Pressure Mounts at MDC to Release Prisoners – Will Clare & Keith Be Home for the Holidays?

Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center

Administration officials at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, NY are facing increasing pressure to release some of the estimated 1,300 inmates who are currently being held there.

That’s because of the recent outbreak of COVID-19 among MDC inmates and staff – and because of the facility’s continuing deterioration.

Outbreak of COVID-19 at MDC

Approximately 90% of the MDC inmates are there because they weren’t able to post bail – or weren’t allowed to post bail – while they wait to go to trial. In other words, even though they have not yet been convicted of anything, they are being held because they are poor – or because a judge deemed them to be a “flight risk” or a “danger to society”.


Conditions At MDC Continue to Deteriorate

MDC is currently experiencing a major COVID-19 outbreak among both its inmates and its staff.

According to reports from several news outlets, most of the new cases are occurring in a 7th floor unit in the facility’s West Tower (All of MDC’s male inmates are housed in the West Tower).

MDC has confirmed that as of November 7th, 55 inmates had tested positive for COVID-19.

The Bureau of Prisons’ website has also confirmed that 6 staff at the facility had also tested positive for the disease. That figure differs substantially from the 49 MDC staff that the Daily News has reported were infected with COVID-19.

The facility has been on “full lockdown” since early in November.

During such periods, inmates are held in their cells approximately 23-hours a day. The only time they get out is to take a shower (3 times per week), to pick up their commissary orders (every other week), and to make phone calls (a maximum of 15 minutes per call).

West Building Housing Unit at Brooklyn’s Metropolitan Detention Center.
Inside MDC Prison Unit (Photo Credit: Daily News)

In addition, all meals are served to inmates in their cells, no visits with friends and family members are allowed, and only “emergency” meetings with lawyers are allowed while the facility is on “full lockdown”.

To make matters worse, the MDC facility has also been experiencing periodic outages of heat and hot water since early November. While not as bad as the life-threatening conditions that resulted from a fire and partial power outage back in February 2019, the current conditions have been described as “extremely uncomfortable”.

Justin Long, a spokesperson for the BOP, claimed that recent reports concerning the deteriorating conditions at MDC are overblown.

“All inmates at MDC Brooklyn are properly cared for per CDC guidelines and have full access to MDC Brooklyn’s health services staff on a daily basis,” Long said. “The institution’s health services staff complete daily rounds of all housing units to address any concerns inmates may have.”

“Sick call is also available each day for any inmate experiencing any illness”, Long added. “Any inmate who has tested positive for COVID-19 is isolated in a designated housing unit and not quartered with healthy inmates”.

Notwithstanding the BOP’s denials, a recent report in The New York Times indicated that conditions are continuing to deteriorate at the facility. The conditions described in that report include the following:

  • Prison officials are not following basic public health guidelines: e.g., Corrections Officers are not wearing masks – or not wearing them properly – while interacting with inmates;
  • Sick inmates are not receiving proper medical attention – and are being allowed to stay in cells with healthy inmates;
  • There is little contact tracing when a Corrections Officer or an inmate tests positive for COVID-19;
  • There is no on-site testing for MDC staff;
  • Water in at least one part of the facility has turned brown – and is no longer drinkable;
  • Garbage is being allowed to accumulate in inmates’ cells – thereby worsening the ever-present rodent problem; and
  • Emergency call buttons in many cells have stopped working.

On Friday, December 4th, dozens of protesters gathered outside MDC to demand that the BOP immediately begin releasing inmates in order to ensure that none of them die unnecessarily.

mdc covid
December 4th protest outside of MDC Brooklyn

“We’re demanding they free anyone in the facility who’s immunocompromised,” said Eve, a protester with the activist group Sunset Park Popular Assembly, who did not give her last name.

It does not appear that MDC has made any such releases since the latest COVID-19 surge began in early November.

Gregory Cooper, a former inmate who was granted compassionate release back on April 30th, previously reported that at least a dozen of the 80 inmates in his unit showed symptoms of COVID-19 before he was released – and that the prison did not enforce adequate social distancing measures when inmates were allowed to leave their cells.

