Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is being held in a small cell with a steel door at a federal medical detention center about 40 miles outside the city, a federal official said Saturday.
Federal Medical Center Devens spokesman John Collauti described the conditions under which 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was being held in the Ayer facility after being moved there from a hospital Friday.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was injured during a police chase in which his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, also a suspect in the bombing, was fatally wounded.
John Collauti said in a telephone interview that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is in secure housing where authorities can monitor him. His cell has a solid steel door with an observation window and a slot for passing food and medication.
The spokesman wouldn’t discuss specific details related to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but said that typically medical workers making rounds each shift monitor the inmates. He said guards also keep an eye on some cells with video cameras.
Also, inmates in the more restrictive section do not have access to TVs or radios, but can read books and other materials, he said.
“Really this type of facility is fully capable of handling him and it’s not that much of an inconvenience because it’s more or less business as usual,” John Collauti said.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where he was controversially treated just yards from the wards containing many of his victims.
His new home is part of the minimum security facility on the decommissioned Fort Devens U.S. Army base.
It treats federal prisoners and detainees who require specialized long-term medical or mental health care.
It has been referred to in the past as “agreeable” and “fairly pleasant”.
It is designated as an administrative facility, which means it has inmates from different security classifications, from white-collar criminals to mobsters and sex offenders.
The medical center currently houses 1,000 inmates with 124 in a minimum-security satellite prison camp. It costs around $157 for each inmate per day.
According to its website, these minimum security prison camps, have dormitory housing, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no perimeter fencing.
They are usually work-and-program oriented and inmates help serve the labor needs of the larger institution or base.
Former NYPD officer William Masso, former New Jersey assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt and one time Underworld mafia boss John Franzese, 96, are currently inmates there.
The medical center inmates are often allowed to leave the facility to see outside specialists and for tests and medical procedures not available in the medical center.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons is focused on preventing rehabilitation by encouraging inmates to participate in a range of programs that have been proven to reduce repeat offending.
The level of security which Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be held under depends on his changing circumstances – because he is a pretrial inmate – and he has no set protocol at this time.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will have access to medical and dental care, and the prison’s handbook states that inmates have the right to a healthy, nutritious diet, as well as information about staying healthy while behind bars.
He admitted to his role in the attacks to the FBI this week – but apparently clammed up when finally read his Miranda rights.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had been communicating with law enforcement officials by writing on a pad after suffering an injury to his throat during the frenzied manhunt for him which renders him unable to talk.
However, the moment he was read his rights on Monday – which as a citizen of the United States entitle him to the constitutional right to remain silent and seek a lawyer – Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stopped communicating.