2019-08-15 12:34:15

Horror at MCC: "Gulag" Conditions at NYC Jail Were Known for Decades Before Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Questions are mounting surrounding accused serial sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged suicide in his MCC jail cell over the weekend.

Epstein was found dead in his jail cell on Saturday morning at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, or MCC, in Manhattan, where authorities say he hanged himself.

MCC, which has housed many high-profile prisoners, has been plagued with reports of understaffing, overcrowding and dire conditions for years.

Democracy Now! speaks with Jeanne Theoharis, a professor of political science at Brooklyn College who has written extensively on the Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Conditions at MCC have been horrifying for years. And in fact, my very first time on Democracy Now! a decade ago, we talked about conditions at MCC then. As we talked about then, as journalist Aviva Stahl wrote about in a searing exposé last year, conditions there are dirty. The facility is decrepit. It’s vermin-infested. Things break. So, sometimes elevators break, and lawyers can’t visit their clients. Stahl reported how often the sewage system breaks.

Says Theoharis, she also added " I mean, in many ways, it is hard, and I think it has been hard for people to wrap their heads around a federal jail in Lower Manhattan, on Wall Street — right? — with conditions that seem akin to a Third World dictatorship. Right? Dirty, too hot and too cold, fruit flies, mice, extreme isolation in parts of MCC. Conditions vary in the facility. Reportedly, Jeffrey Epstein had been moved to the special housing unit on 9 South, where."

Metropolitan Correctional Center is basically a jail of solitary confinement. "People are being held in solitary confinement before any conviction, before any trial. And, you know, most international bodies consider sort of extended solitary confinement a form of torture."

Her latest book is titled A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Uses and Misuses of Civil Rights History.

Amy Goodman Brooklyn College Democracy Now! Free Speech TV Jail Jeanne Theoharis Jeffrey Epstein MCC Metropolitan Correctional Center New York City Prison Solitary Confinement Wall Street

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