NY Daily News Is Trying To Cheer Me Up

23 comments March 19th, 2009at 07:23am Posted by Eli

Bernie Madoff suffering inhumane incarceration?

Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff is being held in a super-max wing of the Manhattan federal lockup – a unit so tough it drives hardened criminals mad, the Daily News has learned.

It’s known as 10 South.

Located on the 10th floor of the Metropolitan Correctional Center, the high-security wing has housed the city’s toughest mobsters and most bloodthirsty terrorists.


On 10 South, the 70-year-old Madoff is treated more like a lab rat than a vaunted Wall Street financier once entrusted with billions of investment dollars.

The lights burn 24 hours a day, and an inmate’s every move is caught on video. Madoff gets just 60 minutes a day outside his 8-by-8-foot cell – in wrist shackles.

Windows are blacked out so disoriented inmates can’t catch even a glimpse of the world outside.

What passes for food is slipped through a narrow slit in a stainless steel door that fronts a spartan cell – cold in winter, scorching hot in summer.

No interaction is permitted between inmates or guards. Only a ranking officer is allowed to remove a prisoner from his tiny cell.

Lawyer visits are few and far between. Reading material is almost nonexistent.


The squalid conditions are enough to make blood-stained tough guys cry – never mind a pampered ex-billionaire.

Bonanno crime family capo Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano was moved off 10 South in 2005 after his lawyer complained of “subhuman” conditions.

Junior Gotti said his hard time in the MCC’s most infamous section was brutal.

“I was in 10 South, and it almost broke me,” Gotti famously roared.

Imagine its impact on a first-time offender used to a $7 million East Side penthouse with a bedroom drawer filled with cuff links and a $39,000 Steinway piano in the living room.

“I had a guy in there who went bonkers,” said one veteran defense lawyer. “They had to take him out of there and give him sedatives.”

Hey, what do you call a filthy rich corrupt financier imprisoned under hellish conditions?

A good start.

UPDATE: Since my lack of sympathy for this piece of shit (which I cannot find it myself to retract) or lack of outrage that prisons like this exist (I’d rather they didn’t, but if we’re going to put people in them, it might as well be Madoff and his ilk) appears to be a problem, let me just add two things:

1) Perhaps I got a bit overexcited by the fact that one of these assholes is actually paying some kind of criminal consequences instead of walking away scot-free or getting a massive bonus.

2) The fact remains that none of the people responsible for the financial meltdown, nor anyone from the Bush administration, is in any kind of prison, hellhole or otherwise, and probably never will be.  We might get a few more Ponzi schemers like Stanford, but that’s it.

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Prisoners


  • 1. Melvin Beilli  |  March 21st, 2009 at 9:38 am

    What bullshit. Another effort to elicit sympathy for the rich and privleged, and distract attention from other crimes, by the NY Post
    Also, this guy, after covering up for everyone else in his crooked organization, and allowed to live in his Penthouse for months, now gets treated far worse than Charlie Manson? What a laugh.
    We all know Bernie, being a member of a certain religious persuasion (usually associated with a small middle eastern country) will get about 6 months in a country club prison – and then, a full pardon.
    .. Later on, of course, he’ll do “charity” work.

  • 2. Hubris Sonic  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:03 am

    uhm… the daily news reports?

    a. its the NY Daily News
    b. who cares.
    c. who cares

  • 3. wild west  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:23 am

    What’s horrible about this article isn’t the Madoff is there, but that it exists at all in America. What on earth has happened to this country? More and more the things I read sound like a third world country run by a madman, instead of the shining beacon of democracy I once believed in.

  • 4. Aris  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:31 am

    “A good start”

    Incarceration as described taking place in 10 South amounts to torture. Civilized people do not torture, regardless of how justified and righteous they may feel in exacting revenge. Madoff is a scumbag, and should be in prison but nobody — nobody, including Hitler Stalin, Pol Pot, Bin Laden, whoever and whatever their crime — should be tortured.

    It is a natural human reaction to want to cause pain to those who have caused pain; and it is natural to want to cause extraordinary pain to those who have caused extraordinary pain.There are a lot of people I think I’d enjoy taking apart, very slowly, with a dull penknife. There’s no way of knowing whether under certain circumstances of personal anguish I wouldn’t torture some motherfucker in a most horrible way. But I also know that it’s the reptilian part of my brain that wants me to descent to this subhuman level, and if we managed to do anything in the last 500 years of supposed progress it should be to have realized that civilization’s linchpin is how much empathy we can feel for those who don’t serve it.

