A TOP U.S. Prison expert has condemned the conditions in prison holding Ghislaine Maxwell, with her brother saying that the businesswoman and socialite’s treatment is “degrading” and “amounts to torture”.
Ian Maxwell opened up in a rare interview this month, saying that his sister was being held under constant surveillance in a 6x9ft cell with no natural light, and that the food was “basically inedible”.
The prison where Maxwell remains incarcerated until her trail, which is expected in July, has been widely condemned by politicians and human rights and justice system reform activists across the country.
Prison officials have refused to comment on her conditions and many of the other inmates who remain locked up for months, sometimes years before trial despite not being proven guilty of any crime.
Mr Maxwell said that his sister’s cell only had a toilet and concrete bed, and that “there is no natural light, she is under 24-hour round-the-clock surveillance with 10 cameras, including one that moves and tracks her movements.”
The water she was being given was “brown”, he said, adding that the food was inedible (a complaint already made against the prison during a federal hearing), and that she had not been able to prepare adequately for her trial because of the detention conditions.
“It’s notorious. It’s not funded very well, none of the federal prisons are – there’s a shortage of guards and of staff,” Michael Frantz, director of Jail Time Consulting, recently told the Telegraph.
His organisation, a federal prison consulting firm, represents inmates in all 209 federal prisons across the United States, including MDC – which is where Ms Maxwell, 58, is expected to remain until her trial in July next year after a federal judge denied her bail this week.
“In my opinion, it’s not one of the best federal prisons around and a lot of guard-related incidents occur,” Mr Frantz added. “It’s not the cleanest place in the world. I don’t think it is well run at all. And [Maxwell’s] life is going to basically be hell there.”
Mr Maxwell said he believed she was losing her hair, having trouble with her eyesight and her ability to concentrate.
But he said she remained “resolute” and denied suggestions that she was a suicide risk.
Mr Maxwell also said that the identities of his sister’s three accusers had not been revealed with only four months before the start of the trial, leading to further questions over the flimsiness of the legality surrounding the reasons being used for her continued detainment.