“There is no social distancing,” Cooper said. “When they let everybody out for the 30 minutes, everybody is congregating, everybody is talking.”


Shutdown of Federal Courts Is Looming

Earlier this year, courtrooms in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) and the Southern District of New York (SDNY) closed for approximately three months – from mid-March to mid-June – because of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although neither district has closed down for a second time, many local courtroom observers predict that both will close down for several months at the start of the new year.

EDNY Courthouse

If the EDNY courthouse is closed, then it is likely the sentencing of Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and Kathy Russell will be postponed until sometime next Spring (All federal defendants have an absolute right to be present in person at their sentencing – which means that the only way any of those NXIVM-related defendants could be sentenced during a courtroom shutdown is if they agreed to do so via a teleconference proceeding).


So, What Does All This Mean for Clare Bronfman & Keith Raniere?

Under normal circumstances, both Clare, who was sentenced to 81-months in federal prison on September 30th – and Keith, who was sentenced to 120-years in federal prison on October 27th – would likely have already been transferred to wherever they will serve their respective sentences (Except for “cadre inmates” – who have been assigned to work at the facility and who usually have less than 4-years to serve – MDC does not house inmates once they have been sentenced).

MK10ART Clare Bronfman and Keith Raniere are both behind bars at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

Thus, were it not for the COVID-19 spike that is going on right now, Clare (AKA Federal Prisoner # 91010-053) would likely have been transferred to her expected landing place: the federal women’s prison in Danbury, CT.

Similarly, Keith (AKA Federal Prisoner # 57005-177) would likely have been moved to wherever he will begin serving his life sentence (Given the length of his sentence, it is quite possible that he will end up serving time in several prisons before he dies).

As of now, it is still very uncertain as to where Keith will be assigned.

Although his attorneys asked that he be assigned to a prison that is relatively close to New York City – and although the BOP generally tries to assign inmates to prisons within 500-miles of their hometown – there is a good chance that Keith will end up at a federal prison that is far, far away.

That’s because he was convicted, among other crimes, of sex trafficking and possession of child pornography – and because he has expressed concern about his safety if he is placed in the general population of a regular federal prison.

Given those issues, Keith’s best hope is to get assigned to a facility that has a Sex Offender Management Program (SOMP).

As previously reported in Frank Report, there are several such prisons that offer such programs: the medical facility in Devens, MA; the low-security facilities in Seagoville, TX, Elkton, OH and Englewood, CO; the medium-security facilities in Petersburg, VA, Marianna, FL, and Marion, IL; and the high-security facility in Tucson, AZ.

Now, Keith just has to hope that his recent spate of bad luck changes – and that the BOP assigns him to one of those facilities.

The “bad news” for both Clare and Keith is that they will very likely be spending the upcoming holidays at MDC.

The “good news”, of course, is that they will each be getting a holiday bag full of candy, snacks, and other treats.

About the author

K.R. Claviger


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  • “A man believed to be the longest-serving inmate for non-violent, marijuana charges has been released from a Florida prison, and is set to spend the holidays with family for the first time in more than 31 years.”

    “In a statement, Richard DeLisi said it felt “amazingly wonderful to know that [he] will be home with family and loved ones very soon”.

    Those family members won’t include his wife, parents and son, however. They all died in the 31 years since DeLisi’s sentencing.

    – Kenya Eveline, The Guardian.

  • Much ado about nothing. Don’t they have one of the top three problem solvers in the world housed there? Perhaps the government and prison management can come to terms with him and he can use his exceptional brain power to come up with a solution for the COVID problem in jail, and if it works there, he can patent it and start a new company based on the “tech”.

  • For those wanting his release, I remind you:

    “In one message, Mr. Raniere wrote her:

    “If you want me to come tonight, I will under these conditions: there will be no talking. You will meet me at the door in the outfit you think I would find sexiest. You will arouse me, we will make love for my satisfaction and pleasure. You will do everything you can to provide that. I will finish and leave. Do you agree yes or no?”

