- A judge on Tuesday remanded Sam Bankman-Fried in the Bahamas’ only prison.
- According to human rights reports, Fox Hill is known for being overcrowded and having unsanitary conditions.
- Bankman-Fried reportedly expressed disappointment after the judge’s decision in court.
Sam Bankman-Fried is being sent to a tough Bahamian jail after a judge Tuesday ordered him remanded in custody until February and refused to release the former FTX CEO following his arrest Monday in the country on US fraud charges.
Authorities in the Bahamas arrested Bankman-Fried this week at the request of US officials. A federal indictment presented Tuesday charged Bankman-Fried with multiple counts including wire fraud, money laundering and campaign finance violations in connection with the collapse of one of the largest crypto exchanges earlier this year.
While awaiting extradition to the US, Bankman-Fried will spend time at the Bahamas’ only prison, Fox Hill Correctional Facility, a notoriously overcrowded and unsanitary facility.
According to a 2020 US State Department human rights report, the incarceration rate in the Bahamas is one of the highest in the world at 409 per 100,000 people incarcerated in the country. The sheer number of Bahamian prisoners means Fox Hill is overcrowded and conditions at the facility suffer.
Inmates should get outside for an hour each day, but due to understaffing and overcrowding, there are times when prisoners are only allowed to 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 living facilities, including a women’s block and sections with different levels of security. Those serving short sentences for nonviolent crimes should, in theory, be held in a different part of the prison than those incarcerated for violent crimes, but lack of space and overcrowding have left some inmates awaiting trial in prison be housed in a high-security facility, Farquharson told The Journal.
A 2021 US State Department human rights report on the Bahamas revealed even more about Fox Hill. Inmates at the facility said they had to use buckets to remove human excrement and were prone to bed sores after being forced to lie on the hard floor for long periods.
The report cites the infestation of rats, maggots and insects in individual cells, which are only two by three meters in the high-security block. According to the report, up to six inmates can share the small cells at a time, which have no mattresses or toilets.
Inmates were also subject to poor nutrition, as they lacked access to nutritious meals and sometimes faced long delays between meals, according to the government report. The detainees also said they were denied immediate medical attention and access to psychological support at Fox Hill.
Correctional facilities have failed to properly quarantine prisoners during COVID-19 outbreaks, the report said, and a 2003 Amnesty report on the state of Fox Hill found that the facility was at risk for high rates of infectious diseases, including TB, was vulnerable.
Bankman-Fried expressed disappointment in court on Tuesday, bowed his head and hugged his parents after the judge said he posed a “great” risk of absconding, according to Reuters. The judge ordered him to the island’s correctional facility, where he will initially be held in the medical unit, a local official told the outlet.
Bankman-Fried resigned from his position at FTX last month after the exchange filed for bankruptcy following a liquidity crisis. Officials have claimed he misled investors and defrauded clients while at the helm of the company.