David Kernell, 23, the former University of Tennessee student convicted of hacking into Sarah Palin's e-mail account, has begun his term in a dormitory-like, unfenced federal prison, a Bureau of Prisons spokesman said on Thursday.

Kernell reported on Monday to serve a term of a year and a day at the minimum security facility in Ashland, Kentucky, Bureau of Prisons spokesman Edmond Ross said.

He'll be expected to work in food service or landscaping or any number of jobs the staff will assign him, Ross said. Ross said all inmates must work, if medically cleared.

The hacking occurred in September 2008, when Palin was running as the Republican vice-presidential candidate. A Knoxville jury convicted Kernell last year of unauthorized access of a computer and obstruction of justice.

Kernell is the son of a Democratic Tennessee state legislator.

The former Alaska governor and her daughter, Bristol, testified at the trial to the hardships and stress caused by the hacking.

Kernell is living in an open dormitory and inmates have access to educational, religious and other types of programing as well as recreational opportunities and social visits with persons who are cleared, Ross said. While there are no fences, all inmates are supervised at all times, Ross said.

(Writing by Tim Ghianni, Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Peter Bohan)