    When Camila had a relationship with another man, Mr. Raniere “punished [her] emotionally, psychologically, and sexually.”

    He branded her.

    As Camila tells the court:

    “I hold scars on my body from him that can never be erased. They carry immense emotional and psychological pain. They are a reminder of his cruelty and manipulation. He knew exactly what he was doing…”

  • By the way, if the Covid-19 vaccine is available, it has already occurred to someone to vaccinate the inmates in the prisons instead of releasing them. That is a much better alternative.

  • Even with a Covid-19 pandemic, there are plenty of reasons to keep them in custody. The risk of infection with Covid-19 exists outside of prison as well. And there is the risk of further crimes when prisoners are released.

    • Raniere has been well and truly convicted. He should serve his sentence, but the BOP and MDC can rightfully be expected to minimize risk to inmates and staff from the virus.

      That minimum would mean regular testing and effective quarantine, neither of which is happening.

      • Hmm, if we, as members of the healthcare community, have to be tested monthly in order to provide as safe care as possible to our patients and their families, there’s no reason why prison adms can’t test their employees regularly. They just don’t want to spend the money…it would mean one less vacation for them.

  • If the prisoners are already in quarantine and have passed through it, they can be transferred afterwards, even if they are also quarantined at their destination, the transfer to another prison is then unproblematic. Of course, the quarantine rules and hygiene rules must be followed during the transport to the other prison. This is actually quite easy to do if you know what you are doing and if you want to do it. And I think it can be organized and done without higher costs.

  • The COVID response enacted by TPTB has got to be either the most unintelligent response in existence for such a impotent virus except for a select few of unhealthy individuals who will always suffer higher rates of mortality in these types of situations, or an intentional, well-thought, out diabolical plan that will have even further significant ramifications in the years to come on the masses—in addition to the economic and social warfare that has already been unleashed on the middle and lower income classes in well-to-do countries, not to mention upon the poor in third world countries—unless they wake the **** up. The fact that the corporate controlled mass media is hiding news coverage of demonstrations occurring in Europe in countries like Germany and France absolutely due to the lockdowns (or covering them with diversions of an Islamic threat once again), not to mention in third world countries like India (see the massive deleterious effect on its poor farmers), gives me hope it is the latter.

  • I think that the as-yet unconvicted (those awaiting trial) should be considered first for release, especially if they are in there only because they could not raise bond money. The risk to Keith and Claire could be solved by deciding on and moving them to their assigned prisons. How hard could that be?

    MDC is a disgrace and should be shut down. It’s a hell hole even for the staff.

    • Re “MDC is a disgrace and should be shut down. It’s a hell hole even for the staff.”

      That may be so. But all the shortcomings and grievances of the MDC have nothing to do with Covid-19. All of this has not just existed since Covid-19 surfaced, and there is no quick fix. Until there is a replacement for the MDC, as a newly built prison would be, there is no alternative. The need to arrest people and keep them in custody continues. No amount of outcry and indignation will change that.

      • I don’t disagree with you. But the substandard medical care and MDC has been long-standing. I am not sure that a newly built facility is needed; I wonder if the city owns any other building that would suffice.

        • Amendment: My apologies. MDC is a federal facility, so a city-owned building would only be available to them through purchase.

  • May I ask for examples of the sorts of petty crimes that some of the inmates are awaiting trial for? I fear it may fuel my outrage but what the hell!

    • 47% of federal prisoners serving time in September 2016 (the most recent date for which data are available) were convicted of a drug offense.

      46% of prisoners are in prison for non-violent offenses.

  • Prisons are an industry for profit, and very hypocritically so. It just seems that anyone incarcerated who has been unable to afford bail and who is packed into some purgatorial mess as temporary “housing” by we the people, (ha fucking ha) if their charges are for non-violent crimes, ought to be let out of hell right now.

    Hell can wait awhile. Why not!

