It’s ‘Little Siberia’ For Gilbert

Thomas GIlbert Jr.

Before former surfer playboy and Maidstone Club member Tommy Gilbert was sentenced earlier this year for the murder of his father, Thomas Gilbert Sr. back on January 4, 2015, his mother, Shelley Gilbert, beseeched the judge to allow her son to be placed in a facility to treat his mental illness, and to choose one close to the city.

Thomas Gilbert Jr., who is not eligible for parole until 2045, will be spending this holiday season, and likely many more to come, in a state prison nicknamed “Little Siberia,” located just south of the Canadian border.

The Clinton Correctional Facility is in Dannemora, NY. It is one of the oldest and is the largest prison in the state, housing just under 3000 inmates, with 1000 correctional officers guarding them.

Growing up, Gilbert spent his Christmases with his family at their Georgica Association residence. Their Christmases were traditional, Shelley Gilbert recalled during one of her court appearances before the case went to trial. The property has since been sold, and the house razed, to allow the new owners to build a larger, more modern structure.

Justice Melissa Jackson explained during sentencing that the choice of correctional facility to house Gilbert was not hers to make.

Dannemora is more than a five-hour drive from Manhattan. Clinton does have a mental health facility, first constructed in 1899.

Tommy Gilbert’s attorney, Arnold Levine, has filed an appeal against his client’s conviction. He maintained throughout the trial that Gilbert was not mentally competent at the time he shot his father at point-blank range in his parents’ Beekman Place apartment and was not mentally competent to stand trial.

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