Danbury Federal Correctional Institution: The prison where Ghislaine Maxwell will spend 20 years

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UNITED STATES - MARCH 22:  The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn., is a low-security prison surrounded by double fencing. Adjacent is a minimum-security camp.  (Photo by Mark Bonifacio/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Ghislaine Maxwell may spend her 20-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Connecticut. (Mark Bonifacio/NY Daily News Archive/Getty)

Ghislaine Maxwell faces spending the next 20 years inside a “celebrity jail” that was the inspiration for Netflix series Orange Is The New Black.

The British socialite was handed a 20-year prison term on Tuesday for luring young girls to massage rooms for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein to molest.

Maxwell, who was described as “dangerous” by the prosecution during her three-week trial last year, helped entice vulnerable teenagers to Epstein’s various properties for him to sexually abuse between 1994 and 2004.

The 60-year-old has so far spent her time behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York.

But her lawyers have now asked that Maxwell serve her term at Danbury – a prison known for celebrity inmates including reality TV star Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives Of New Jersey, singer Lauryn Hill and hotel magnate Leona Helmsley.

Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Jeffrey Epstein, was jailed for 20 years on Tuesday. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan/Getty)
Ghislaine Maxwell, pictured with Jeffrey Epstein, was jailed for 20 years on Tuesday. (Joe Schildhorn/Patrick McMullan/Getty)

Netflix show Orange Is The New Black was also based on the book of the same name by Piper Kerman, who wrote about her experiences during her 15-month stint at Danbury on drug charges.

Low-security facility Danbury houses 1,000 inmates – with separate male and female prisons – that allows prisoners to make use of a running track, tree-lined lawns and a baseball pitch.

Maxwell could also take part in a “wide variety of hobby craft and music” and a range of fitness programmes – which one expert said would be “like Disneyland” compared to her previous home at the Metropolitan Detention Center.

Watch: Ghislaine Maxwell sentenced to 20 years in jail for trafficking young girls

Federal prison consultant Justin Paperny told The Times: “Once she reaches prison she'll feel like she's won the lottery.

“She will be able to walk to the library, able to walk to the exercise track, able to make phone calls.”

Maxwell has previously complained of the conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Center, where she claimed that her tiny cell was full of rats, she was groped by prison guards and deprived of sleep by being woken every 15 minutes.

She also claimed to have made more than 100 grievance reports over her time at the detention centre, while a report into conditions inside the jail described it as violent, filthy and overcrowded.

Paperny said Danbury was nicknamed 'Club Feds' for their relaxed outlook – but it is not guaranteed that Maxwell will be be sent to the “minimum security camp”, or that she will be able to use the facilities if she is.

UNITED STATES - MARCH 22:  The Federal Correctional Institution in Danbury, Conn. is a low-security prison surrounded by double fencing. Adjacent is a minimum-security camp.  (Photo by Mark Bonifacio/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
The Danbury Federal Correctional Institution houses 1,000 inmates. (Mark Bonifacio/NY Daily News Archive/Getty)

He said: “Maxwell won't be eligible for the County Club prison type place as hers was a sex crime, so she'll be fenced in.”

Prison authorities must determine the level of security Maxwell will need inside, while psychologists will evaluate whether she needs to be placed on suicide watch and isolated from other prisoners.

And despite Danbury’s reputation, Maxwell’s lawyers have claimed that “there are numerous prison inmates who would not hesitate to kill her”.

Federal Prison consultant Jack Donson also believed Maxwell will be a “target” no matter where she is held.

He told The Mirror: "She's going to end up in a secure, female prison regardless. You know, not high security but it won't be a camp…

"There's politics and she's high-profile, so she's a target."

The Danbury Federal Correctional Institution was the inspiration for Netflix series <em>Orange Is The New Black</em>. (Netflix)
The Danbury Federal Correctional Institution was the inspiration for Netflix series Orange Is The New Black. (Netflix)

Maxwell was convicted of five offences in December last year, including sex trafficking minors, conspiracy to entice a minor to travel to engage in illegal sex acts, and conspiracy to transport a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.

Sentencing Maxwell to 20 years in prison, judge Alison Nathan told the court she “repeatedly, and over the course of many years participated in a horrific scheme to traffic young girls, some the age of 14”.

Maxwell’s defence counsel had attempted to distance her from Epstein, but a series of photographs showed the close relationship the pair had.

Epstein was found dead in his cell at a federal jail in Manhattan in August 2019 while he awaited trial on sex trafficking charges.

The death was ruled a suicide.

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