- A judge ordered Sam Bankman-Fried remanded to the Bahamas’ only prison on Tuesday.
- Fox Hill is known to be overcrowded and have unsanitary conditions, per human rights reports.
- Bankman-Fried appeared disappointed in court following the judge’s decision, according to reports.
Sam Bankman-Fried is headed to a harsh Bahamian prison after a magistrate judge on Tuesday ordered him remanded to custody until February and denied the former FTX CEO bail following his Monday arrest in the country on US fraud charges.
Authorities in the Bahamas detained Bankman-Fried this week, acting on a request from US officials. A federal criminal indictment unveiled on 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 crypto exchanges earlier this year.
While he awaits extradition to the US, Bankman-Fried will spend time at the Bahamas’ only prison, the Fox Hill correctional facility, a notoriously overcrowded and unsanitary institution.
The rate of imprisonment in the Bahamas is one of the highest in the world, with 409 per 100,000 people detained in the country, according to a 2020 US State Department human rights report. The sheer number of Bahamian prisoners means Fox Hill is overpopulated, and conditions at the facility suffer as a result.
Inmates are supposed to get an hour outside each day, but understaffing and overcrowding means there are periods where prisoners may only see the sunlight for 30 minutes a week, Romona Farquharson, a local attorney, told The Wall Street Journal.
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Fox Hill has several different housing facilities, including a female block and sections with varying levels of security. Those serving short sentences for nonviolent crimes should, in theory, be kept in a separate part of the prison from those who are in for violent crimes, but space constraints and overcrowding have led some inmates who are merely awaiting a trial to be housed in the maximum security facility, Farquharson told The Journal.
A 2021 human rights report on the Bahamas by the US State Department revealed even more about Fox Hill. Inmates at the facility said they had to remove human waste by 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, maggots, and insects in individual cells, which measure just six by ten feet in the maximum security block. As many as six inmates at a time can share the small cells which have no mattresses or toilet facilities, according to the report.
Inmates were also subjected to poor nutrition, saying they lacked access to nutritional meals and sometimes faced long delays in between meals, according to the government report. Prisoners also said they have been denied prompt medical care, as well as access to psychological care while at Fox Hill.
Correctional guards failed to properly quarantine prisoners during COVID-19 outbreaks, the report said, and a 2003 Amnesty report on Fox Hill’s conditions found that the facility was prone to high rates of infectious diseases, including TB.
Bankman-Fried appeared disappointed in court on Tuesday, according to Reuters, lowering his head and hugging his parents following the judge’s declaration that he posed a “great” flight risk. The judge ordered him to the correctional facility on the island, where he will initially be held in the medical department, a local official told the outlet.
Bankman-Fried resigned from his role at FTX last month after the exchange filed for bankruptcy following a liquidity disaster. Officials have alleged that he duped investors and defrauded customers while at the helm of the company.
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