Harvey Weinstein is now an inmate at a maximum-security prison, New York state corrections officials said Wednesday. He was transferred to the prison, Wende Correctional Facility, which is near Buffalo, today. On Feb. 24, a jury convicted Weinstein of first-degree criminal sexual act, and third-degree rape; Justice James Burke sentenced him to 23 years in prison on March 11.Prior to Weinstein’s transfer Upstate,Weinstein had bounced between New York City’s infamous Rikers Island jail and Bellevue Hospital, where he was treated for heart problems.
It’s unclear whether Wende will be Weinstein’s permanent home. State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision officials said he will be there “throughout the classification process.” This basically means processing an inmate into the state prison system, and then figuring out one’s needs when it comes to security, medical, and mental health issues. There’s no “standard timeframe” for classification, so it’s also unclear how long Weinstein might be at Wende; it’s also not known whether he’ll be transferred or just stay. “This is the process,” Weinstein attorney Arthur Aidala said. “From what I could see, it’s relatively typical.” Asked which prison they hoped Weinstein would be assigned to, Aidala pointed to the disgraced producer’s health problems, and said, “wherever those medical issues are best addressed.”
“Tomorrow’s his birthday,” Aidala said of the producer, who is turning 68. “Kind of a sad place to spend a birthday.” Weinstein will not have visitors on his birthday. New York’s Department of Corrections and Community Supervision suspended all visitation because of the coronavirus outbreak. Like other inmates impacted by this, Weinstein will be given five free stamps per week, two free secure messages via electronic messages per week, and one free phone call per week.
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