The judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes recommends that she serve her sentence in a prison “camp”

The judge who sentenced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes to 11 years and three months in prison recommended that she serve her sentence in a minimum-security women’s facility in Texas.

Northern District of California Judge Edward Davila recommended that Holmes serve at federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas, according to a court filing last week. Bryan’s facility, located about 100 miles northwest of Houston, houses about 540 inmates in four dormitories on a 37-acre campus, according to its website.

Prison camps have “dormitories, a relatively low staff-to-inmate ratio, and limited or no perimeter fencing” and are “work and program oriented,” according to the Bureau of Prisons. All inmates at the facility are required to work, which they do for an hourly wage of between 12 cents and $1.15, according to the camp orientation manual.

Inmates have access to correspondence courses, board games, movies and crafts, as well as a family counseling program to strengthen imprisoned parents’ relationships with their children.

Bryan’s facility offers a more lenient family visitation than other prisons, Yahoo News noted. Davila referenced it in his sentencing, writing, “Court finds family visits enhance rehabilitation.”

Holmes has a 16-month-old son with her partner, William Evans, and is pregnant with a second child.

Front view of a lawn, a tree and a low building
A view of federal prison camp in Bryan, Texas.

Bureau of Prisons


“[C]Compared to other places in the prison system, this place is heaven,” criminal defense attorney Alan Ellis told Bloomberg. If Holmes serves her sentence in the complex, she will face “no walls, no bar, no fence,” he noted.

It is uncertain whether Holmes will be sent to Bryan’s facility. The Bureau of Prisons will make the final decision on where she will serve her sentence, although it will consider Davila’s recommendation. Holmes, who at one point was hailed as a biotech prodigy, is due to check into a facility on April 27, 2023.

Holmes was convicted last week for her role in defrauding investors of Theranos, a once-promising blood-testing startup that collapsed after revelations that its key technology was not working as promised. Valued at $10 billion at its peak, Theranos has attracted hundreds of millions of dollars in investment from heavy hitters including media mogul Rupert Murdoch, software billionaire Larry Ellison, Walmart’s Walton family and the DeVos clan. behind Amway.

A hearing on how much money Holmes must repay will take place at a later date. Prosecutors had sought $804 million in reimbursement from investors who lost money to Theranos. Holmes is expected to appeal her conviction, which she must do within two weeks of the November 18 sentencing date.

Former Theranos COO Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani has been found guilty of 12 counts of fraud and is expected to be sentenced in December.

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