Has Paul Manafort really been classified as a “VIP” in jail?

Yesterday Paul Manafort’s house arrest was revoked, and he was booked into the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Virginia, where he’ll remain through his trial. Some eyebrows were raised when his booking listed him as having “VIP” status in jail. Did this mean that he was getting some kind of preferential treatment? Had Donald Trump pulled some strings? Was Manafort living it up at a palace of a prison? Palmer Report did some digging.

Manafort, like any other high profile prisoner who is regularly talked about on national television, can’t be kept in the general population in jail. It would be a violation of his legal rights, because too many other inmates would be looking to make a name for themselves by beating up or killing a famous inmate like Manafort. Even if you’d personally like to see Manafort get beaten up, that’s not how our system of law works, and the last thing you want is someone killing him before he has a chance to cut a plea deal against Trump. Hence, Manafort had to be taken to a jail that had room to house a prisoner who cannot be held in the general population.

That’s how Manafort ended up at a jail an hour and a half away from Washington DC, instead of one that was closer. He has in fact been listed as “VIP” on his booking, according to several major news outlets. But this appears to be some kind of inside joke when it comes to referencing high profile inmates, because the conditions Manafort is facing are anything but VIP level. We know this because former NFL quarterback Michael Vick was also incarcerated at Northern Neck Regional Jail awhile back.

Like Manafort, Michael Vick was also a high profile inmate who had to be held outside the general population. In other words, Vick was a “VIP” as well. What did that get him at Northern Neck? He was in a cell the size of a dorm room, and his visitors couldn’t even make physical contact with him. Conditions were harsh enough that Vick ended up bending over backward to get himself transferred away from Northern Neck. So much for Vick, or Paul Manafort, getting “VIP” treatment at this particular jail.

Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report

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