Ghislaine Maxwell's Family Asks Merrick Garland to Improve Her Treatment in Prison

Ghislaine Maxwell's family has asked federal authorities for better treatment of the imprisoned socialite during her trial, claiming her restraints and lack of food and toiletries are causing "unnecessary trauma," the Associated Press reported.

Maxwell, 59, is on trial after being charged with assisting late sex offender Jeffery Epstein in harming underage girls. According to federal prosecutors, Maxwell aided Epstein by pushing girls to have sex with him, some as young as 14.

Federal prosecutors also say Maxwell lied about knowing of Epstein's crimes during testimony in an earlier case.

Maxwell has been behind bars for 17 months, and the family said they have repeatedly complained about the harsh living conditions she is in. The family has written to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and requested a change in hurtful restraints used on Maxwell, as well as providing Maxwell with more soap and food, according to the AP.

The restraints used on Maxwell are four-point restraints that cuff her hands, waist and feet during transportation between courtroom and her holding cell. According to a statement from Maxwell's family obtained by the Associated Press, Maxwell's restraints cause bruising, broken skin and other "unnecessary trauma."

Maxwell's family has also complained that she did not receive enough food during her first week in trial and has asked for Maxwell to get a food pack daily. The family also says she had no access to soap or hand sanitizer even during the COVID-19 pandemic, and requested that Maxwell be given a bar of soap each day.

Maxwell's family also asked Garland for Maxwell to meet with her attorneys for at least 30 minutes before and after each day's proceedings, after complaining that she was only allowed to speak with attorneys in locations where they could be easily overheard by prosecutors.

Maxwell's trial began Nov. 29 in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan and is ruled by Judge Alison J. Nathan, who despite hearing the concerns of Maxwell's health has rejected several pleas for bail in concern that Maxwell may flee her trial.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Kevin Maxwell and Isabel Maxwell
Ghislaine Maxwell’s family has asked authorities for better treatment of Maxwell during her trial, claiming her restraints and lack of food and toiletries are causing “unnecessary trauma.” Kevin Maxwell and Isabel Maxwell stand in front of the federal courthouse where their sister Ghislaine Maxwell is on trial for sex trafficking in New York, on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021. Ted Shaffrey/Associated Press

"Ghislaine's physical welfare and her right to have proper and timely access to her counsel during the trial have been entirely overlooked,'' the family said. "On behalf of their sister, her brothers and sisters urge Attorney Garland to intervene immediately today to grant the simple, fair and just remedies requested.''

Her family said they are now going directly to Garland because he has ultimate responsibility agencies involved in their sister's custody and transportation, including the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Prisons.

Garland should intervene "in the interest of justice and common humanity to change the shocking daily regime which Ghislaine is subject to during her trial," the family said.