The United States Penetitary Administrative Maximum in Florence, Colorado is a superMax prison designed to house some of America’s most dangerous male criminals including, spy’s, murderers, drug king pins, mobsters, terrorist, numerous bombers and so forth. Opening in 1994, The SuperMax (Maximum Security) prison was built to keep the most dangerous and violent criminals isolated and away from each other as much as possible. The prison has been open for nearly three decades. A prisoner is transported into the facility in an armored helicoper and several other armored trucks on the ground following them above, and guarded by heavily armed officers. Almost all of the inmates have life sentences. They are rotated into a different cell every three months and cannot know exactly where they are located inside the prison to prevent planning an escape. Inside the cell there is a timer based shower, a steel toilet, concrete walls, concrete desk, and a bunk. The windows of the cell are blocked so the inmates can’t see the mountains. They eat all meals alone inside of their cells. There are cameras inside the cell to monitor the inmates activity 24 hours a day. The inmates are forced to live in solitary confinement because they are extremely dangerous. Their ages range from 24-77, and the average sentence is 22 years however, majority of their sentences are much longer. The prison itself is a living hell on earth and can basically be described as a place where inmates are being “buried alive”. They are locked in their cells for 23 hours a day and the other hour is used for exercise known as a “dog run” inside of an outdoors solitary cage or “kennel”. Religious practices are extremely limited. If a prisoner at ADX is allowed to get an education, they have to watch a video for one hour a week, for eight to twelve weeks, and are then given a ten question quiz on the subject. After successful completion of the course, they recieve a certficate. The classes count towards good behavior.
Solitary confinement is a system that is supposed to last only for an inmate for up to 15 days in order for it to be considered humane, but most inmates have to live in solitary confinement for weeks, months, years, decades or even indefinitely, which is considered torture. Inmates in the ADX H-units and SHU (special housing units), and inmates under SAMs (Special Administrative Measures), are not allowed to communicate with other inmates or have any contact with the outside world. All conversations with guards, chaplains, or psychatrist are conducted through the door. Long term solitary confinement is the most cruel and inhumane form of abuse known to mankind. In 2019, There were over 40 terrorist locked up at ADX. The terrorist are in the H unit, which prevent them from communicating with journalists. There is also a cell block called “Bombers Row”, where majority of the terrorist are held.
Before September 11, 2001, only a few journalist access was granted inside the prison. According to the United States department of Justice’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), from 2002-2007 every press request to visit ADX has been denied. Major News organizations and television shows, CNN, the Washington Post, Newsday, Americas Most Wanted, American Gangsters, and also local TV stations were also denied. Only one media oulet was allowed to take a tour of the prison in 2007. Since then, every single journalist has been denied for “security reasons”. ADX securely restricts information from getting inside or outside of the prison. The guards are also heavily scritinized. Even high profile inmates are not even allowed to read articles describing their own inprisonment.
In some prisons, prisoners are raped by guards or prison staff which led to the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003. Some of the mentally insane inmates played with their own bowels smearing feces all over their cells, others suffered from severe mental health conditions and started talking to themselves because they could not handle being in isolation. Many of them have committed suicide. Some of the inmates have one or more children, wives, ex wives, and family members that they can not have any contact with whatsoever.
Sometimes an inmates health will decline, due to mental or physical health problems, and they will lose a significant amount of weight, and they are then offered Ensure. Force Feeding is also common in supermax prison because an inmate will refuse to eat the food or drink the Ensure (a nutritional supplement drink), often during or leading up to a hunger strike. Since 2001, there have been over 900 force feedings at ADX. A hunger strike is defined as a protest where inmates will fast (refuse to eat) to achieve a specific goal or force political change.
Gangs, Mafias, and Islamic Terroist affiliations
Some of the inmates are in the ADX for committing a crime while being in a gang, and never even actually committed a murder themselves. Some of these gangs and crime syndicates include the Aryan Brotherhood, The Black P. Stones, The Gangster Diciples (GD), The East Coast Bloods, The Latin Kings ecetera. Any leads to being in a gang, such as the way you wear your clothes, listening to a certain song, reading a certain book, or someone claiming to know you (a snitch), can land an inmate in solitary confinement for many years. After the September 11th terroist attacks, any type of terroism charges can land a person in ADX.
From 2013-2020 there has been approximately 2.3 milllion people incarcerated in the United States and more than 80,000 were in solitary confinement.Hermans House Film. Directed by Angad Singh Bhalla. 2013. ; Statista Research Department “Incarceration rates in selected countries 2021” http://www.Statista.com 2 Jun 2021
The notorious leader of the powerful Mexican cartel, known as the Sinaloa Drug Cartel, Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera also known as “El Chapo”, was also sent to the SuperMax prison. Currently there are 338 prisoners inside the prison, and was built to house somewhere between 344-500 prisoners, but has never been full to capacity. There are nine different maximum security housing units at ADX and are divided into six different security levels. Range-13 is the most dangerous and isolated unit in the entire prison.