What Federal Prison Will Ghislaine Maxwell Go to?

It`s just about set in stone that Ghislaine Maxwell will spend many years, if not the rest of her life, in federal prison. Lots of people have speculated about where she`ll go, but here`s the “inside info” on how the feds decide who goes to what prison.

Where Will Maxwell Go?

Where Maxwell goes is completely up to the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). It`s not up to her sentencing judge, though she can make a “recommendation” on which prison best suits Maxwell`s needs. It`s also not up to Maxwell`s lawyers — or anyone else for that matter. Congress gave full authority to the BOP in determining where a federal prisoner serves their time.

Once she`s sentenced, which is scheduled for June 28, 2022, Maxwell will be “designated” by the BOP to one of its handful of female prisons. The designation process can take several months and usually begins after sentencing. Until she`s designated, Maxwell will remain at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn.

Which prison Maxwell lands at will depend on many factors, such as her custody level (security level), any medical needs she has, and if there`s an appropriate prison within 500 miles of her residence. For most sex offenders in the BOP, the prison they go to is usually far from their home because of the many factors involved in designating sex offenders.

The custody level includes lots of things and Maxwell will end up with points that amount to her custody “score.” The BOP factors things like the person`s age and, most importantly for Maxwell, the length of sentence, when deciding a custody level. While Maxwell`s age puts her in a “low” security level, her sentence length may bump her up to “medium” if it`s more than 20 years. If it`s more than 30 years, she could end up with a high-security level and go to a U.S. Penitentiary. However, the BOP does make exceptions on these things in certain cases. Most likely, Maxwell will be able to go straight to a low-security prison.

What Kind of Prison Will Maxwell Go to?

Typically, sex offenders in the BOP go to what`s called a SOMP prison (or “yard”). SOMP stands for Sex Offender Management Program and it applies to every sex offender in the BOP. It`s important to note that “SOMP” is not the BOP`s Sex Offender Treatment Program (SOTP), a voluntary program at select prisons. A SOMP prison has a population of about 40% sex offenders, with the rest of the prisoners being in some sort of protective custody. It`s a rather safe place for a sex offender.

Currently, the BOP has just one facility for females that has the SOTP: Federal Medical Center (FMC) Carswell, located in Fort Worth, Texas. But sex offender treatment doesn`t happen in the BOP until the last few years of a sentence, so Maxwell might not ever get treatment while in prison.

However, given Maxwell`s age and the medical needs that older prisoners face, she might end up at FMC Carswell just because of that reason. But, as it stands at the moment, she will likely end up at a regular female low-security prison. But going to a low-security non-SOMP prison isn`t a big deal because the “lows” usually tolerate sex offenders. She might not be able to watch certain TVs or sit at certain tables while eating. That`s called “politics” in prison. But she will be fine there.

How Will Maxwell Get to the Prison?

If you`ve ever seen the movie “ConAir,” you know that the feds have their own airplanes to transport prisoners across the country. But the planes don`t look anything like what`s in the movie. They`re old Southwest Airlines planes that still have the same decor inside but without the logo on the outside. The U.S. Marshals run the “air lift” operations.

The feds also have busses that are used to transport prisoners to the airport and to prisons within a short drive of the detention center. These are rather nice busses with a bathroom and decent seats. They also have lights and sirens because they don`t want to be stopping at red lights in some areas. BOP staff run the bus operations.

Since Maxwell isn`t a “self-surrender,” meaning she isn`t out on bond and allowed to take herself to the prison, she will likely be shuttled around using both the planes and busses. She`ll be awakened at around 1:00 a.m. or 3:00 a.m. at MDC Brooklyn and brought to a holding cell down at the Receiving and Discharge (R&D) area of the building. She`ll eat breakfast there and wait several hours for the bus to show up.

Assuming Maxwell will be going to a prison that`s not near New York City, the bus will take her to the airport to meet the air lift crew. She`ll be shackled like every other prisoner, her wrists cuffed to a chain around her waist and her feet cuffed with a short chain between them. Her ankles will be very sore and bleeding by the end of the day.

Because she has significant ties to influential people, they may “black box” her, meaning they`ll put a metal black box around the chain between the handcuffs on her wrists so she can`t move her hands to reach anything. This makes eating the prepackaged “meal” they serve in transit very nearly impossible. It`s a painful experience that some say is torture.

Maxwell`s first stop will probably be the Federal Transfer Center (FTC) at the Oklahoma City Airport. The BOP has a prison at the airport that the ConAir plane can pull right up to. If she`s not put in segregation there, she will spend the night in a regular cell and have access to phones and showers. She might leave the next day — or weeks later. There`s no telling how long it takes. But one thing I`ve heard every prisoner say is that OKC is very clean and nice. Much nicer than Maxwell`s current spot at MDC Brooklyn.

She might take another plane to reach her final destination, or a short bus ride if she`s going to a prison in the South-Central area (OK, AR, TX). The BOP keeps the final destination a secret, but it`s not uncommon for staff to tell prisoners where they`re going if they are asked.

Maxwell filed a complaint about MDC Brooklyn. Most prisoners have complained about MDC Brooklyn but nothing has been done to fix the problems. It`s a dump. As uncomfortable as transferring may be within the BOP, Maxwell will face much better conditions on the road to her final destination, which is still unknown.

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