Lawyers for Mossimo Giannulli have raised concerns to a judge about the “extreme” measures at the medium-security Southern California prison in which Giannulli is serving his five-month sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud.
The situation does sound objectively bad: “Mr. Giannulli was immediately placed in solitary confinement in a small cell at the adjacent medium-security penitentiary, 24 hours per day with only three short 20-minute breaks per week, where he remained for 56 days before finally being transferred to the camp yesterday (January 13),” his lawyers wrote in the federal court filing.
We first heard about the conditions from his son, Gianni (half sibling to Olivia and Isabella). He posted on his own social media in the middle of December that his father had been dealing with an overly intense quarantine, saying he “has been locked in solitary confinement…for one full month.”
The lawyers who brought the issue to the judge wrote in the filing, “After each negative test, without further explanation, Mr. Giannulli was returned to his cell, purportedly for another two-week period of solitary quarantine,” calling the treatment more “extreme” than what was prescribed. The prolonged quarantine could very well have been an attempt to protect him. A report published Wednesday confirmed that, to date, five inmates at the prison have died from COVID, while 48 have tested positive.
It’s interesting to imagine how this might impact Giannulli’s life after prison— he’s currently slated to get out in April. It’s certainly a scary situation, to be incarcerated amid an outbreak of coronavirus. Maybe this leads to a future of advocating for prison reform. Maybe he’ll go on the Today show or podcasts to discuss how he was treated and how to make prisons more just institutions for all Americans caught in the snare of the prison industrial complex, especially those who are less lucky than he is. It’s early yet.
For right now, though, Giannulli’s lawyers have asked the judge to allow their client to carry out the rest of his term at home, in his new $9.5 million farmhouse. They wrote, “He has a stable home environment—to which he will directly and immediately travel upon release—with resources that will allow him to quarantine safely and remain at home for the remainder of his sentence.”
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