As an inmate who was moved from the federal lockup in downtown Manhattanwhere I got to know both Paul Manafort and Jeffrey Epsteinto Rikers Island just three months ago, I have a pretty fair idea what Harvey Weinstein is in for.
I suspect the shock of being found guily of rape in the third degree and sexual assault in the first degree Monday and immediately cuffed and taken into custody by court officers is what led to the heart palpitations that caused the ambulance transporting him to Rikers to be diverted to the prison ward of Bellevue Hospital. Weinstein, whod avoided any time behind bars until now, should steel himself; there are more shocks to come once he recovers from his post-conviction fit of the vapors.
When I left the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) for Rikers, I was handcuffed, shackled at the ankles, and placed in a tiny, claustrophobic plastic cubicle in the back of a Ford van to bump and bruise my way to the inmate island. He should hope hes tied to his seat and not given a rough ride like I was.
Intake at Rikers is not fun. Initially, the process seems civilized: I suspect Weinstein will see a doctor quickly, and even be screened for what meds he might need during his stay. Rikers really is attentive to inmate medical needs, in my experience. After that, his celebrity profile may spare him from the shared holding facility where arrestees might sit and wait for hours or days.
When I suffered this indignity, one man whose walker resembled Weinsteins complained of having been left in that holding cell for over a day, the result of his needing to be housed in the hospital unit. Watching him hobble over to the partially open urinal to relieve himself was not a pretty sight. He was in distress. And it wasnt fake.
After intake, Weinsteinwho has a hired a prison consultant to advise him on how to handle life on the inside even as his lawyers fight to get him out on bail ahead of his sentencing and to appeal his convictionis expected to end up in in a private cell in the NIC (North Infirmary Command) facility for infirm inmates, in the building that houses up to 263 patients "who require extreme protective custody because of their notoriety or nature of their cases, or for inmates with HIV or AIDS-related conditions."
If he leaves the NIC, theres no chance that hell be placed in general population. Instead, the felled mogul would likely end up in the protective custody unit, which, coincidentally, was situated right next to where I was housed initially.
Protective custody at Rikers is not as bad as what Jeffrey Epstein or Michael Avenatti experienced at MCC federal, where it housed many of the worst-behaved prisoners. On the island, the PC unit is comprised mostly of sex offenders, gay men, trans people, and snitches, along with infamous gangbangers and the occasional high-profile inmate. The chosen few are locked in their own unit at all times with the exception of rec time, when they can go to the yard for an hour with the general population early in the morning.
Weinstein would still have his own cell there, that he would be locked into at night (usually from 9:30 p.m. to 6 a.m.) and for at least some of the day. He would be fed in the unit (as opposed to most other inmates, who walk to the cafeteria), which means hed be eating lukewarm-at-best food that is decidedly subpar with respect to quantity and quality. I found myself eating meals I would never have touched on the outside simply to fill my belly.
Inside of MCC and the Tombsthe notorious downtown Manhattan jailan inmate could live comfortably enough without commissary items. But not so much at Rikers. I bought a ton of trail mix to have something healthy to fill in with.
While at Rikers, Weinstein will have a lot of time to think about his life past, present and future. Hed better have people to bring him reading material; in my 18 days at Rikers, I do not remember one inmate ever going to the library. Personally, I was deprived of my reading glasses and simply could not see well enough to read. So to make a request in that arena would have been a waste of breath.
While calls for rec and medical were sparsely attended, key time (when inmates received their methadone) saw the unit virtually empty out. There were a lot of heroin addicts on Rikers Island. With respect to recreational drugs in the jail, I was invited to smoke pot in the bathroom within 30 minutes of my arrival. And inmates hunted around to see whod been prescribed Lyrica, hoping to score a few tabs that they would then crush and snort to get high.
With respect to his safety, Weinstein should manage to avoid physical intimidation. While there might be a few predators in protective custody, officers are on the lookout for that kind of activity. One CO whom I befriended told me that when he drew duty in that unit, the officer was diligent in his effort to prevent predators from preying on weak individuals. And of course, when you spend most of your time alone in a single cell, nobody can get near you to exercise that predation.
Like Epstein, Weinstein might go into a depression and end up in a suicide cell where, as I understand it, one inmate watches many suicidal brothers with the help of an attending officer. The one-on-one approach used in federal facilities is not the program at Rikers. Theres no indication that Weinstein is a suicidal man. But that could change after he faces the realities of incarceration on Rikers Island.
Rikers isnt the Ritz, and Weinstein is in for a rude awakening.
