Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was moved to Fort Devens prison hospital from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston on Thursday night. The move was acknowledged by the US Marshals Service on Friday.
The facility is based on the decommissioned Fort Devens US Army base. It treats federal prisoners and detainees who require special medical or mental health care.
The location will be helpful for the Boston bombing suspect, who sustained a gunshot wound to the throat, as well as injuries to his legs and arms. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s transfer to Fort Devens was done in the early morning to avoid any security issues that could present themselves if it were done in the daylight.
CBS News senior correspondent John Miller added that transferring Tsarnaev helped the hospital out as well. He explained:
“There was some tension there. There were many victims of the Boston bombing win Beth Israel hospital who didn’t want to be in the same hospital with one of the people allegedly responsible.”
The facility where Dzhokhar will stay for the foreseeable future is home to many different kinds of prisoners, from heavy hitters to tax evaders. For example, former Wall Street trader Raj Rajaratnam is housed at Devens, because they have a dialysis machine — a requirement for him, because of his bad kidney.
Rajaratnam was sentenced to Devens for 11 years because of an insider trading conviction. But several inmates at the facility are also sex offenders. Cheri Nolan, a former deputy assistant attorney general who is managing director of Federal Prison Consultants, stated, “As far as federal prison facilities, it’s not a bad place.”
Fort Devens has 1,200 inmates — 1,055 in its medical facility and 127 in a camp for minimum-security inmates. The prison hosts a basketball court. Popular crafts include woodworking and leather working. But it’s unlikely Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will enjoy any of the crafts or other extras the former Army base has to offer.
Instead, it’s likely that Tsarnaev will be placed in the Segregated Housing Unit, which is home to troublemaking inmates and those who need special protection. Inmates in that unit are under supervision for 23 hours per day. Food is passed through a slot in the door and they are allowed to walk around in a secure yard for recreation time.
Lee Siegfried, a former DJ best known as the “Crazy Cabbie” character on Howard Stern’s radio show, who spent five months at the facility in 2006, added:
“He won’t see anybody. He’ll be given his one hour when no one else is given theirs … I call them puppy kennels because it’s literally what you would keep dogs outside in. It’s an 8-by-10-foot cage with a chain-link fence that’s high and tall, and they let you walk around and get some fresh air.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will spend time recovering from his injuries at Fort Devens. He is scheduled to appear in court at the end of May.