  • 5. Bumbo McKean  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Well said, Aris.

  • 6. anon  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:55 am

    You have a great blogroll. All the usual suspects. Let’s put it this way, you have a post which exults at the torture of another human, and then we find from your blogroll that you consider yourself a progressive. No doubt you heap disdain on any who is less liberal and progressive than yourself.

    What a fucktard. And sadly, so typical.

  • 7. Eli  |  March 21st, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Perhaps I am a wee bit too vengeful on this, but the fact remains that Madoff appears to be the *only* one of these assholes who is in *any* kind of prison right now.

    The corrupt wankers who brought down our economy don’t have to all be put in hellhole prisons, but they *should* all be in prison. The Bush administration, too. But Madoff and maybe Stanford and a few other Ponzi guys are probably all we’ll ever get.

  • 8. demit  |  March 21st, 2009 at 11:54 am

    Maybe Bernie shouldn’t have skipped the trial. Isn’t that where one’s attorneys usually trot out the “omg, hasn’t my client suffered enough” defense in choked-up, well-paid tones of anguish?

  • 9. Aris  |  March 21st, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    “What a fucktard. And sadly, so typical.”

    It goes to prove that even those of us who think we’re progressives are as susceptible to the siren call of our limbic systems, the pure, unadulterated rush of emotion, as the conservatives. The difference ought to be that civilized people — supposed progressives — should be able to resist anger even when it’s righteous.

    BTW: In my previous post, I obviously meant to say, “civilization’s linchpin is how much empathy we can feel for those who don’t deserve it.” Empathizing with cute puppies is easy and meaningless. Madoff not so much, and that’s the rub.

  • 10. Eli  |  March 21st, 2009 at 12:13 pm

    Guilty as charged. I have no problem feeling compassion for the disadvantaged and disenfranchised, but I just cannot find it within myself for those who have every advantage in the world and still choose to sacrifice others to their greed or lust for power.

    I don’t claim that that’s necessarily a just, righteous, or enlightened stance, but that’s where my head’s at. But if Bernie gets moved to a medium-security prison, I’m fine with that – just so long as he’s still in prison, preferably with a lot of his friends to keep him company.

  • 11. cavjam  |  March 21st, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I’m always amazed at how little my fellow citizens know of our justice/penal system. Get arrested for a felony and, unless you can meet bail (which is always high thanks to bailbondsmen’s political contributions to the D.A.), you sit in a cell with forty/fifty other men for six months (and it’s always the max time) waiting trial. There violent and borderline psychotics mix with car thieves, dopers, and immigration detainees. Beatdowns are fairly common (heaven forbid you should snore). The lights are always on. There’s no view of the outside world. It’s hot in summer, cold in winter. The menu’s surely no different than Madoff’s. And all that’s before you even stand trial. Madoff’s actually got it pretty good. And this is probably only temporary till either they figure out where to send him or the public ire tires.

    BTW, I find it fitting that Junior whined about his prison conditions. A tough guy he ain’t.

  • 12. Aris  |  March 21st, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    “Perhaps I got a bit overexcited by the fact that one of these assholes is actually paying some kind of criminal consequences instead of walking away scot-free or getting a massive bonus.”

    Nobody is arguing that assholes like Madoff shouldn’t face criminal consequences; and nobody who’s lucid is arguing that Madoff could be the only one who’s responsible for this whole mess: There are plenty of assholes who deserve to be in jail, from Bush and his cronies to the traders who raided the world’s financial system. The argument is against getting overexcited and thinking it’s a good idea that the NYC police maintains a torture chamber in Manhattan.

  • 13. The Raven  |  March 21st, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    Bernie wouldn’t last long in gen-pop. Isolation is the safest place for him. I’m saving my tears for the thousands of people who lost everything they had spent a lifetime working for, because they trusted him, and he just stole it all and threw it away.

    The charities – like the Wiesenthal Foundation – that now can’t perform their functions are resulting in misery and fewer good works. It isn’t just the wealthy who lost out because of this, but some of the most needy, too. The pain this man has caused is incalculable. He isn’t being tortured, but he has a nice, quiet place in which he can contemplate the horror of his crime.

