From music stars to billionaire hotel heirs, the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut is home to some of the most famous female inmates in United States history.
At the low-security prison, also known as Club Fed, convicted child sex trafficker Ghislaine has asked Maxwell to serve her 20-year federal sentence.
In stark contrast to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, where the 60-year-old spent nearly two years awaiting trial, FCI Danbury has a reputation as one of the more hospitable prisons and has earned a special place in American pop culture.
Most famously, the fictional Litchfield prison in the hit Netflix comedy Orange is the new black is partly based on FCI Danbury†
Author Piper Kerman spent 13 months in prison in the mid-2000s following her conviction for money laundering and drug trafficking.
her memoirs Orange is the new black: my year in a women’s prison was based on her experiences behind bars and later turned into the Emmy award-winning TV series.
Six-time Grammy winner Lauryn Hill, 47, spent three months at FCI Danbury in 2013 for failing to pay approximately $1 million in taxes.
On the day of her release from prison, Mrs. Hill released a new song called consumerism †
The R&B singer had “wanted to bring this music out while she was locked up, because it’s a product of the space she was in as she went through some of the challenges she’s been facing recently,” according to a promotional release. on time.
Leona Helmsley, often referred to as the “Queen of the Mean,” was convicted in 1989 of 33 counts of tax evasion, tax fraud and mail fraud, and sentenced to four years in prison.
Mrs. Helmsley married hotel magnate Harry Helmsley in 1972 and became synonymous with the ‘greed is good’ mantra of the 1980s.
According to a biography written by her former attorney Sandor Frankel, she was heard to say, “We don’t pay taxes, only the little people pay taxes.”
When Mrs. Helmsley died in 2007 at the age of 87, she left behind a $5 billion estate.
The Connecticut facility was also temporarily home to former… The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice.
Ms Giudice spent 11 months behind bars at FCI Danbury in 2015 after pleading guilty to bankruptcy and mail fraud in a scheme with her husband, Joe Giudice.
In an interview with Good morning America upon her release, the reality TV star described her incarceration as living in “hell”.
“There was mold in the bathrooms. There was not constant running water. The showers were freezing. The living conditions were really terrible,” she says.
“There were a few nights when we didn’t even have heat… it was hell.”
Outside Orange is the new black the prison has provided a stark backdrop for several other TV shows.
In the popular Showtime series weedsthe lead character Nancy Botwin, played by Mary-Louise Parker, is serving a stint at FCI Danbury.
And in the legal drama To grab, Mike Ross, the character of Patrick J. Adams, was sentenced to hard time in Danbury.
Maxwell, 60, made more than 100 complaints about her treatment in prison during her stay at the Metropolitan Detention Center.
She claimed she shared her cell with rats and was regularly searched and abused by guards. She also claimed that her food was infested with maggots.
Justin Paperny, an expert on federal prisons, said Danbury would be like “Disneyland” compared to her experience at the MDC.
“She’s been in this miserable, damp, cold, filthy detention center in Brooklyn that really conditioned her for incarceration,” said Mr. Paperny. The times†
“She has truly endured the worst prison has to offer – in solitary confinement, coping with Covid and quarantine and arguably the worst detention center in America.
“People are surprised to learn that once she’s convicted and made her way to the federal correctional facility, she’ll really feel like in Disneyland compared to where she is now.”
Opened in 1940, FCI Danbury is located about 85 miles north of New York City and became a special women’s prison in 1993.
The prison offers classes on everything from group therapy programs for inmates with post-traumatic stress disorder to “hobby crafts and music” classes.
Inmates can also take circuit training and aerobics classes.