U.S. District Judge Edward Davila proposed the federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas, according to a court filing. Holmes, 38, lives in Northern California, where she ran her blood testing startup for nearly 15 years before it collapsed and was indicted in 2018.
“The Court finds that family visits enhance rehabilitation,” the judge wrote in the filing, which summarized the terms of the sentence Davila imposed on Holmes last week during a hearing in San Jose, Calif. The final decision on where Holmes is incarcerated rests with the US Bureau of Prisons. Davila ordered him to go into custody by April 27.
As far as prisons go, it’s a good draw, said Alan Ellis, a criminal defense attorney. It is a stand-alone facility, he said, while explaining that unlike other women’s facilities, it does not share staff or management with a nearby men’s prison. Because of this, staff members do not suffer from a “prison mentality” and are more “open-minded”, he said. Ellis said Holmes’ attorneys likely asked for the location.
Holmes will face “no walls, no bars, no fences,” Ellis said. “No one wants to get deported because compared to other places in the prison system, this place is heaven. If you have to go, it’s a good place to go.
Like other federal prison camps, Bryan’s facility has dormitories and a low staff-to-inmate ratio and is “work and program oriented,” according to the Bureau of Prisons. Bryan is about 100 miles northwest of Houston.
Legal experts predicted Holmes would likely serve his sentence at a facility in Dublin, Calif., about 35 miles east of San Francisco. Court documents indicate that his parents own a condominium in Washington, DC. Holmes grew up in Houston. She and her partner, Billy Evans, have a 16-month-old boy and she was visibly pregnant at the sentencing hearing.
Read more: Elizabeth Holmes will likely land in a comfortable, fenceless prison
According to Pink Lady, a prison consulting firm, Bryan’s prison camp is home to around 900 nonviolent white-collar female inmates, most of them serving time for embezzlement and various frauds. Prison Insight, a website dedicated to exposing what it describes as the “broken” US prison system, says the average inmate age at Bryan is 32. Holmes turns 39 in February.
Programs offered at the institution include accounting technology, cosmetology, horticulture, medical transcription and coding, and small business management.
Holmes was known for a wardrobe of Steve Jobs-esque black turtlenecks when she ran Theranos. Civilian clothing is generally prohibited in prison. According to the inmate handbook’s dress guidelines, “only pastel green, gray, and/or white may be sold in women’s institutions.”
(Updates with colors of clothing allowed in prison.)
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