The Slatest

Paul Manafort Is Going to Be Transferred to New York’s Notorious Rikers Island Prison

Rikers Island jail complex stands under a blanket of snow on January 5, 2018 in the Bronx borough of New York City.
Politicians have been trying to close Rikers Island jail complex after years of mismanagement and abuse. John Moore/Getty Images

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is expected to be transferred to the notorious New York City jail complex on Rikers Island ahead of a trial on state mortgage fraud charges, the New York Times reports. Manafort continues to face the legal fallout of years of living outside the law, even as the 70-year-old serves a seven-and-a-half-year combined federal prison sentence in Pennsylvania for two cases brought by special counsel Robert Mueller. The new charges in New York City are part of an effort by Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., who obtained an indictment of Manafort on more than a dozen state felony counts of mortgage fraud, to ensure that the former Trump aide cannot evade serving significant jail-time through a presidential pardon. Trump, as president, has shown an extraordinary willingness to use the power of the pardon for allies, but state convictions are outside the president’s pardoning power.

In Rikers, Manafort will likely be kept in solitary confinement, separate from the general prison population, which is common practice for high-profile inmates, pretrial detainees, and convicts serving light sentences of less than a year. “A law-enforcement official familiar with the correction department’s practices, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss security measures, said Mr. Manafort would most likely be housed in a former prison hospital on the island,” according to the Times. “That is where most high-profile detainees are held, including police officers, those accused of killing police officers, politicians and celebrities.”

From the Times:

A law enforcement official familiar with the jail’s practices said he would probably be held in one of the oldest buildings in the island, known as the North Infirmary Command, which was built in the early 1930s, or in one of the complex’s newest structures, a set of fiberglass tent-like structures known as “Sprungs.” Cell blocks in the infirmary command have eight cells and a day room with a television on each tier, the official said. The inmates are not locked in their cells during the day.

It’s unclear exactly how long Manafort will have to spend in one of the country’s most infamous jails, known for violence and abuse, although he is expected to be transferred there in the next couple of weeks and could be forced to await trial there.