Jeffrey Epstein charged

Beebo Brink

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Just realize that, even being used to it, doesn't mean thinking its right or proper... its appalling.
I agree whole-heartedly, but nonetheless my sympathy for Maxwell is intellectual at best. Our system is broken, cruel, and punitive, but it's mostly so for marginalized people. As a rich, famous British white woman, Maxwell had to try really really hard to run afoul of our judicial and penal system. It's skewed heavily in favor of letting people of her kind go unpunished or slapped lightly on the wrist and allowed to return to where they were in society.

She dodged the bullet once before when money and influence limited the charges against Epstein and skipped his accomplices entirely. That was her cue to get herself out of Dodge and spend the rest of her life in some secluded corner of the world without extradition to the U.S. But no, apparently she took that undeserved escape in stride, as part of her entitled stroll through the strata of society where there is no penalty for being Epstein's pimp for underage girls.
 

Innula Zenovka

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I agree whole-heartedly, but nonetheless my sympathy for Maxwell is intellectual at best. Our system is broken, cruel, and punitive, but it's mostly so for marginalized people. As a rich, famous British white woman, Maxwell had to try really really hard to run afoul of our judicial and penal system. It's skewed heavily in favor of letting people of her kind go unpunished or slapped lightly on the wrist and allowed to return to where they were in society.

She dodged the bullet once before when money and influence limited the charges against Epstein and skipped his accomplices entirely. That was her cue to get herself out of Dodge and spend the rest of her life in some secluded corner of the world without extradition to the U.S. But no, apparently she took that undeserved escape in stride, as part of her entitled stroll through the strata of society where there is no penalty for being Epstein's pimp for underage girls.
I don't know. Maxwell's case simply highlights how the US carceral system seems removed from prisons in many other wealthy nations.

This isn't simply Maxwell experiencing the reality of prison life, as did Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort.

Someone has gone out of their way to design a particularly invasive, oppressive and punitive regime, which must cost a great deal to maintain, to subject a woman of Maxwell's age, as yet unconvicted of any crime, and certainly not a violent security risk, to a regime that would be considered extreme and unlawful for even the most violent and uncontrollable inmates of British prisons, and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.

Are US prisons not subject to any kind of independent oversight? All sorts of abuses go on every day in US prisons, and it seems impossible to place any sort of check on them. European courts, including English ones, are becoming more and more ready to find that the inhumane and oppressive conditions and regimes in US prisons constitute a bar to extradition, as most recently with Assange, yet US courts seem unable or unwilling to protect inmates from such abuses.
 

Aribeth Zelin

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I don't know. Maxwell's case simply highlights how the US carceral system seems removed from prisons in many other wealthy nations.

This isn't simply Maxwell experiencing the reality of prison life, as did Michael Cohen or Paul Manafort.

Someone has gone out of their way to design a particularly invasive, oppressive and punitive regime, which must cost a great deal to maintain, to subject a woman of Maxwell's age, as yet unconvicted of any crime, and certainly not a violent security risk, to a regime that would be considered extreme and unlawful for even the most violent and uncontrollable inmates of British prisons, and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.

Are US prisons not subject to any kind of independent oversight? All sorts of abuses go on every day in US prisons, and it seems impossible to place any sort of check on them. European courts, including English ones, are becoming more and more ready to find that the inhumane and oppressive conditions and regimes in US prisons constitute a bar to extradition, as most recently with Assange, yet US courts seem unable or unwilling to protect inmates from such abuses.
But 'Only minorities got to jail' /sarcasm.

Its all about making money, having personal 'slaves', and greed.

We're a horribly barbaric nation, for one supposedly so 'great'.
 

Beebo Brink

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Someone has gone out of their way to design a particularly invasive, oppressive and punitive regime, which must cost a great deal to maintain, to subject a woman of Maxwell's age, as yet unconvicted of any crime, and certainly not a violent security risk, to a regime that would be considered extreme and unlawful for even the most violent and uncontrollable inmates of British prisons, and no one seems to be able to do anything about it.
Maxwell identified the crux of the issue herself: She's suffering because a prison was incompetent enough to let Epstein kill himself (or corrupt enough to allow him to be killed, take your pick). Rather than risk an equivalent embarrassment, she's being subjected to an extraordinary security detail, and the last thing you want when you're in an American prison is an excess of bored, belligerent guards.

She's definitely getting "special" treatment from the guards, which she made even worse by reporting the abuse. That retribution is not special treatment at all -- that's par for the course when you make waves. There are any number of ways to earn the wrath of prison guards, and isn't unheard of for that to become a fatal mistake. She has that in her favor, they don't dare kill her outright because that would be as embarrassing as a suicide. But they can make her pretty miserable, and it appears they're doing just that.

Are US prisons not subject to any kind of independent oversight?
Does Amnesty International count?

All sorts of abuses go on every day in US prisons, and it seems impossible to place any sort of check on them. European courts, including English ones, are becoming more and more ready to find that the inhumane and oppressive conditions and regimes in US prisons constitute a bar to extradition, as most recently with Assange, yet US courts seem unable or unwilling to protect inmates from such abuses.
Some courts are in active collusion with the prison system, such as the judge in Texas who was quick to send even relatively minor juvenile transgression into the prison system. Turned out he was getting kickbacks from the private prison system for every inmate he created for them.

Another segment of judges (heavily Republican) believes in punitive justice, laced with racism. For them the cruelty is the point, but even better if the riff-raff become cheap labor in a capitalist system of inmates outsourced to prisons that put them to work making profits.