    I understand how many of the disorganized and callous people, who make such decisions regarding imprisonment, are very likely being driven by profit-making, at the sacrifice of maintaining realistic conditions for humane and decent well-being, with respect to the ones who are imprisoned. It is awful to observe it though, as if these prisoners were meaningless nonentities who have no families and friends who love them and who want them to come home in one piece and to be able to try living again, perhaps with the awareness to make better choices for themselves (ourselves, really) one fine day.

    Who amongst us would wish for anyone to have to endure unnecessary or preventable harm because of the way that humans fumble around? It is not as if we haven’t ever studied how to be pragmatic and compassionate simultaneously. This is a kind of clean-up job going on constantly, worldwide. We have the heart and we certainly have the elbow grease to be able to help each other. What are we, all nuts? Love and war. Love and war. Love and war. Yup. We are kind of batshit. Is it on purpose, or is ignorance that stubborn?

    We can do this. It is not new or original work to do. For the love of God, ANY conditions can be improved, through organization and sincere purposefulness, with an eye to solving any kind of difficulties that might arise. There is nothing unsolvable upon this earth. What is lacking is our determined resolve to treat others with humane respect, no matter who it is. Ugliness used against “ugliness” is guaranteed to produce more suffering.

    God bless the child. I weep for these prisoners as though they were my own babies. Give people a chance. There has got to be some hope. Dignity. What repetition of nastiness and garbage, and if we leave it this way, sooner or later the only thing left will be a few brave, cantankerous garbagemen and garbage ladies, of course. Be it ever so humble, huh? There’s no other place than here, for the moment. The good, the bad and the ugly seem to want to ignore the beautiful. Always left out. Thank heaven for every artist with every reminder of it all.

    Would it be so wrong for prisoners to sing and dance? I’ve always, always wondered about this. Creativity and praise can do marvels to awaken a troubled person. We waste opportunities to provide chances for mending and healing those who happen to land in prison and who would still choose that for themselves.

    • Bail reform enacted this year in New York State eliminated detention and bail for nearly 90 percent of prisoners incarcerated for non-violent crimes. Those who were imprisoned for non-violent crimes were released; federal detainees are obviously not part of the NY bail reform statute. This was done to “level the playing field” — previously most of those unable to make bail were poor or low-income, while those with higher income were able to walk right out after posting bail, never staying a night in jail or prison. Half-year statistics show that bail reform has worked as a large percentage of those arrested (of all incomes) still appear for their subsequent court appearances. NYS has also provided financial resources to every county in the state to strengthen their public defenders offices so that proper and effective counsel is provided for those who cannot afford an attorney.
      NY has made some steps for prison reform….

    • If any of that were true, the citizens would have already risen up and spent the tax dollars or contributed money out of the goodness of their hearts to pay for a more enjoyable prison experience.

      It’s the flu, not the plague. Most people in prison are at an extremely low risk of death from COVID 19. You don’t want most of these people turned loose in society, even a locked down one, as they can commit their crimes using the internet.

    • Rehabilitation. That’s a word we don’t hear often enough. Just locking people up is not enough in most cases. How are they going to fit into society after release? Are there pathways for them to live an honest and productive life after they’ve paid their debt to society?

      For the vast majority there aren’t, and many return to prison.

      Part of that is our fault.

      • Paul – Very good observations. I hope against hope you’re not spitting in the wind.

        It’s amazing how cold many of us can be when discussing those imprisoned. We tend to lump all together, without regard for what they’ve done or how they wound up locked away. Or whether they even should be.

        No doubt, there are many who must be segregated from society, for society’s protection. (This includes KAR, IMO.) But by no means is that representative of the entire imprisoned population.

  • I am sure Keith’s name is positioned close to the top of the inmates list for temporary release 😅

    Will he knock on Clare’s door on his way out, just to say “hi ‘n’ thanks”? 🤔

  • The Democrats are playing Americans for suckers!

    According to the Democrat party, people who spread Coviid 19, even unintentionally, are Serial Killers!
    LEGACY MEDIA: “Covid turned us all into serial killers”

  • The government has never guaranteed Americans against contracting any virus, especially a virus with flu like symptoms.

