FACT CHECK: Does This Image Show A Prison Barge Heading To Guantanamo Bay?
An image shared on Facebook claims to show one of two prison barges heading towards Guantanamo Bay.
While the image does show a U.S. prison barge, there is no evidence it is departing for Guantanamo Bay.
The Facebook image shows what appears to be a large, building-like ship sitting close to shore. “This is 1 of 2 huge US prison barges on their way to Gitmo,” reads the post’s caption. Gitmo is an informal name for the U.S.-military-operated Guantanamo Bay detention center in Cuba, according to dictionary.com.
The Facebook post’s claim is misleading. While the image does show a U.S. prison barge, there is no evidence it is en route to Guantanamo Bay. A reverse image search revealed the photo appears in a 2012 gCaptain article that explains the ship is the “Vernon C. Bain Center (VCBC),” a U.S. prison barge based in New York City. An image of the barge can also be found on the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association website.
“A five-story jail barge built in New Orleans to DOC specifications, the facility houses medium to maximum security inmates in 10 dormitories and 100 cells,” explains the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association website. “Opened in the Fall of 1992, it is named for a well-liked warden who died in a car accident. It serves as the Bronx detention facility for intake processing.” Check Your Fact no credible news reports to suggest the barge is headed for Guantanamo Bay.
The Biden administration has reportedly been “laying the groundwork” to transfer more detainees out of Guantanamo Bay, if not shut it down completely, according to the Associated Press. (RELATED: Was Hunter Biden Arrested By The Military?)
There are only 37 detainees currently housed at Guantanamo Bay, according to a database maintained by The New York Times. No one has been transferred to the detention center since 2008, the outlet reported.