  • 14. gjdodger  |  March 21st, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I’m in agreement that the conditions sound inhuman and inhumane, and we as a people shouldn’t be perpetuating them. Bernie belongs in a nice, clean cell, climate controlled, with sunlight and balanced nutrition. Like any rat in a cage. He didn’t testify and pled guilty because he’s secreted hundreds of millions of his ill-gotten gains with his relatives; by accepting the maximum the law allows, they have to leverage to get him to confess who got the money and how much. He should get the worst our prison system has, but our prison system shouldn’t be that bad.

  • 15. gjdodger  |  March 21st, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    “no” leverage, sorry

  • 16. Eli  |  March 21st, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    He should get the worst our prison system has, but our prison system shouldn’t be that bad.

    That works for me.

  • 17. Den Valdron  |  March 21st, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Look, let’s assume that we all agree that prison is an unpleasant and degrading experience.

    It’s an unfortunate fact of life that we, as a society, have collectively deemed this as appropriate for those lower on the social and economic scale.

    If the Penal system is a horrorshow, its because we’re happy to have it as a horrorshow.

    I find it ironic that most, but not all, of those crying tears over Bernie Madoff’s treatment are those who worked hardest and cried loudest to make the penal system as brutal and onerous as possible.

    I also find it ironic that most, but not all, of those crying tears over Bernie Madoff’s treatment, are unconsciously endorsing a two tiered justice system wherein the wealthy and connected are never obligated to suffer from the consequences of their action.

    A few of those protesting Madoff’s conditions are undoubtedly good and decent people who want one level of humane justice for all. I figure there’s about five or six of them.

    Most of those expressing sympathy for Madoff’s plight are merely fascistic hypocrites.

    Just saying.

  • 18. Eli  |  March 21st, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    I’m pretty sure that everyone commenting here is very happy that Madoff is in prison, and where we disagree is on whether he – or anyone – deserves to be in a prison that’s a total hellhole. I think most of the people here saying that he shouldn’t be in a hellhole are sincerely opposed to hellholes in general.

    I don’t like hellhole prisons either, but I think people like Madoff and the Bushies are more deserving of incarceration in them than the poor bastards who never had a chance (or couldn’t afford competent legal representation).

  • 19. Dward  |  March 21st, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    “The argument is against getting overexcited and thinking it’s a good idea that the NYC police maintains a torture chamber in Manhattan.”

    I didn’t see squat in this post about torture. The Left seems to have fallen into a situation where anything unpleasant is regarded as “torture.”

    (And although the Right is worse on just about every issue, a lot of sensible people will never embrace the Left for just this kind of reason.)

    Prison ought to be unpleasant — especially for truly world-class scum like Madoff.

  • 20. Woody  |  March 22nd, 2009 at 9:49 am

    The fasacinating is that prison condiitons only become worthy of discussion when a rich, (hitherto) respectable, (usually formerly) wealthy WHITE people are subjected to ’em.

    If Bernie Madoff were a coke-dealer caught selling $1,000 worth of shit, he’d 1) still be in South 10 (but not in solitary), and he’d have had EVERYTHING he owned confiscated by the cops.

    And we’d never have heard a word about it.

    I shed not a tear for Bernie Madoff. He’s safe, fed, and dry.

  • 21. Out of My Mind for 22 Mar&hellip  |  March 22nd, 2009 at 9:56 am

    […] Big Journalism is dead, this won;’t be missed; a story that if true matters not at all. And if this guy joins me on the […]

  • 22. Duncan  |  March 22nd, 2009 at 11:15 am

    wild west, do you “believe in” the Easter bunny too? The US has always been like this. That you were unaware of it is something you need to work on. Educate yourself.

    Woody, you’re wrong. Prison conditions “become worthy of discussion” when poor people of color suffer from them too. At least to people with any humanity. And I’m intrigued to see here just how many self-styled liberals are lacking in humanity.

  • 23. The Scapegoat&hellip  |  November 29th, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    […] that’s the right decision because I feel pretty sure he would flee if they let him out, but nobody should be held in conditions like this. Read the link. You would be arrested for treating a dog this […]

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