Attorneys Asks That Raniere Be Assigned to Prison With ‘Drop-out Yard’ For His Safety

Keith Alan Raniere, 60, was sentenced last week to a 120 year prison sentence.

Yesterday, his attorneys asked Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis to recommend to the Bureau of Prisons [BOP] that Raniere be placed in a “sensitive needs unit” or “drop-out yard” – a protective custody facility for prisoners who likely would be targeted in the general population due to their crimes or celebrity status.

Raniere’s attorneys, Marc Agnifilo and Teny Geragos, wrote to the judge:

On October 27, 2020, this Court held a sentencing hearing…  and sentenced Keith Raniere to, among other things, a prison term of 120 years. In light of the media interest in this case and due to the nature of the offense conduct and other matters discussed during the hearing, we request that the Court recommend to the Bureau of Prisons that Mr. Raniere be housed at a facility that has a special or sensitive needs unit (sometimes called a “drop-out yard”), such as USP Allenwood.

Also, due to the fact that Mr. Raniere will want to meet with his lawyers during the appeal process, and because plane travel during the extended pandemic may be difficult, we further request that he be housed in a facility within an eight hour drive of New York City.

The Allentown facility is an estimated 3-4 hour drive from NYC.

It is up to the Bureau of Prisons to make the final determination. Even if the judge recommends it, the BOP might not approve Raniere for assignment to a prison with a drop-out yard and he may wind up in solitary confinement or a maximum-security prison.

The judge’s recommendation, if he makes one, is only advisory.

Based on Raniere’s crimes of conviction and his lack of remorse – and because of statements and actions Raniere and some of his followers have made and done – it is also quite possible that the BOP will assign Raniere to the Florence, Colorado Supermax facility where he would be placed in solitary confinement for a minimum of three years.

Once there, he would find it almost impossible to communicate with attorneys or followers. Prisoners in solitary at the supermax are permitted only one phone call per month and rarely have visitors.

At the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center [MDC] where Raniere is presently in custody, his phone calls and emails were monitored. The prosecution revealed that Raniere has made dangerous and controversial statements such as the judge needs to know he is being watched and that prosecutors committed crimes in prosecuting him.

His followers took an affidavit Raniere drafted from prison to the prosecutors’ office asking them to affirm or admit they committed prosecutorial misconduct. They declined to sign the affidavit.

At Raniere’s sentencing hearing, the judge said he believes Raniere is waging a media campaign to discredit him and the judicial process.

The judge said Raniere “and his counsel, funded by an unlimited war chest courtesy of co-conspirator Clare Bronfman, are engaged in a public relations campaign to cast doubt on the integrity of the judicial system and the jury verdict.” Then he added, “Ultimately, Mr. Raniere’s lack of remorse, coupled with his view that the conduct for which he was convicted was actually ‘noble,’ strongly suggests the need for a significant sentence.”

Then he sentenced the 60-year-old to 120-years in federal prison.

It remains to be seen if the judge recommends a drop-out yard. His refusal may virtually ensure that Raniere will either go to a maximum security facility, where his life may be in danger – or a supermax where he will be safe from other prisoners but in a cruel world of total isolation.

A “drop-out yard” typically houses inmates who need special protection such as those who have dropped out of gangs and informed on members, persons convicted of sexual crimes, convicted former law enforcement officers, celebrities, and anyone who could be in danger from other inmates, or bullied by staff.

It is meant for prisoners who would not be safe anywhere else, outside of solitary confinement.

What this means is that the best-case scenario for Raniere is the drop-out yard – and that the worse case solitary confinement at the supermax.

Raniere has expressed concerns to followers that if he goes to a maximum-security prison and is placed among the general population, he will be murdered.

Meantime, his attorneys are planning an appeal of his conviction. It is believed that the appeal will be based on a number of issues including (a) the judge’s halting of Lauren Salzman’s cross-examination; (b) the unreliability of evidence found on electronic devices that held Camila’s explicit photographs when she was 15; and (c) the alleged prejudicial use of first names only for certain witnesses – which it is likely to be argued unfairly signaled to the jury which witnesses the judge believed were Raniere’s victims.

An appeal in the Second Circuit takes anywhere from a year to two years to get a ruling.

Well before the appellate court makes its decision, Raniere is going to assigned to a prison somewhere and it might make all the difference in the world which one that is.

Meantime, it appears that visitors may be allowed to visit Raniere while he is still at MDC.


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  • I am curious to find out what’t Keith’s new boyfriend is gonna look like.

    And if he has to participate in group blowjobs.

    Questions………..😏😏

  • I am not sure that getting housed in a “drop-out” yard is all that good a deal. I hadn’t heard the term before, so I was curious enough to spend a couple minutes digging. Apparently, these are supposed to be safe spaces for people who have dropped out of the big prison gangs. But of course, now that drop-out yards have been established for a while, there are gangs founded by people in drop-out yards to protect themselves from other people in other drop-out yard gangs. Apparently, every prison in the California state system that has a drop-out yard has drop-out gangs. So it’s very possible that Raniere will be no safer in a drop-out yard than in the general population. I couldn’t find any statistics about gang violence in drop-out yards versus the general population, though.

