Skip navigation
The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct - Header

Inside Ghislaine Maxwell's Jail—Corrupt Staff, Sexual Assaults and Beatings

Newsweek, July 16, 2020.


Ghislaine Maxwell will be locked in her cell for 23 hours a day for the next year at a prison with a history of "corrupt staff," beatings and sexual assault.

The British socialite was denied bail this week after a judge ruled the risk of her attempting to flee was "simply too great."

Her home for the next year will therefore be the same prison used to house R Kelly with cells roughly 8-by-10 feet.

She faces a 17-page indictment accusing her of grooming girls as young as 14 for sex with her former boyfriend Jeffrey Epstein.

Until her trial next year, she will be held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn.

She has been forced to wear paper clothes and had her sheets taken away to prevent suicide, the Associated Press reported.

Former warden Cameron Lindsay told Newsweek: "It would be very, very difficult because conditions are very austere, very plain, regimented, rigid and controlled. Security at that facility is paramount."

He added: "I would expect her to be locked down 23 hours a day. I'm sure she'll be getting legal visits though throughout the day.

"She would only be moved for visiting purposes or to go to one hour of recreation a day.

"Recreation would be taken in a small caged-in area in close proximity to her cell.

"It could be indoors or outdoors. But she would have recreation alone."

The prison was built to house 1,000 inmates, both male and female, but now has a population of between 1,600 and 2,000.

Lindsay, now an expert witness, once described it as "one of the most troubled" in America.

Inmates were left so desperate after the heating system broke down in sub-zero temperatures in January 2019, reporters outside could hear them banging on their cells for help, NBC reported.

However, problems go back further, with allegations of prison staff sexually abusing female inmates and beatings.

Last year, guard Eugenio Perez was give 25 years in jail for sexually abusing five female inmates, forcing them to perform sex acts on him.

In 2016, a judge said she was reluctant to send female convicts there because conditions sounded like a jail in "some third-world country."

In 2007, 11 guards were indicted for beating prisoners including in relation to a 2002 incident so brutal it left hair and a pool of blood on the cell.

Officers tried to cover their tracks by making a noose so they could claim they had intervened to stop a suicide, Prison Legal News reported.

Lindsay told Newsweek: "It is a very complicated facility, one of the most complicated within the federal system.

"While there is a core of very good dedicated staff it does unfortunately have a unique history of staff misconduct.

"And so the two issues that I was faced with was the introduction of contraband and sexual activity between staff and inmates.

"Corrupt staff might comprise one percent of your entire staffing but if you have 400 staff members then that means you have four staff members who are doing you harm.

"The way they harm you the most is through the use of contraband, bringing drugs or weapons into the facility, or by having some kind of sexual activity with an inmate."

Following her progress from the other side of the Atlantic will be Prince Andrew, currently locked in a stand off with the U.S. Department of Justice over whether he will testify.

The Duke of York is currently being treated as a witness not a target of the FBI investigation.

However, prior to Maxwell's arrest on July 2, he sought to distance himself from Epstein by claiming it was Maxwell he was close to.

Nigel Cawthorne, author of Prince Andrew, Epstein and the Palace, said: "She is being held in a facility with such a bad record that even some judges have said they would hesitate to send a woman to."

He added: "It will be a long lonely harsh summer for someone who was used to living a high life."



Advertise Here 3rd Ad
Federal Prison Handbook - Side
Advertise here
Federal Prison Handbook - Side
The Habeas Citebook: Prosecutorial Misconduct Footer