Ross Ulbricht Moved Interstate, Family Not Notified - Bitsonline

Ross Ulbricht Moved Interstate, Family Not Notified

There was a nasty surprise for Ross Ulbricht’s family today as they discovered he had been transferred to another prison. Further, his family were not notified of the move — and only discovered it after traveling to the original location to visit him.

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The Free_Ross Twitter account, maintained by Ulbricht family and friends, posted that family members discovered Ross was “gone” after arriving at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York. However prison officials would or could not say where:

The ambiguity naturally caused consternation among Ross’ online followers. What did “gone” mean?

About 17 hours later, Free_Ross tweeted again that Ross was being transfered, but still with no information as to where.

“We take whatever we can get,” they posted, but remain concerned over where Ross will be living.

Questions About Treatment of Prisoners’ Families

The incident raises questions about how inmates’ families are often treated in the U.S. prison system.

Prison justice crimeLaws and regulations concerning prisoners’ next-of-kin notification differ from state to state. There are also many opportunities for bureaucratic oversight. Some, however, say families treatment is punitive and at best, prison authorities don’t care.

“I hear it’s what they do,” the Ulbrichts said.

“Visitors are treated like criminals at prisons,” replied @lucycarin to the Ulbrichts’ news. She added her own son is incarcerated for 30 years for “Oxycodin theft”.

There have also been several cases of families not being notified even after inmates died, were seriously injured or underwent major surgery. No doubt these incidents added to the Ulbrichts’ shock.

Advocacy site grassrootsleadership.org estimated that in 2013 there were over 10,500 state prisoners incarcerated outside their home state. This is extremely arduous for anyone with a loved one behind bars, and amounts to punishment for parties not convicted of any crime.

Tough Justice for Ross Ulbricht

Yesterday’s incident is the latest in a series of hard luck for the man convicted of operating the Silk Road marketplace, the first well-known online black market.

Ross Ulbricht has been in custody since his initial arrest in a San Francisco library in October 2013. After being convicted of computer hacking, money laundering and racketeering he was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole in May 2015.

He received a further blow in May 2017 after an appeals court upheld the sentence. This is despite incidences of malfeasance by federal agents investigating the Silk Road case. Two are currently serving (much shorter) prison sentences of their own.

Does Ross’ transfer represent unfair treatment for the Ulbricht family? Let’s hear your thoughts.


Images via FreeRoss.org, Pixabay

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