The former financier Bernard Madoff who was convicted earlier this year of orchestrating one of the largest frauds in history is being treated for high blood pressure and dizziness, and was not hurt by another prisoner, a U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman said today.
“Bernie Madoff was not assaulted. He’s being treated at the (Butner) Federal Medical Center for dizziness and hypertension,” said Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Traci Billingsley.
Bernard Madoff is serving a 150 year sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina after pleading guilty to a US $65 billion worldwide investment fraud.
This is of course a huge change to the life Bernard L. Madoff was formerly accustomed – mansions, limousines and super-yachts.
On Tuesday 14th Juky, 2009, Mr. Madoff arrived at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex – Medium Security in a blue prison jumpsuit, his hands and feet shackled, to begin serving his 150 year prison sentence in the Medium Security facility there. By contrast, it is generally reckoned that a British Crown court judge would have handed down a sentence of 10 years which would have meant that Mr. madoff would have walked free after 5 years.
Anyone who has had experience of the British prison system would, were they to experience the U.S. system comment that the facilities in British prisons are far superior. Compared with British prisons, U.S. “Correctional Insitiutions” as the U.S. Bureau of Prisons euphemistically calls them are harsh and often violent places. Whilst this could reasonably be said of most prisons worldwide, what sets the U.S. prisons apart from British and other European prisons are:
- Reliance on automated/electronic surveillance to reduce the numbers of prison staff. This results in more attacks on prisoners by other prisoners as the guards are not on the prison landings/wings in sufficient numbers.
- Involvement of the private sector, the companies so contracted routinely attempting to boast profit margins by skimping and economising of care for the inmates – food is very basic, non essential repairs to equipment in gyms delayed or never carried out etc.
In addition, the U.S. treats its prisoners in a far harsher way, for example, even prisoners who present no risk whatsoever to guards or fellow inmates alike are routinely shackled by both hands and feet – something, were the U.K. government so minded to introduced would be ruled out as a violation of human rights by the European Court of Human Rights. In addition, were Mr. Madoff ever minded to attempt an escape by scaling the wire and making a run for it, the guards in the watch towers would shoot him dead – even were he [Madoff] was unarmed and made no attempt to attack them.
This of course demonstrates certain obvious things:
1. That the U.S.A. exercises its rights and competences as an independent sovereign state unhindered by such as the European Union.
2. That the views of the general public in the U.S.A. are paid attention to in contrast to the situation in the U.K. where the inmates in British prisons enjoy a standard of accommodation that they would not enjoy were the general public’s views taken more into account.
3. That if the British People want their views taken into account they should elect politicians that will do so and not those from the three main parties who ignore them and treat them with disdain and contempt.
To give you some idea of how things are different in Europe, read this extract from the Guardian:
“….A former nunnery that has been converted into a comfortable modern prison has been to be chosen by Josef Fritzl as the place in which to serve his life sentence.
Fritzl, 73, who was jailed for murder, rape, enslavement, coercion and incest after locking his daughter in his cellar for 24 years and fathering seven children by her, six of whom survived, is free under Austrian law to choose from three prisons that offer special sections for “psychologically abnormal” convicts.
Garsten Prison is a former Benedictine convent about 30 minutes’ drive from the house in the provincial town of Amstetten, where he held his daughter Elisabeth prisoner from the age of 18 and sexually abused her an estimated 3,000 times.
In Garsten he will be able to improve his English or study other foreign languages, as well as singing in the choir or training in a gym that is better-equipped than those of many hotels. As an inmate, he will be offered a wide variety of hobbies and entertainment, including tennis, darts and art classes.
The prison, set in woodland in the foothills of the Alps and considered one of the best in Austria, provides inmates with the light and fresh air that Fritzl’s victims were deprived of in their dank cellar.
Fritzl, an engineer who could in theory be released on parole after 15 years, will be able to indulge his passion for reading, as Garsten has one of the largest prison libraries in the country.
His fellow inmates will include a former TV presenter, Helmut Frodl, serving life for murdering a rival and dismembering his body with a chainsaw. Frodl is working on a PhD and is allowed out twice a month with an escort to discuss his thesis with a professor.
The Austrians state: “….The Austrian penal system aims not only at enforcing punishment, but also attempts to bring the inmate back within the norms of society,” said a spokesman for Austrian prisons last week when asked whether it was right that Fritzl should enjoy such a lax regime….”
Bernard Madoff’s conditions are not a fraction of these………..