Furious judge blasts Justice Department ‘morons’ for the conditions of federal prisons in NYC


Judge Colleen McMahon ripped into the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself

A furious judge has blasted the U.S. Justice Department as ‘morons’ for the ‘inhuman’ conditions at federal jails in New York City – which she says make it impossible to give a fair sentence to convicted people.

Manhattan Federal Judge Colleen McMahon made her comments at an April 29 sentencing hearing for Tiffany Days, 40, who was convicted of drug dealing in the Bronx borough of New York City, the New York Daily News revealed.

Days’ lawyer had filed a letter with the court before her sentencing noting the conditions she allegedly endured at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan – the same jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself in 2019.

Judge McMahon ripped into the prison officials after Days’ letter – also blasting the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where Epstein’s accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell is currently being held.

The furious judge, second left, has blasted the U.S. Justice Department as 'morons' for the 'inhuman' conditions at federal jails in New York City

The furious judge, second left, has blasted the U.S. Justice Department as ‘morons’ for the ‘inhuman’ conditions at federal jails in New York City

McMahon made her comments at an April 29 sentencing hearing for Tiffany Days, 40, who was jailed at the same facility where Epstein was when he killed himself

McMahon made her comments at an April 29 sentencing hearing for Tiffany Days, 40, who was jailed at the same facility where Epstein was when he killed himself

Judge McMahon also ripped into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where Epstein's accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell is currently being held

Judge McMahon also ripped into the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where Epstein’s accused madam Ghislaine Maxwell is currently being held

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan has faced a litany of scandals and turnover of wardens since Epstein's death

The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan has faced a litany of scandals and turnover of wardens since Epstein’s death

‘The single thing in the five years that I was chief judge of this court that made me the craziest was my complete and utter inability to do anything meaningful about the conditions at the MCC,’ McMahon said in the hearing.

‘Especially at the MCC and the MDC, two federal correctional facilities located in the City of New York that are run by morons, which wardens cycle (through) repeatedly, never staying for longer than a few months or even a year.’

According to the New York Post, McMahon also said: ‘There is no continuity, there is no leadership, there is no ability to get anything done. They lurch from crisis to crisis, from the gun smuggling to Jeffrey Epstein, none of which is the fault of Ms. Days or any of the other inmates I have sentenced or will sentence.’

‘It is the finding of this Court that the conditions to which she was subjected are as disgusting, inhuman as anything I’ve heard about any Colombian prison, but more so because we’re supposed to be better than that,’ she added.

In her letter, Days claims she had to wear used menstrual items because they were not provided to her on a consistent basis. She alleged that she was also not allowed to shower and was served expired food. 

Days also claimed she shared her cell with rodents and that her cell repeatedly flooded with backed-up feces, the letter reads. 

Days had been placed in isolation for more than 75 days, not as a form of punishment, but because officials believed she had COVID-19 and because of a headline-making lockdown when a gun was found to have been smuggled into the jail, it reads.

‘Ms. Days has been in the [Special Housing Unit] so much that she now has permanent mental damage: she is literally afraid of closed environments,’ the letter reads.

‘Every time a guard comes to her cell she literally begins to shake for fear that she is going to be placed in the SHU.’

A view shows the inside of a contact visiting area inside the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

A view shows the inside of a contact visiting area inside the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

A view shows the inside of a recreational cell inside the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

A view shows the inside of a recreational cell inside the Special Housing Unit at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

Judge McMahon sentenced Days to the mandatory minimum of five years in prison while calling on Attorney General Merrick Garland and top Bureau of Prisons officials to do something about the ‘disgusting and inhuman’ conditions at the two prisons.

‘I wish that the Attorney General, whoever, head of the Bureau of Prisons and the leader of the Congress, would have heard that presentation,’ McMahon said.

In sentencing documents, the court recommended that the Bureau of Prisons imprison Days in a facility in or close to the New York City – ‘but NOT the MCC or MDC’ – to facilitate family visitation. 

Since Epstein’s suicide, the MCC has faced a number of scandals.

Two correctional officers who were working the night Epstein hanged himself have pleaded not guilty to sleeping at work and browsing the internet. Correctional officers were also charged in federal court with making false records and conspiring to make false records and to defraud the United States in relation to Epstein’s death.

Photos of Jeffrey Epstein's dead body, his cell and the noose as shown on CBS 60 Minutes

Photos of Jeffrey Epstein’s dead body, his cell and the noose as shown on CBS 60 Minutes

 

Corrections officers who were on duty at the time of Epstein's death have pleaded not guilty to their charges

Corrections officers who were on duty at the time of Epstein’s death have pleaded not guilty to their charges 

Lamine N’Diaye was the interim warden when Epstein died, after which he was replaced by Marti Licon-Vitale, 54, who quit in January after just a year on the job. 

Under Licon-Vitale, the jail faced scandals including the gun smuggling incident, an inmate death, and a scandal in which an another inmate, whose lawyer said has the mental capacity of a child, was kept in a holding cell for 24 hours while waiting for a competency evaluation – violating prison system regulations, the Associated Press reported.

Eric Williams was named the new interim warden after Licon-Vitale left.

N’Diaye has now been moved to a leadership position at another federal correctional facility, WNBC reported in February.

Conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where Maxwell is currently being held, are not much better as that jail has faced its own share of scandals.

Protesters attend a rally at Metropolitan Detention Center demanding that heat is restored for the inmates in the Brooklyn borough of New York City in 2019

Protesters attend a rally at Metropolitan Detention Center demanding that heat is restored for the inmates in the Brooklyn borough of New York City in 2019

Inmates were left without heat while temperatures plummeted to around 2 degrees

Inmates were left without heat while temperatures plummeted to around 2 degrees

Protesters were heard chanting 'Y'all Freeze, We Freeze' while standing outside of the jail in solidarity

Protesters were heard chanting ‘Y’all Freeze, We Freeze’ while standing outside of the jail in solidarity

In January 2019, a power failure left inmates freezing in their cells while temperatures plummeted to about 2 degrees.

Protesters at the time were heard chanting ‘Y’all freeze, We Freeze’ while standing outside the prison in solidarity – while prisoners rattled at the bars of their windows in a bid for help amid the freezing temperatures.

Maxwell has been in engaged in a legal battle with MDC administrators over conditions in the jail – after she claimed in a filing made by her lawyer that she was forced to drink dirty tap water and that a guard ‘physically abused’ her during a pat-down search while awaiting trial.

Defense attorney Bobbi Sternheim had written in a letter to U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan that, because of conditions at the prison, Maxwell ‘is withering to a shell of her former self—losing weight, losing hair, and losing her ability to concentrate.’

Jail staff shot back that British socialite ‘frequently did not flush her toilet after using it, which caused the cell to smell’, prosecutors said in a letter filed in federal court.

The document also revealed that Maxwell has been given the coronavirus vaccination while in custody and that she is ‘physically healthy’ after she complained last month that she has been held in ‘detrimental’ conditions.



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