    Common Symptoms
    Researchers in China found that the most common symptoms among people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 include:

    Fever: 99%
    A dry cough: 59%
    Loss of appetite: 40%
    Body aches: 35%
    Shortness of breath: 31%
    Mucus or phlegm: 27%

    Symptoms usually begin 2 to 14 days after you come into contact with the virus.

    These are all common symptoms in the flu.
    When I had the flu in the past I had many of these symptoms.

    With Covid-19 many people experience no symptoms at all.

    From 1918 to 1920 the Spanish flu killed an estimated one million Americans out of a population of one hundred million.
    At no time was the country shut down.
    One of the dead included my maternal great grandfather.
    He was 42 at the age of death.
    That is the risk of being alive.
    His widow, my great grandmother, lived to be 99 years old.

    It’s time for Americans to stop being a bunch of pansies.
    The Wicked Witch of the West Nancy Pelosi, is using this PLANdemic to take advantage of your ignorance and gullibility.

    Spanish flu

    • What exactly does the Dem Nancy Pelosi gain by duping Americans?


      My wife and I have COVID-19.
      We tested positive. Are symptoms started on Friday and we were tested yesterday and the results came back this morning. As I type I have a fever of 100.8.

      Not too bad. With any luck are symptoms will stay the same and we will be the same. I know people who have died. This is real. And you my friend whom I know well have a myriad of conditions which means you are at high risk. We may disagree on much but I sincerely hope you do not contract this virus.

      290,987 official COVID-19 deaths.


      If the official COVID-19 deaths are subtracted from the total deaths this year there are an additional 50,000 deaths more than for a normal year.

    • Shadow-

      The main worry is that the hospital system will be overrun.

      In addition to Covid cases, all of the other reasons people go to hospitals are still going on such as car accidents and heart attacks.

      If the hospitals get overrun and don’t have enough beds to meet demand, many people will die. Triage will become a decision of which 1 gets to live out of every 5 people who need care.

      What don’t you understand?

  • Claviger,

    I love the clickbait title you used for the Raniere faithful fan club.

    “Will Clare & Keith Be Home for the Holidays?”

    I can only imagine the excitement and anticipation they felt as they clicked on that title.


    You are an evil man. 😉

  • Curious if KR’s devotees, who stood vigil outside the jail under the pretense of a legitimate jail reform movement, were also part of the Dec. 4 protest? Or if they’ve given up their “movement” since KR was sentenced.

    • My thoughts exactly, Adam. I am guessing just a few re-tweets from the comfort and Covid-free safety of their apartments.

    • That small crowd was larger than anything the NXIVM gang ever assembled, and they didn’t even dance to entertain each other.

  • Use of the shared shower and use of the telephone… If it’s cleaned like we do, there’s a problem. Here, even the doorknobs are cleaned every 4 hours on “paper”, but in reality, I have been meeting the same dirt at the tap since July. We don’t wear masks either, and only one of the bosses is mandatory (me and my partner wear it because we’re rule-followers). Inmates also receive incomplete health care here. Field testing is not here either only the Chinese thermometer, which is 33.2-36.8 degrees Celsius for everyone. But there are living things. Cockroaches running around without tension. I still don’t envy Keith Raniere and Clare. I’m guessing they’ll stay where they are in good health. People like that get away with almost anything. Almost. (I do not wish them any harm other than to serve their deserved and just sentence.)

    • I’ve been masked and gloved since March when the virulence of the virus became obvious. Doubled-gloved is my protocol.

      The MDC will probably have a huge fomite problem, so double-gloving would be wise.

      Having had the virus in January, I really don’t want it again.

      • You really can get it twice? IDK, but I was assured by a doctor that’s not possible. Otherwise, how would a vaccine work?

      • Double-gloving in a concrete cell that has no carpet, drapes, furniture, or human contact? Aren’t you probably as safe from COVID 19 as anyone who gets the vaccine? Will you live the remainder of your life in that manner?

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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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