After R. Kelly was sentenced to thirty years in prison this week for sex trafficking; he was placed almost immediately on suicide watch by the New York Detention Center.
The ‘Pied Pipers’ lawyer; Jennifer Bonjean, told PEOPLE on Friday: “the decision to put her client on suicide watch was for “purely punitive reasons”; because he’s a “high-profile inmate,” and violates his Eighth Amendment rights.
Thus, inciting a new legal matter where R. Kelly’s lawyer is suing MDC; the facility where Kelly is currently being held. Nonetheless claiming he’s not suicidal; and that it is a “cruel and unusual punishment,” according to court documents obtained by PEOPLE.
“MDC has a policy of placing high profile individuals under the harsh conditions of suicide watch; whether they are suicidal or not (this was done recently with Ghislaine Maxwell)” Bonjean told PEOPLE. She goes on to say:
“MDC Brooklyn is being run like a gulag. My partner and I spoke with Mr. Kelly following his sentencing. He expressed that he was mentally fine; and ONLY expressed concern that even though he was NOT suicidal; MDC would place him on suicide watch (as they did following the guilty verdict),” she added. “We have just sued MDC Brooklyn.”
“Inmates are stripped of their clothing and underwear and dressed in a smock made of material that is akin to the material that moving companies use when wrapping furniture,” the complaint alleges. Adding that inmates are “typically placed in a single cell without bed rails; and offered no items of comfort.”
R. Kelly Is Feeling The Brunt Of Prison Life
“They cannot shower or shave and are sometimes not even afforded toilet paper. Meals are not provided with utensils, forcing inmates to eat with their hands. They have no ability to consult with loved ones or supportive figures,” the complaint claims. “And of course, they are monitored 24-7 by prison officials. Ironically, individuals on ‘suicide watch’ don’t even receive psychiatric care.
“For safety and security reasons the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) does not provide information about conditions of confinement or internal security practices for any particular inmate,” read a statement from the BOP to PEOPLE.
“The BOP is committed to ensuring the safety and security of all inmates in our population; our staff, and the public. Humane treatment of the men and women in our custody is a top priority. The BOP does not comment on pending litigation or matters that are the subject of legal proceedings.”