What Trump’s jail time could look like – commode and ‘torturous’ strip search

Donald Trump, the first US president to be impeached twice, is now making history yet again, for an equally shocking reason after being found guilty at a criminal trial.

The former POTUS, who holds out hope of returning to the White House following the 2024 presidential election, stood accused of falsifying business documents to conceal hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels, following an alleged sexual encounter in 2006. He denied all charges against him.

The crime of felony-level falsifying business records carries a maximum sentence of four years behind bars. Trump faced 34 separate counts.

If a custodial sentence is handed down, then Trump, 77, would receive the dubious honour of becoming the first former US President to be incarcerated. Although unlikely, it’s not out of the question. Here, the Mirror takes a look at what Trump’s life could look like behind bars…

Donald Trump

Life will be very different for the former POTUS if he’s put behind bars
Steven Hirsch/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Probation sentence and community service

Given the unprecedented nature of Trump’s case, it’s unclear exactly what Justice Juan Merchan will say when it comes to sentencing. Experts in the field have put forward their own thoughts on the matter, however. In an interview with Politico, Diana Florence, a former prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, said: “This is not a one-off, ‘Oops, I made a mistake on my business records’, or even, a one-off scheme.”

She continued: “Given the entirety of the facts and circumstances that came out during the trial, I believe if convicted, a sentence of incarceration is warranted and justified. If I were the prosecutor, I would absolutely be asking for state prison.”

Some believe, however that, given Trump’s age and lack of previous convictions, Judge Merchen could go easier on him. Given that Judge Merchan is not required to issue prison time, he could opt for a lighter punishment, for example, probation or a ‘conditional discharge’ term, an order whereby the offender isn’t sentenced unless they commit additional offences within a stated time period.

Under probation, Mr Trump will need to have regular check-ins with a probation officer, while abiding by a series of other rules. It’s believed Judge Merchan could also order the former Apprentice star to carry out community service, meaning Americans could well spot Mr Trump out collecting rubbish on a street near them.

Rikers Island

If such a sentence does come to pass, however, Forbes reports that where Mr Trump serves out his time will all depend on the length of his sentence. Criminal defence attorney Jeremy Saland told the publication that, if sentenced to a year or less, Trump would likely serve time in a city jail, such as the notorious Rikers Island. If this was the case, he would be eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of his sentence.

If he’s sentenced to a longer term, the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision will choose which of its 44 facilities Mr Trump will be housed in.

Earlier this month, New York City mayor, Eric Adams, declared that staff at Rikers were ‘ready’ to receive Mr Trump, telling reporters: “They’re professionals. They’ll be ready.”

Aerial view of Rikers Island prison. (Photo by Todd Maisel/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)

Rikers Island staff are said to be ‘ready’ to receive Trump
NY Daily News via Getty Images)

Strip search and mandatory uniform

Detainees at Rikers tend to follow a standard intake process, which includes a strip search, medical screening, and issuing of uniform. Those accused of a felony are subjected to a full body strip search, while inmates with misdemeanour charges undergo a ‘less invasive’ search according to The City.

Describing the screening process during an interview with the publication, former detainee Lloyd Haines said: “It’s very torturous. It’s like one big U and you continually move down.”

Special agent protection

Like all ex-US Presidents, Trump has been afforded lifelong protection from the Secret Service – meaning that agents would need to be on hand to protect him behind bars. It certainly seems like a bizarre prospect and one that Justin Paperny, director of prison consulting firm White Collar Advice, regards as having the potential to become a ‘freak show’.

Mr Paperny told BBC News: “Prison systems care about two things: security of the institution and keeping costs down. […] It would be a freak show… no warden would allow it.”

As reported by The New York Times last month, Secret Service officials have already begun discussions as to how to prepare for Mr Trump’s potential imprisonment. This 24-hour-a-day operation would involve keeping Mr Trump separate from fellow inmates, with his food and other personal items needing screening.

Private shower and contraband hair products

This level of protection would reportedly require a number of armed agents working a seven-day week rota, rotating in and out of the facility in question. When it comes to where exactly to safely house Trump and his large security detail, former corrections officials have suggested that there are several closed or partially closed New York state prisons and city jails with empty spaces big enough to accommodate.

Martin Horn, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction (NYCD), believes Rikers’ West Facility, which has previously held the likes of Harvey Weinstein, could be suitable.

A suite of 12 structures containing six to seven cells each, the facility was originally built to keep inmates with contagious diseases separate and also does the trick when it comes to security.

Mr Horn said: “Each cell is air-conditioned, it’s larger than the typical cells and it’s equipped with its own shower so a person doesn’t have to leave for a shower. It has a commode and a wash basin as well as a bed and a desk. In addition, each of these cells has what I would describe as an anteroom attached to it that is separated from the cell by a security glass window so the inmate can be observed at all times.”

Although he could get more privacy at shower time, the list of permissible items may come as quite a shock to Trump, when it comes to his famous haircare routine. The businessman wouldn’t be permitted to take along any styling products for his signature bright blonde hair, meaning he’d have to opt for quite a different look.

Speaking with The Times, Sarena Townsend, former head of internal affairs at Rikers, said: “Hair products? I don’t think so. That’s contraband, baby!”

Do you have a story to share? Email me at julia.banim@reachplc.com


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