satisfy that debt.

Returning to football is not a priority, said his agent, Joel Segal. "In due time, football will be addressed," he said. "He's got a (construction) job, and he'll be working with the Humane Society (of the United States), so everything is hopefully going to progress in a positive fashion."

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The NFL suspended Vick indefinitely after his guilty plea in August 2007, and Vick must apply for reinstatement to play again. Commissioner Roger Goodell has not revealed much and maintains he will deal with the issue once Vick's sentence ends July 20.

"I will meet with him. And I will make a judgment based on what he tells me and what I'm able to determine from speaking to others and my own background check on this and make a determination at the right time," Goodell said.

Vick's work with the Humane Society could be a positive start. HSUS president Wayne Pacelle met with Vick at the prison and is willing to give him a chance. Pacelle said Vick will help with an anti-dogfighting program aimed at youth.

"We had a good exchange. I was satisfied in the sense that he said what I hoped he would say," Pacelle said. "I went into the meeting with an expectation that there was no way he could convince me that he's changed. Only his actions can do that. I said, 'We're not vouching for you. We're simply giving you the opportunity to do the right thing.' "

Posted 5/21/2009 12:15 AM ET
Updated 5/21/2009 11:05 AM ET
Michael Vick is back home in Virginia after serving time in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan..
By Steve Helber, AP
Michael Vick is back home in Virginia after serving time in federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan..