Judge Garaufis Recommends Minimum Security Danbury Prison Camp For Clare Bronfman, but He Doesn’t Have Final Say

Clare Bronfman

Last week, Clare Bronfman’s attorney, Ronald Sullivan, Jr., filed a letter asking Judge Nicholas Garaufis to recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Clare be assigned to the minimum security camp at the federal prison complex in Danbury, Connecticut or to another similar camp and to release her $100 million bail bond.

The judge agreed to both.

His order reads:

ORDER: Defendant’s request to exonerate bail is GRANTED. The court recommends to the Bureau of Prisons that Defendant be designated to the minimum security camp at Danbury, CT. So-Ordered. Ordered by Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis on 10/5/2020. (Gurian, Nico) (Entered: 10/05/2020)

It sounds promising for the heiress and she may well wind up in the minimum security women’s camp in Danbury with an estimated 78 other women.

However, the judge does not have the final say on where Clare is placed. That’s up to the Bureau of Prisons [BOP], which is a division of the United States Department of Justice, the same department that prosecuted Bronfman.

It might be argued that if the judge really wanted Clare to be placed in the Danbury camp, he would have specifically asked prosecutors in the Bronfman case to contact the BOP about Clare’s placement.

According to the Albany Times Union, the Danbury camp has “dormitory housing, relatively low staff-to-inmate ratios and limited or no perimeter fencing, according to the prisons bureau. The prison camp at Danbury has over the years offered a baseball field, volleyball net and walking track.”

[The volleyball might seem a little like home for Clare, who used to watch Keith Raniere play volleyball on Friday nights along with many of his other female devotees.]


Keith Raniere plays volleyball with his students.

Satellite view of Danbury camp.

According to a report by Fox News:

  • Most of the inmates were convicted of drug offenses.
  • All inmates work 7-1/2 hours a day and earn between 12 and 40 cents an hour. [Ironically, Clare was convicted of underpaying her illegal alien workers]
  • Chores include cooking and serving food, cleaning the kitchen, doing laundry, mowing the grounds, and plumbing.
  • Inmates wear khaki pants and tops.
  • The median age at the camp is 38 [Clare is 41]
  • The median prison term is 37 months. [Clare was sentenced to 81 months]
  • Inmates are allowed to sit next to visitors in a special room without being separated by barriers – at least they were pre-COVID.

Bronfman is presently being held in the East Tower at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn as she awaits an assignment to a permanent prison. She will likely be at MDC for several months before being transferred to her permanent prison.

Raniere is being held in the West Tower at MDC as he awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 27. The two are unlikely to see each other as prisoners generally are not moved from one tower to the other.

Clare has served one week of her sentence.

She can reduce her six-year and nine-month sentence by about a year with good behavior. In addition, she might be released to a halfway house or home confinement during the last six months of her sentence.

Consequently, Clare could be out of prison in as little as five years and two months, possibly by Christmas 2025. She will be 46. Following the completion of her sentence, Clare will be on supervised release [probation] for three years.

With the restoration of her $100 million bail bond, Clare Bronfman’s net worth, according to her filings with the court, is more than $200 million. Much of it is held in trusts and, based on restrictions the court imposed, she may not be able to spend much of it while in prison.

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Frank Parlato


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  • who only tried to do good by relentlessly pursing a woman hating madman’s enemies. (You neglected to finish that sentence Nicki)

  • On top of the prison time, Bronfman has 3 years supervised release. If EDNY is really treating NXIVM as a racketeering enterprise, then I believe they will enforce the terms of that supervision very carefully. It is typical for mobsters in the district to rack up a violation for something like attending a wedding or funeral without permission and land right back into the MDC.

  • While I would much prefer Attica or Sing Sing, or even the Black Hope of Calcutta, the knowledge that she will work menial labor brightens my morning!

    • This IS a normal prison. Most prison systems are tiered: high, medium, low/minimum, and pre/work-release. A prisoner starts in the high or medium category, then works down through the system, provided he doesn’t screw up. Someone serving 5 years might spend three years in medium, two in minimum, and one in work-release. If Clare gets this assignment, it just means she skipped the upper levels.

  • The age and length of sentence are very relevant for a lot of women that age. It probably means she will never have a child (not that she necessarily wants one of course)…At age 41, it might well be possible and 5 years time probably not

  • What I love about this is the fact these are Federal charges. No early release.

    My hope is she does not end up in a low security prison. Not exactly a country club, but someone with money can make themselves very comfortable there.

    • Yes, she may have restrictions and curbs on her ability to do favours while incarcerated but there will be fellow inmates willing to play the long game, for favours repaid on her release, I don’t doubt.

      Her best bet is redemption, aligning herself with the religious women, who tend to be left alone. However, she won’t be able to be disingenuous about this, worshipping KR does not count. If she tries that caper, her punishment will come straight out of the old testament.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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