See the rest here:
- A Vancouver Island Road Trip of Crisp Wines and Gigantic Trees - Cond Nast Traveler - May 15th, 2020
- Up-Island towns uneasy about summer influx - Martha's Vineyard Times - May 15th, 2020
- Rock Island County reports another COVID-19 death - Quad City Times - May 15th, 2020
- Kite-surfing and social distancing, but no Sullivans at Castle Island - The Boston Globe - May 15th, 2020
- A grand opening - Thegardenisland.com - May 15th, 2020
- Long before Covid-19, these islands were a refuge from plague - CNN - May 15th, 2020
- Booth doing 'virtual' concert to raise Trooper Island funds - WTVQ - May 15th, 2020
- Love Island's Finley Tapp creates Scottish lockdown survival kit while isolating with Paige Turley - Daily Record - May 15th, 2020
- The Womens Jail at Rikers Island Is Named for My Grandmother. She Would Not Be Proud. - The New York Times - May 15th, 2020
- Top Cuban Official Accuses America Of Committing Acts Of Terrorism Against Island Nation - CBS Miami - May 15th, 2020
- Grand Island Public Schools Foundation launching Give GIPS Week - Grand Island Independent - May 15th, 2020
- District Court judge: City of Bellevue cannot engage in 'island annexation' - Omaha World-Herald - May 15th, 2020
- Rare blue dragons are washing up on the Padre Island National Seashore - CNN - May 15th, 2020
- Staten Island Home of the Week: Privately-gated community with panoramic views, $3M - SILive.com - May 11th, 2020
- Antibody testing begins on the Big Island - West Hawaii Today - May 11th, 2020
- Hardwood logging on Manus Island has not delivered promised local benefits, report finds - The Guardian - May 11th, 2020
- Coronavirus claims 11 more Staten Islanders; more than 2K released from Island hospitals - SILive.com - May 11th, 2020
- South Padre Island properties unphased by COVID-19 housing market, realtor explains - KGBT-TV - May 11th, 2020
- Love Island's Malin Andersson felt 'shame' for staying with abusive ex after he 'beat her up' - Mirror Online - May 11th, 2020
- Love Island 2020 could be set for surprise return this Autumn after cancellation - RadioTimes - May 11th, 2020
- Tunnel to Towers Foundation working to take care of Staten Island - SILive.com - May 11th, 2020
- Staten Island obituaries for May 10, 2020 - SILive.com - May 11th, 2020
- Reveling in the Enigmatic Beauty of Easter Island - The New York Times - May 11th, 2020
- Help for parents and teachers; author gives tips - Shelter Island Reporter - Shelter Island Reporter - May 11th, 2020
- NYC's Coney Island Beach in Cyclone of Confusion for Summer - THE CITY - May 11th, 2020
- Danny Dyer says Love Island is a "pile of s**t" and leaves The Ranganation viewers - digitalspy.com - May 11th, 2020
- Island Luck CEO: No logic or rational in govt. decision making - EyeWitness News - May 11th, 2020
- Staten Island Zoo to host virtual meet and greet with exotic animals: How to attend - SILive.com - May 1st, 2020
- Artists campaign against Bristol Spike Island eviction of Howard Silverman - The Guardian - May 1st, 2020
- Coronavirus: Woman took son to Greek island to 'protect him from COVID-19' - Sky News - May 1st, 2020
- TSB investigation into Island Queen III incident issues three concerns - The Kingston Whig-Standard - May 1st, 2020
- This Tech Conference Is Being Held on an Animal Crossing Island - VICE - May 1st, 2020
- Island COVID-19 confirmed cases rise to 19 - Martha's Vineyard Times - May 1st, 2020
- VIRTUAL TOUR Island Farm: Going back in time to coastal farm life in the 1800s | The Coastland Times - The Coastland Times - May 1st, 2020
- Car thieves flocking to Staten Island during pandemic, many of them repeat offenders - SILive.com - May 1st, 2020
- Coney Island Hospital Treated To Record-Breaking Meal Donation For Staff - BKLYNER - May 1st, 2020
- Analysis: Staten Island has the highest rate of people tested in NYC for COVID-19 - SILive.com - May 1st, 2020
- John Grisham Returns to Camino Island, This Time in Hurricane Season - The New York Times - May 1st, 2020
- Naples, Marco Island beaches to reopen Thursday - Wink News - May 1st, 2020
- New confirmed case brings Island total to 18 - Martha's Vineyard Times - May 1st, 2020
