Sam Bankman-Fried faces harsh conditions in the Bahamas prison

Sam Bankman-Fried faces harsh conditions in the Bahamas prison

Sam Bankman-Fried faces harsh conditions in the Bahamas prison

  • A judge on Tuesday ordered Sam Bankman-Fried to the only prison in the Bahamas.
  • Fox Hill is known for being overcrowded and having unsanitary conditions, according to human rights reports.
  • Bankman-Fried appeared disappointed in court after the judge’s decision, according to reports.

Sam Bankman-Fried is headed to a harsh Bahamian prison after a magistrate judge Tuesday ordered him into pretrial detention until February and denied bail to the former FTX CEO following his Monday arrest in the country with l US fraud charge.

Authorities in the Bahamas arrested Bankman-Fried this week, at the request of US officials. A federal criminal indictment unveiled Tuesday charged Bankman-Fried with multiple counts, including wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations, related to the collapse of one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges earlier this week. year.

While he awaits extradition to the United States, Bankman-Fried will spend time in the only prison in the Bahamas, Fox Hill Penitentiary, a notoriously overcrowded and unsanitary institution.

The detention rate in the Bahamas is one of the highest in the world, with 409 detainees per 100,000 people, according to a 2020 US State Department human rights report. The Bahamian’s huge number of prisoners means Fox Hill is overpopulated and the conditions of the structure are affected.

Inmates are supposed to have an hour outside each day, but understaffing and overcrowding mean there are times when inmates can only see sunlight for 30 minutes a week, Romona Farquharson told The Wall Street Journal. a local lawyer.

Fox Hill has several housing structures, including a women’s block and sections with different levels of security. Those serving short sentences for nonviolent crimes should, in theory, be held in a separate part of the prison from those serving violent crimes, but space limitations and overcrowding have led some inmates who are only awaiting trial to be housed in the maximum-security prison facility, Farquharson told The Journal.

A 2021 human rights report in the Bahamas by the US State Department revealed even more about Fox Hill. Inmates at the facility said they had to remove human waste with a bucket and were prone to bed sores after being forced to lie on the hard ground for long periods of time.

The report cited infestations of rats, grubs and bugs in individual cells, which measure just six by ten feet in the maximum-security block. Up to six inmates at a time can share the small cells that have no mattresses or toilets, according to the report.

Detainees were also prone to poor diets, saying they did not have access to nutritional meals and sometimes faced long delays between meals, according to the government report. The prisoners also said they were denied immediate medical attention, as well as access to psychological care while at Fox Hill.

Prison guards failed to adequately quarantine prisoners during COVID-19 outbreaks, the report said, and a 2003 Amnesty report on conditions at Fox Hill found the facility was prone to high rates of infectious disease , including tuberculosis.

Bankman-Fried appeared disappointed in court on Tuesday, according to Reuters, bowing his head and hugging his parents following the judge’s statement that he posed a “large” flight risk. The judge ordered him to the island’s correctional facility, where he will initially be held in the medical ward, a local official told the outlet.

Bankman-Fried stepped down from his role at FTX last month after the exchange filed for bankruptcy following a liquidity disaster. Officials said he duped investors and defrauded customers while he was running the firm.

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