Inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s Battle With the Bureau of Prisons

Inside Ghislaine Maxwell’s Battle With the Bureau of Prisons

Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in federal custody in 2019. His most notorious alleged accomplice now says her jailers are using it as an excuse to keep her under torturous conditions. What if she has a point?

The allegedly torturous conditions she’s been subjected to have not elicited much sympathy for Maxwell, and the Metropolitan Detention Center has faced little scrutiny over the conflict. “The media treats it as the whining of some privileged person,” the federal defense attorney Joshua Dratel said in an interview, approximating the general tone of news coverage: “‘She doesn’t like it because she can’t get a manicure.’”

In interviews, several defense lawyers with experience dealing with the Bureau of Prisons emphasized the agency’s ability to avoid oversight. “Because it’s a federal prison, it’s very protected from lawsuits,” the attorney Katie Rosenfeld said. “It’s very hard to sue the federal government and federal prison system.” Rosenfeld represents the family of Jamel Floyd, a 35-year-old who died of a heart attack in custody at the Metropolitan Detention Center after correctional officers pepper-sprayed him in his cell last year. Dratel, the federal defense lawyer, said the Bureau of Prisons lurches from “one crisis to the next with outrage and very little action,” describing it as “among the least accountable agencies you could find.”

The alleged severity of Maxwell’s treatment is no anomaly, defense attorneys say. “For her or any other defendant,” Dratel said, “it is that bad.” Over the last 16 months, reports have detailed how COVID-19 public health guidelines either haven’t been followed in jails or have exacerbated isolation. McMahon, the federal judge who recently criticized conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center and Metropolitan Correctional Center, made her remarks after Tiffany Days, who has been held at both, gave a harrowing account of her detention. “The cell that they put me in MCC, the ventilation was totally broke,” Days said at her April sentencing for drug conspiracy. “I would cry myself to sleep, teeth chattering, thinking at times I would die.”

Source: Vanity Fair