- Grand Island's mayor wants to know how the feds will help, says city 'has paid a price' - Omaha World-Herald - May 1st, 2020
- Pete Davidson & Judd Apatow Movie King of Staten Island Skips Theatrical, Hits VOD This Summer - Deadline - May 1st, 2020
- ITV considers filming Love Island in Cornwall or cancelling series - The Guardian - May 1st, 2020
- Elderly fisherman rescued from Niagara River near Grand Island - Niagara Gazette - May 1st, 2020
- Bali is worlds most Instagrammed island - The Jakarta Post - Jakarta Post - April 28th, 2020
- Staten Island coronavirus hospitalizations hold steady; death toll increases by 23 - SILive.com - April 28th, 2020
- Small Island crews return to work - Martha's Vineyard Times - April 28th, 2020
- Staten Island Sports Hall of Fame will once again honor 4 at annual golf outing - SILive.com - April 28th, 2020
- South Padre Island reopens but some locals think its too soon - KXAN.com - April 28th, 2020
- Grand Island-area residents urged to avoid church services; Health Department worker tests positive - Omaha World-Herald - April 28th, 2020
- New York City's Hart Island: An overlooked final resting place - CBS News - April 28th, 2020
- COVID-19 testing rolls out on island - Vashon-Maury Island Beachcomber - April 28th, 2020
- Increased halal, kosher options offered at Staten Island meal sites - SILive.com - April 28th, 2020
- Greg Hardy ready to live on Fight Island, knockout all 15 heavyweights en route to UFC title - MMA Mania - April 28th, 2020
- Staten Island Home of the Week: Multiple large balconies and terraces, $2.9M - SILive.com - April 28th, 2020
- Lone Residents of Little Bay Islands Share Tips for Living in Times of Isolation - VOCM - April 28th, 2020
- On Fishers Island, protocols in place to limit spread of virus - Suffolk Times - April 28th, 2020
- Running for her hometown; Alex Graham completes marathon on the Island - Shelter Island - Shelter Island Reporter - April 28th, 2020
- How Staten Island nursing homes stepped up to face hospital coronavirus overflow - SILive.com - April 28th, 2020
- Grizzly bear just relocated from Vancouver Island shot dead - Nanaimo News Bulletin - April 28th, 2020
- Fears of Coronavirus Catastrophe at Rikers Jail - The New York Times - March 31st, 2020
- Ahead of the Curve? - Big Island Now - March 31st, 2020
- COVID-19: What's closed on Marco Island? - Marco News - March 31st, 2020
- During the coronavirus outbreak, a tale of two Rhode Islands - The Boston Globe - March 31st, 2020
- A Group of Islands in Northern Scotland Have Too Much Clean Energy, so They Are Producing Hydrogen Power - Interesting Engineering - March 31st, 2020
- Civil Defense Announces 11th COVID-19 Case on Big Island - Big Island Now - March 31st, 2020
- In the time of coronavirus, Vancouver Islands gardeners grow resilient - The Globe and Mail - March 31st, 2020
- All schools ordered to close in Solomon Islands - RNZ - March 31st, 2020
- Where To Get Hundreds Of Island Tunes For Animal Crossing: New Horizons, From Pop Songs To Theme Songs - Forbes - March 31st, 2020
- For isolation, poetry is welcome relief: Island curators offer sites to browse - Shelter Island - Shelter Island Reporter - March 31st, 2020
- Report: Staten Island man charged in N.J. crash that killed 3 - SILive.com - March 31st, 2020
- 42 test positive for COVID-19 at Whidbey Island nursing home - The Daily Herald - March 31st, 2020
- Love Islands Paige Turley teaches Finn Tapp more Scottish lingo as they snuggle up in bed - The Sun - March 31st, 2020
- On Maine island, several people with guns allegedly cut down tree to block driveway and force quarantine - Boston.com - March 31st, 2020
- Painting a picture of an Island in crisis - Martha's Vineyard Times - March 31st, 2020
- What Will Coronavirus Crisis Mean for Mackinac Island Businesses, Tourism? - 9&10 News - March 31st, 2020
- The state of supermarkets on Staten Island: Grocers race to replenish supplies - SILive.com - March 31st, 2020
- Love Island's Dr Alex George lifts the lid on having sex during the coronavirus - Mirror Online - March 31st, 2020
- Staten Island Councilman With Multiple Speeding Tickets Explains Why Speed Cameras Are Bad - Gothamist - February 29th, 2020
- Staten Island community board meetings this week - SILive.com - February 29th, 2020