Chomo : Whether Jeffrey Epstein had spent years in prison awaiting trial on charges of running a child sex trafficking network or had been convicted, life behind bars would have been a far cry from the private islands and opulent houses to which he’d grown used.
Pedophiles in prison: Imagine the hell Epstein would have faced if he had remained in prison
“Epstein’s life would not have been safe if he had been imprisoned. “Chomos are marked,” a white-collar criminal told Fox News after spending more than five years in prison at various levels and locations around the United States.
“There’s an underlying rule that if you hang around with a snitch or chomo, you’re the same as them. Even snitches don’t want to be seen with chomos, so they have to keep an eye out for one another and form cliques.”
Prison terminology for a child molester is “chomo,” and convicts and guards frequently allege that they are at the bottom of the imagined prison hierarchy.
“Chomos are clearly at the bottom, followed by snitches. The former detainee described drug dealers, white-collar workers, and ordinary people.
“The Bureau of Prisons (BOP) speaks a fine game, but you’ll never provide a chomo in custody a safe haven.”
Epstein would have been given minimal freedom, according to Woodrow Tripp, a polygraph expert and former criminal investigations specialist with the Georgia Department of Corrections, for two reasons: he was accused of child sex crimes and he would have been considered a “renowned person.”
He would have been held in solitary confinement.
In recent years, persons found guilty of such acts have been sentenced to death in prison.
David Oseas Ramirez, a convicted sex offender, was beaten and drowned in his jail cell toilet by his cellmate in Florida’s Duval County Jail late last month.
An inmate serving a 40-year sentence for organising a global child-pornography ring was killed in January at a federal correctional complex in Michigan.
Clinton Don Simpson, who had been accused a decade earlier of assaulting more than a dozen children in his garden, had been killed by a fellow prisoner in Texas two months prior.
In May 2018, a convicted paedophile was slain in a California jail, with the inmate claiming it was his “public service.”
In 2015, a former cop in Michigan was strangled by his cellmate after being convicted of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl.
The cellmate said, “He was attempting to excuse why he did it and I urged him to remain quiet… but he continued to talk about it, try to justify it.
“So I got down and smacked him in the face a couple of times. I put a cord around his neck and strangled him when he fell.”
Former priest John Geoghan, who was strangled and stomped to death by another inmate in a Massachusetts institution in 2003, was another high-profile prison killing.
That’s only the iceberg’s tip of the iceberg. According to the most recent data available from the Justice Department, 3,483 convicts died in state prisons, 444 in federal prisons, and 1,053 in local jails in 2014.
Natural causes accounted for 88 percent of deaths between 2001 and 2004, with suicides, homicides, and accidents accounting for the majority of the rest.
Government data, on the other hand, did not separate deaths based on “committed offence.”
According to a 2016 Associated Press study on the California state prison system, not only were convicts dying at twice the national rate, but convicted sex offenders were significantly more likely to be slain than those convicted of other crimes.
While male sex offenders made up around 15% of the state’s jail population, they were responsible for about 30% of the state’s homicide victims.
There has never been a blanket regulation dictating whether or not a sex offender must be placed in protective custody, also known as protected segregation, but it has always been based on individual situations and decisions.
Targeting will almost certainly continue to be a problem. Tommy Kilbride, a law enforcement expert and former member of a US Marshals Service regional fugitive task force, said that federal prisons are “a little safer than most state jails,” but that “the rule is, pay or he will be a victim. “Someone’s sex slave,” Kilbride explained.
If found guilty, Epstein would very probably have gone to a high-security jail, according to Justin Paperny, co-founder of Prison Professors, which provides training and guidance to prisoners awaiting sentencing or about to enter prison.
“Sex offenders are vulnerable to attacks in any jail, but they are more vulnerable in high-security prisons.
His popularity would have resulted in him being targeted for abuse regardless of where he spent his sentence,” he explained.
“If he had gone to a high-security prison, the risk would have been proportionately greater. He would almost certainly have served his time in protective custody.”
Even so, Francey Hakes, a child protection and national security consultant and former federal prosecutor, pointed out that even if Epstein had been found guilty and not given the controversial work-release he received in his 2008 plea deal, he still might have faced the reality that sex offenders sometimes receive “contracts” from other inmates.
“It’s against the law for (officers) to ignore prison violence, but I’m sure it happens. The more heinous the prisoner’s transgression, the easier it is for them to turn a blind eye,” Hakes stated.
“Beating, stabbing, raping, or killing sex offenders, especially child sex offenders, is seen as a badge of honour among general population convicts. They may befriend them and gain their trust before launching an attack.”
Most concerns with prison officers, according to Zachary Margulis-Ohnuma, a New York-based criminal defence attorney specialising in sex crimes and civil rights violations, are the result of them being “underpaid, overworked, and poorly trained.”
“The problem isn’t so much a lack of enforcement as it is a lack of awareness. For all inmates, prison is a harsh, dangerous, and unpleasant environment,” he stated.
“In federal jail, Epstein was in for a world of hurt, most certainly for the rest of his life.
He would have been forced to take part in a deceptive type of sex offender therapy, ostracised and villainized, and put in grave danger because of his wealth.”
While most sex offenders come in prison with cover stories – typically claiming other offences such as guns charges, theft, or white-collar crimes like fraud — an infamous figure like Epstein would never be afforded such anonymity, according to another Georgia-based former prisons official.
Epstein may have gotten a better deal if he had accepted a plea and cooperated with US agents, according to Lenny DePaul, a retired chief inspector/commander with the US Marshals Service in New York and New Jersey.
“Life in prison would have been very tough,” DePaul added if he had been convicted.
“Over time, federal, state, and local facilities have increased their awareness of these convicts and taken the required steps to accommodate sentenced child sex offenders – and officials do not want any problems.
He highlighted that “supporting someone 24 hours a day, seven days a week” is challenging. “Uncontrollable things happen on the yard, in the gym facilities, and even in the dining halls.”
However, much as security, surveillance, and research have grown in recent years, so has the adaptability of convicts.
Alex del Carmen, a criminology and criminal justice professor at Tarleton State University in Texas, added, “Inmates are today more sophisticated than previously.”
“As a result, the technological improvements we’ve gained have been negated by the amount of sophistication.”