Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is serving the beginning of his seven and a half year prison sentence in Loretto, Pennsylvania. But, he's expected to be transferred to Rikers Island in New York City following a request by New York City District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. The move could come as early as Thursday. Once at Rikers Island, authorities reportedly plan on holding Manafort in protective custody, away from the other prisoners. Initial reports suggested he'd be placed in solitary confinement.
Manafort was sentenced in March for bank and tax fraud charges. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that his initial sentencing, which was just 47 months, was an injustice.
Paul Manafort getting such little jail time for such serious crimes lays out for the world how it’s almost impossible for rich people to go to jail for the same amount of time as someone who is lower income.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2019
In our current broken system, “justice” isn’t blind. It’s bought. https://t.co/1UgBXmR8bl
Others argued at the time that Manafort was benefitting from his "white privilege." Surprisingly, in light of this week's news, Ocasio-Cortez says solitary confinement at Rikers may be a bit too far - even for the Trump associate. Rikers, which has housed some notorious criminals like John Lennon's killer, Mark David Chapman, is infamous for its questionable conditions. Sources familiar with the prison have often cited its "culture of violence."
Paul Manafort is being sent to solitary confinement in my district - Rikers Island.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
A prison sentence is not a license for gov torture and human rights violations. That‘s what solitary confinement is.
Manafort should be released, along with all people being held in solitary. https://t.co/9rERLDSzrD
Yes - released from solitary.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 5, 2019
NYT used the term solitary confinement, & that’s what I am commenting on.
“Protective custody” IS a separate practice, but does not necessarily exclude solitary. If he is in fact not being held in solitary, great. Release everyone else from it too.
Editor's Note: This post has been updated.