In a major development in the Theranos saga, former CEO Elizabeth Holmes has begun her 11-year prison sentence for fraud. Holmes was taken into custody to serve her sentence at a minimum-security women’s prison camp in Bryan, Texas. The prison is located about 95 miles northwest of Houston, the city where Holmes grew up aspiring to become a technology visionary in the mold of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The prison camp, known as FPC Bryan, sits on approximately 37 acres of land and is currently housing around 700 women, including reality TV star Jennifer Shah, who was sentenced for her involvement in a years-long telemarketing scam..Federal prison camps such as FPC Bryan typically lack fences and house inmates considered to be the lowest security risk. Inmates at FPC Bryan have a variety of job assignments, from food service roles to factory employment operated by Federal Prison Industries, where they can earn between 12 cents and $1.15 per hour. Holmes, who has two young children, could share a cell with up to three other inmates. The cells contain two bunk beds with thin mattresses. Inmates have access to a recreation facility and jogging track, and can watch television or read books in their spare time. The former executive will be able to receive visits from her family at the facility, which provides spaces for children to play and host family gatherings. Holmes will also be allowed to hold her children in her lap and breastfeed her newborn daughter, according to Bureau of Prisons policies. While Holmes is set to serve an 11-year sentence, it is possible that she might leave the facility earlier than expected through an early-release program. Federal inmates can have their sentences reduced by participating in certain prison programs or earning rewards for good behavior, according to the Office of Justice.
Holmes’ incarceration comes after a failed attempt to stay out of prison while she appealed her conviction. Her appeal was denied by U.S. District Judge Edward Davila, who presided over her trial, and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This left her with no other option but to serve her sentence in prison, nearly 20 years after she founded Theranos.