A low-security metropolitan correctional center with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.
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A low security metropolitan correctional center with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.
Inmate Gender: Mixed Offenders
Population:783 Total Inmates
783 Inmates at the FCI
0 Inmates at the Camp
Judicial District: NY
BOP Region:Northeast Region
1. My name is:Michael Santos2. I arrived on:summer of 20173. I’m scheduled to leave on:Case is not yet resolved. Charged with white-collar crime and did not receive bond.4.My judge sentenced me to serve how many months? I am writing this review on behalf of a white-collar offender who retained me to help him prepare character-reference letters before sentencing. He is confined inside of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, in New York. From him, I learned about his adjustment. He prefers to remain anonymous because his case is ongoing.
The prisoner I’m writing about remains in the Metropolitan Correctional Center. He is still confined because his federal judge has refused to issue him a bond. My client is from another country. His immigration status makes him a flight risk, according to the federal judge.
I served 26 years in federal prison and I was released in 2013. My experience in federal prison is extensive, so I have a good frame of reference to help others understand prison.5. In the past, I’ve been confined at the following institutions:I served time in many different federal prisons and holding centers. Those prisons included high-security United States Penitentiaries, Federal Correctional Institutions, and minimum-security federal camps. By far, I preferred the minimum-security federal prison camps.6. I was convicted of the following offense:I served time for convictions related to the distribution of cocaine. My client is awaiting a sentence for a white-collar crime. Prosecutors have charged him with mail fraud. He is a business owner. He founded his company in his living room. Over the past ten years, he has built his company and he now employs more than 100 people. Part of his business involves using the mail to send promotional materials. The government has alleged that he made material misrepresentations in his marketing. Since he sent those marketing materials and other contracts through the mail, he is going to plead guilty to mail fraud.7. Pros of the facility:The Metropolitan Correction Center in New York is near the financial district, in Manhattan. It is a high-rise building. The “pro” of the facility is that it is easier for visitors who live in Manhattan. But that’s about it. My client doesn’t have anything good to say about the time that he is spending in MCC New York. It’s loud. He said that he serves time around many people that he would not want to associate. As a white-collar offender, he feels out of place. Most white-collar offenders do not serve time in pre-trial. They are allowed to go home to work with the attorney while they strive to negotiate a favorable plea agreement. Then, after sentencing, the judge authorizes them to surrender to a minimum-security federal prison camp. My clients resents that he is not allowed to work on his defense outside of the prison.
I point out to my client that there are some pros. He has access to email. That is an advantage that did not exist when I started my sentence. He has an opportunity to interact with people and learn about the system. But the most beneficial aspect of being locked in the Metropolitan Correctional Center before sentencing is that the time is counting. If he were at home, he would be struggling as if he were in prison. But the time does not count. At MCC New York—as in any federal detention center, the time counts. He is working his way closer to home. And he’ll appreciate this time on the other side of the journey. Further, his experience in MCC New York will help him appreciate the minimum-security camp where he serves his sentence.8. Cons of the facility:There are few recreation opportunities available. The prison is very loud. It can be a bit volatile. People from every security level await pretrial or judicial proceedings inside MCC New York. That means white-collar offenders serve time alongside more predatory and volatile prisoners. My client calls that a “con” of MCC New York, and I would agree. Another con is that prisoners are locked inside the shell of a building. They do not have windows or access to fresh air. They cannot see outside.9.Food assessment of the facility:Food at MCC New York is very bland. Workers prepare the food way in advance. By the time it’s transported to the people in the housing unit, it is old and cold. Staff and inmate workers reheat the meals in a microwave. There isn’t a central chow hall. People eat in a dayroom outside of the cell. While on lockdown status, guards pass the food through a trap door and inmates eat in the cell.10.Recreational opportunities at the facility:MCC New York does not have a recreation yard. Guards have to escort the people to caged areas of the building. Prisoners walk around a concrete shell, but it doesn’t really have open air. One of the walls is cut lower, and outside air comes in. But it’s hard to breathe. Prisoners cannot see outside. It’s terrible. It’s like exercising in a parking lot. Inside the housing unit the men have access to stationary exercise equipment.
- 11.Programs available in the facility:My client doesn’t know of any programs in MCC New York. People can go to chapel services. People can read books. People can watch television. Most people play cards, watch television, or read. It’s a sterile existence.
- 12.Best jobs in the facility:The only job in MCC New York is to work as an orderly in the housing unit. That means people can sweep floors or wipe down tables. They can mop. They can wax floors. Then can wipe down microwaves. Some prisoners who are serving time in MCC New York have different jobs, but they are in a different status. They are not waiting for a plea or sentencing. Instead, they’ve been sentenced and they are serving time in the prison. My client is a holdover. As a holdover, waiting for the outcome from judicial proceedings, he is not on the MCC New York work cadre.
- 13.Living Quarters in the facility:People in MCC New York are assigned to two-man rooms. The rooms do not have windows. They have a toilet and sink that is made of steel. The bunkbeds are made of steel and they’re very narrow. My client said that he worries about rolling over when he is asleep because he would fall off. The narrow beds means that he never gets a restful sleep.
- 14.How would I assess safety in the facility? :My client said that he does not feel safe. He said that he serves time alongside many people who are in for violent crimes. He would like to transfer to a minimum prison camp where he can serve time with more white collar offenders. But he cannot get to the next prison until the judge sentences him and the Bureau of Prisons designates him. He will likely serve a sentence of less than three years. But if he doesn’t get a bond, he may spend a year or more of that term in MCC New York while he waits for transfer. Further, his immigration status may make it difficult to get to a camp. We’ll figure that out as we work through the case.
- 15.What types of pressure did I feel in the facility?:My client feels pressure because he doesn’t know the outcome of his case. He is hoping that the judge will recognize a change in his immigration status. He applied for citizenship before he was arrested. But he has not yet become a citizen. He feels pressure for his safety, he feels pressure because he is losing a business he built. He feels pressure because he is apart from his family. He feels pressure because deportation proceedings may await him after the criminal sentence.
- 16.What is my general review?:The general review is that time in MCC New York challenges my client. We work together on a strategy of preparing for his presentence investigation report, his sentence mitigation strategy, and his character reference letters for the judge. Fortunately, we have access to the email system that allows us to correspond. We have to work through intermediaries that include his wife, his business partners, and his lawyer. But my client feels stuck in MCC New York. He feels as if he is being railroaded because he has such minimal opportunity to participate in his defense. He will plead guilty, but he needs to build a stronger mitigation case to influence the sentence and the outcome of his case. My client says he gives the client a 1, but I would give it a 6. We’ll score it a three.
- 17.On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d give the facility a rating of:3
- 18.Personal Blog:
NEW YORK MCC
A low security with an adjacent minimum security satellite camp.
150 PARK ROW, NEW YORK, NY 10007
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NEW YORK MCC
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 PARK ROW
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, NY 10007