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Inmates at Ghislaine Maxwell's prison are plugging leaks with tampons and eating moldy food

Inmates at Ghislaine Maxwell's prison are plugging leaks with tampons and eating moldy food
  • Government inspectors discovered "alarming" conditions at the Florida prison housing Ghislaine Maxwell.

  • A federal watchdog found moldy bread, rotting food, rodents, and leaks.

  • Maxwell, a convicted sex trafficker, is serving a 20-year sentence at FCI Tallahassee.

Moldy bread, rotting food, rodents and leaks being plugged up with menstrual products are among the "alarming" conditions that were uncovered at the federal Florida prison where convicted sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell is currently locked up, according to a recently-released Justice Department watchdog report.

Maxwell, a longtime associate of late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein who is serving a 20-year sentence behind bars, is among the more than 740 inmates at the low-security, women's Federal Correctional Institution in Tallahassee.

Government inspectors paid an unannounced visit to the prison complex in May and discovered "several serious operational deficiencies" at FCI Tallahassee, according to the November report by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General.

"Among the most concerning were the alarming conditions of its food service and storage operations," the scathing 49-page report viewed by Business Insider says.

The rotting food OIG inspectors found at FCI Tallahassee, according to a report.
The rotting food OIG inspectors found at FCI Tallahassee, according to a report.DOJ OIG

Inspectors said they observed inmates at the prison being served moldy bread and saw vegetables like celery and cucumbers rotting in a refrigerator in a food preparation area.

"Seriously unsanitary conditions" were also found in the prison's food storage warehouses where there were cereal bags infested with insects as well as warped food containers like jugs of mayonnaise, according to the report.

Apparent evidence of rodent droppings and rodents having chewed through boxes of food were discovered in the food storage areas, the report says.

"These conditions are potentially hazardous to the health of inmates and are clearly violative" of the Federal Bureau of Prisons food service policies, inspectors wrote in the report.

Insects were found inside and on top of bags of cereal at FCI Tallahassee.
Insects were found inside and on top of bags of cereal at FCI Tallahassee.DOJ OIG

Inspectors noted in the report that "within 24 hours of the OIG alerting institution management of our findings, they and other staff removed large volumes of food from the storage warehouses."

Fifty-five percent of the inmates at FCI Tallahassee rated the food quality at the prison as "poor and reported that outdated food was served" in a June 2022 inmate survey by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, according to the report. And many of the inmates "similarly complained" to inspectors about the quality of food during the surprise inspection.

Water was found to be 'frequently' leaking in inmate housing units

In addition to the spoiled food, inspectors found that female inmates at the prison — which has an adjacent detention center housing more than 100 male inmates — live in housing units where water "frequently" leaks from ceilings and windows.

Inspectors found feminine hygiene products being used plug up leaks at FCI Tallahassee.
Inspectors found feminine hygiene products being used plug up leaks at FCI Tallahassee.DOJ OIG

To combat the leaks, "feminine hygiene products" were being used by inmates "to absorb water from leaking windows," the report says. Staffers and inmates also used other "patchwork repairs," including plastic covering on damaged ceiling areas, to plug the leaks.

Inspectors also reported seeing "seriously worn bedding," inoperable showers and toilets, and a "black substance on walls and ceilings."

When asked for comment by Business Insider, a spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Prisons said the agency "will carefully evaluate and implement any necessary corrective actions to ensure that our mission of operating safe, secure, and humane facilities continues to be fulfilled." The spokesperson also noted that "no specific recommendations" were made by the inspectors.

"We continue to take concrete steps that will not only meet but exceed the expectations of our external partners, and we will utilize the data gathered from this report to optimize the allocation of resources," the prisons spokesperson added.

Read the original article on Insider