The New York federal judge overseeing the case of Bernard Madoff said he would recommend that the Ponzi schemer serve his sentence in the Northeast. Instead, Madoff landed nearly 500 miles away, in North Carolina. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons won’t discuss the placement of specific inmates, and veteran attorneys are left to scratch their heads at why their clients wind up in particular facilities, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The bureau ranks inmates by a number of factors including the length of punishment. Sentences longer than 10 years automatically disqualify inmates from a fence-less federal prison camp. The bureau considers bed availability and safety factors for the public at large as well as the inmate. In lobbying for specific facilities, prison consultants and legal experts focus on a convict’s pre-sentencing report, which lists medical, financial, and other information. Defense attorneys scour it in search of anything that could land a convict in an undesirable facility. They try to convince a judge to delete those items so the Bureau of Prisons won’t see them. While Madoff’s placement might be disappointing for his New York-based family, sending him to North Carolina’s Butner facility could be best for his personal safety. Because the case is so notorious, he could be a target for harassment and violence in prison.