Thursday, 20 Jan 2022

Ghislaine Maxwell’s new prison like ‘Disneyland’ after ‘USA’s toughest jail’

Ghislaine Maxwell’s life in prison will be like “Disneyland” compared to the detention facility she was in for over 500 days while awaiting trial, a federal prison consultant has claimed.

Maxwell, 60, was arrested in July 2020 and charged with involvement in ex-boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein’s sexual abuse of teenage girls, some as young as 14.

She was subsequently found guilty of sex trafficking on five of six charges she was facing, on Wednesday afternoon.

Maxwell’s legal team spent months complaining about the conditions inside the Metropolitan Detention Centre in Brooklyn, New York, described as one of the USA's toughest jails.

They claimed she was enduring a “living hell” while attempting to convince a judge to release her on bail, albeit unsuccessfully.

The convicted sex trafficker, who lived a life of luxury before her arrest last year, said she shared her tiny cell with rats, was served food infested with maggots and was abused by guards.

Justin Paperny, a federal prison consultant, who advises clients on how to minimise their jail time, said the 60-year-old will prefer her new accommodation.

He told the Times: “Her case is different because she’s already endured so much time in custody. She’s been in this wretched, dank, cold, filthy detention centre in Brooklyn which has really conditioned her for confinement.

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“She’s really endured the worst of what prison can offer — in solitary confinement, dealing with Covid and quarantine and arguably the worst detention centre in America.

“People are surprised to hear that once she is sentenced and makes her way to the federal correctional institution, she will actually feel like she’s in Disneyland compared to where she is now.”

Maxwell will be ineligible for a minimum-security prison due to the severity of her crimes, according to Paperny, but wherever she is sent she will have more freedom than was allowed in Brooklyn.

He said: “You have access to a track, to a library, there may be agriculture, the chapel. You have room to roam potentially all day other than when you’re sleeping or working.”

However, he believed that the worst part may be the transit between the two facilities.

Paperny said: “Time and time again, prisoners say the absolute hardest and most wretched part of the experience was enduring transit for weeks and potentially months on end. That will be harder than what she’s enduring now.”

Although the federal prison in which she is due to serve her time has not been decided yet, her legal team can request a specific facility, perhaps with the goal of keeping Maxwell as close to her family as possible.

Once inside her new home, Paperny does not believe Maxwell will be targeted by other inmates, despite the nature of her crimes.

He argued that the fact that she did not co-operate with the government and become an informant will work in her favour once inside.

He added that she is likely to receive better treatment if she does not complain or “act privileged or entitled”.

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