  • The only way to guarantee Raniere’s safety is for him to go to Super Max. We all know of cases of sexual predators with notoriety being killed while incarcerated in so called ‘more secured’ setups. It doesn’t work. He is a marked man.

    He has weaponized and abused the court system for years. He threatened the judge. Super Max will put a hard limit on his ability to continue with the manipulative, weaponized machinations under the guise of his “appeals”. Serves him right.

    The best punishment for this maniac is to be made invisible.

  • I don’t care where he goes, but I do hope there is some way to bar him from any contact with his NXIVM crew. With enough mental distance, maybe some of them will wake up. Many prison situations do seem inhumane which I do not wish on anyone, but some people are incorrigible. If there is no way to rehabilitate a felon into a functioning member of society, better to have them held in such a way that they cannot continue to harm others – including the felons incarcerated with them. As long as he can’t continue to harm people, let him be placed wherever and be forgotten.

  • Judge Garaufis has not been vindictive in this case, despite ample provocation. I think he deserves full credit for his professionalism and fairness.

    I see no reason why the Judge will not make this recommendation to the BOP. Raniere is a convicted sex criminal, his infamy the subject of two TV series. He is at risk. I have zero sympathy for Raniere but we are a civilized country, prison inmates are human beings, and shouldn’t be exposed to beatings, knifing, or getting raped when he drops the soap. Raniere deserves to be treated as well as we treat a chicken in an egg cage.

    I also see no reason why he should go to a supermax. I can’t imagine this short, wimpy four-eyes overpowering his guards and bustin’ out. As for his remaining loyalists, the Nxivm 5, those dancing fools could barely manage to put together a podcast.

    Raniere has every right to have access to his lawyers. The odds of an appeal even being granted, let alone won, are slim to none. There’s simply no grounds for appeal. Nor will there ever be a sudden swell of popular support for this horrid little man.

    Raniere’s fate is sealed. He did this to himself, he earned this, his fate is sealed. It’s the end of the road for Vanguard.

    • Raniere has an absolute right to appeal his sentence. The odds of him winning any such appeals are, however, very slim. And even if he did win an appeal, all he would do is earn the right to be re-tried back in the EDNY.

    • Child molestors/rapist are considered the lowest form of human life by, serial killers, gangbangers and many other happy klappy jailbirds.

      Perhaps he can arrange a powerful boyfriend/husband for himself. Protection is everything in prison

  • That’s a really big question. I mean, I wonder what the judge will decide. He prefers Keith’s personal safety or the provision of communication channel.

    • Regardless of what Judge Garufis recommends, the BOP will unilaterally decide where Keith will be imprisoned. And the fact that his attorneys have raised questions about his safety in prison may be reason enough for the BOP to initially assign him to the supermax prison. Be careful what you ask for – especially when you’re dealing with Federal bureaucrats.

  • I have nothing that makes me think the case was fundamentally wrongly decided or a miscarriage of justice and I think you cannot retry a case after so they would have to find some pretty bad things to succeed on an appeal and so far I have seen nothing much.

  • I do think it terrible that someone sent to a supermax couldn’t contact their attorney, especially when there is an appeal pending.

    I know the judge interrupting the questioning has been discussed quite a bit and, at the time, Keith’s attorney didn’t bother to push the matter but what about the first name basis for the witnesses, is that something that could make his appeal a success? Surely that wouldn’t signal the judge believed them victims at that stage. What is the difference between that and a witness testifying behind a screen/anonymously via video link for their own protection? It happens.

    • —I do think it terrible that someone sent to a supermax couldn’t contact their attorney, especially when there is an appeal pending

      I agree. I don’t know if it is unconstitutional, but it should be. Until someone’s appeals are exhausted they should be able to speak to their attorney.

        • The second paragraph reads like a resort brochure until the last paragraph where it reminds the reader that they are in their cell 23 hours of the day.

          • You’re right…Kind of like some vacation brochures that put all the important stuff in really small print on the last page.

        • Thanks!!! For the link!!!

          Do the following 2 policies appear to be in conflict?

          1.) Each Federal Correctional Complex offers various educational opportunities and numerous programs to the inmates.  To educate the prisoners, programs such as the General Education Development Program, Adult Continuing Education, Adult Occupational Education, and English as a Second Language are available  Offenders can also take part in vocational training and parenting programs.  Religious, food, recreational, medical, and mental health services are provided to the inmates at this facility.  The Recreational Program, in particular, encourages an active lifestyle and allows inmates to take interest in new hobbies and activities. The Recreational Program lines up activities such as team sports, wellness instruction, and crafting for the offenders.

          2.) Although these programs are available, prisoners are still under 23 hour lock up in their cells and have only 5 hours of recreation time each week.  

          You can do all the crap mentioned
          policy 1.) in 5 hours?

          Between the 5 hours of recreation a week and the fact that you have no social interactions/stimulus 24/7…..

          How does an individual not go insane? Seriously.

          The prisoners would almost be better off dead. I don’t understand how there are not more suicides.

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

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, many others in all five continents.

His work helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s documentary “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.”

Parlato will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

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