I served as the consulting producer and appeared in the episode.
It is a long story, and I hope to look into it one day.
Prisoners have a choice. When it comes to prison, one can choose whether to have an easier or more challenging time.
Keith Raniere has chosen the latter from my experience.
A true moron all the way to the end.
Federal Medical Center, Devens had POS like him.
At three in the morning, the Correctional Officers [COs] would come to their cells. Tell them to go straight to the Special Housing Unit [SHU].
All the prisoner’s possessions, now in garbage bags, would be impounded.
The inmate would cool his jets in the SHU for anywhere from 30 days to nine months.
I was in the SHU for medical isolation many times.
Finally, at the end of my sentence, I was in the SHU for 4 months for ‘Covid Isolation’.
I was lucky. I would get out for chemo or RFA, but believe me, you need a strong mind to make it in the SHU. Being extremely ill doesn’t help.
The SHU is inhumane.
For very ill inmates, it’s the only place they can be isolated for compromised immune systems.
Same when you are scheduled to leave for treatment.
Each time I was scheduled to go to Beth Israel Hospital for cancer treatments, I would be taken from my cell to the SHU the night before, at about 8 pm.
I was strip-searched, given an orange jumpsuit, and thrown in a punishment cell.
Then I went through the reverse in the morning.
I went to Receiving and Discharge [R&D]. Another search and a travel uniform.
The purpose is so you can’t tell anyone that you are outside the prison. They are always worried about escapes.
I was placed in leg and hand shackles.
Then two Correctional Officers [CO’s], one of whom is armed, put me in a prison van for an hour-long ride.
On my return, I was taken back to R&D, strip-searched, and given my uniform back. Then I would return to my unit.
After a round of chemo, it’s exhausting. But that night, I still had to stand for the count and all the bullshit. I did this over a hundred times.
In all, I was also a patient chained to a bed for 30 days at Beth Israel.
Many inmates just refuse to embark on a “Trip” and die. Their choice.
After being assaulted by a Neo-Nazi gangbanger, a member of the Unforgiven, I spent 60 days in the SHU.
My jaw was broken, but in self-defense, I had headbutted him, and he was bleeding. My hands were swollen and bloody from punching back.
I was sent to the SHU “pending investigation.”
Luckily, my attacker was a murderer and threatened to kill the COs. Even in prison, you have a right to self-defense. After 60 days, I was cleared.
So, is the SHU cruel? Of course, it is. But many inmates deserve to be there.
The problem is many don’t. Especially those who are ill.
The SHU is cold, dark, and small.
Many inmates scream all day. Some turn to self-harm. Bang their heads on the walls, and eat their own feces.
You get little sleep, cold food, and almost no contact with family.
Getting back to Raniere.
When the prison administration decides to transfer a recalcitrant prisoner to another location, the prisoner is only told he is being transferred for “security reasons.”
He isn’t told where he’s going or when he’s leaving.
From what I saw in my five years in Devens, that is Raniere’s fate.
The trip by multiple buses or a plane can take months.
Depending on where Raniere is assigned, he may be in grave danger.