And then there's indifference or inertia. It's a huge problem with little sense of urgency in finding a solution because the majority of prisoners are people of color or poor whites. And to fix the problem you need to take on increasingly large and powerful economic forces that thrive on the system as it is.

But this all gets back to Maxwell and her belief that she wouldn't get sucked into this. With her money and connections, she really should have fled the country. The only reason I can imagine that she stayed was the belief that "It will never happen to me." Like Donald Trump, she was above the rules and never expected to pay for her transgressions.
 

Innula Zenovka

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Maxwell identified the crux of the issue herself: She's suffering because a prison was incompetent enough to let Epstein kill himself (or corrupt enough to allow him to be killed, take your pick). Rather than risk an equivalent embarrassment, she's being subjected to an extraordinary security detail, and the last thing you want when you're in an American prison is an excess of bored, belligerent guards.

She's definitely getting "special" treatment from the guards, which she made even worse by reporting the abuse. That retribution is not special treatment at all -- that's par for the course when you make waves. There are any number of ways to earn the wrath of prison guards, and isn't unheard of for that to become a fatal mistake. She has that in her favor, they don't dare kill her outright because that would be as embarrassing as a suicide. But they can make her pretty miserable, and it appears they're doing just that.


Does Amnesty International count?


Some courts are in active collusion with the prison system, such as the judge in Texas who was quick to send even relatively minor juvenile transgression into the prison system. Turned out he was getting kickbacks from the private prison system for every inmate he created for them.

Another segment of judges (heavily Republican) believes in punitive justice, laced with racism. For them the cruelty is the point, but even better if the riff-raff become cheap labor in a capitalist system of inmates outsourced to prisons that put them to work making profits.

And then there's indifference or inertia. It's a huge problem with little sense of urgency in finding a solution because the majority of prisoners are people of color or poor whites. And to fix the problem you need to take on increasingly large and powerful economic forces that thrive on the system as it is.

But this all gets back to Maxwell and her belief that she wouldn't get sucked into this. With her money and connections, she really should have fled the country. The only reason I can imagine that she stayed was the belief that "It will never happen to me." Like Donald Trump, she was above the rules and never expected to pay for her transgressions.
Thanks, Beebo.

I guess what continues to surprise me -- though not half as much as it must continue to surprise Maxwell, probably -- is how little legal protection US prisoners, whether in custody or on remand, seem to enjoy.

In the UK, for example, the prison service is under the overall oversight of HM Inspectorate of Prisons and, additionally, each individual prison or other custodial establishment has an Independent Monitoring Board (I'm thinking of volunteering for one once I've had my second vaccination and can begin to get my life back).

Additionally, everyone in most parts of Europe, be they regular citizens, illegal immigrants or serving prisoners, enjoys the protection of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prisoners and their families often use to obtain relief from oppressive and inhumane treatment.

Those kind of protections just don't seem to be present in the US, or, if they do exist, they're far weaker than they are elsewhere.
 

Beebo Brink

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Those kind of protections just don't seem to be present in the US, or, if they do exist, they're far weaker than they are elsewhere.
It's important to remember that the United States of America is just that, a union of separate states. Prisons differ considerably depending on the state or city that runs them. This notoriety is even used as a selling point for law services:


Maxwell is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. There are actually Yelp reviews (2 stars) and just last year, there was this:
 
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Zaida Gearbox

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Last I knew all US prisons were under the supervision of the Department of Justice and the American Correctional Association, and in Virginia we were audited every two years. But, the standards are pretty low to begin with and I know for a fact that some - not all - but some prisons just flat out falsify information to make it look like they'd been doing what they were supposed to all along.

Female inmates are often treated much worse than male inmates for the simple fact that women are much less likely to sue, much less likely to escape, and much less likely to riot - in spite of what you may have seen on Orange Is The New Black. Honestly, I could probably tell you stories that would make your hair stand up on end.
 
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Innula Zenovka

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It's important to remember that the United States of America is just that, a union of separate states. Prisons differ considerably depending on the state or city that runs them. This notoriety is even used as a selling point for law services:


Maxwell is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn. There are actually Yelp reviews (2 stars) and just last year, there was this:
The signatories to the ECHR are separate states, too, though some take their treaty commitments more seriously than do others (Russia is a signatory, for example, as is Ukraine). But since Maxwell is a federal prisoner, isn't she the federal government's responsibility, rather than that of New York City or State?
Last I knew all US prisons were under the supervision of the Department of Justice and the American Correctional Association, and in Virginia we were audited every two years. But, the standards are pretty low to begin with and I know for a fact that some - not all - but some prisons just flat out falsify information to make it look like they'd been doing what they were supposed to all along.

Female inmates are often treated much worse than male inmates for the simple fact that women are much less likely to sue, much less likely to escape, and much less likely to riot - in spite of what you may have seen on Orange Is The New Black. Honestly, I could probably tell you stories that would make your hair stand up on end.
So it seems that supervision is far more lax than I'm used to in the UK, which would explain why things are so bad. Our Prisons Inspectorate do real inspections, and tough audits, and issue damning reports and insist on action plans for improvement.

And inmates do continue to enjoy, under UK and European law both, certain rights that courts will protect if asked that US prisoners seem to lack. Were someone being treated like that in a British prison, be it Maxwell herself or a suspect Islamist terrorist, the courts would soon put an end to it.
 

danielravennest

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But since Maxwell is a federal prisoner, isn't she the federal government's responsibility, rather than that of New York City or State?
The Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn is a federal prison. It's about four miles from the US District Court in lower Manhattan by way of the Brooklyn Bridge.
 
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