5 February 2013
Maximum Security Prisons: Not the Torture Chambers of Myth
Our government has set up a system of punishments to justifiably be given out according to the intensity of the crimes an individual commits. When a crime is committed, a criminal is placed under arrested by a law enforcement officer to be booked at a police station. Once the charges are pressed on the criminal, if it is deemed necessary after an initial hearing, the individual will have the opportunity to post bail to wait at home until the trial instead of in jail. At the end of the trial, the individual will be issued, if necessary, a sentencing of jail time. This incarceration time will be fulfilled inside of a low, medium, high, or maximum security prison. Many people are confused by common misconceptions about the treatment, care, and morality of maximum security prisons. They hear false rumors of torture, malnourishment, small confinement rooms, and mentally and physically abusive guards. Maximum security prisons do not fit the classification of cruel and unusual punishment because of observations that contradict the definition of cruel and unusual punishment, and they are necessary for the proper confinement of dangerous and higher risk criminals.
The misconceptions about maximum security prisons, or supermax prisons, are derived from the lack of knowledge about the definition of a maximum security prison. Maximum security prisons are best defined by Chase Riveland in an article called “Supermax Prisons: Overview and General Considerations.” A maximum security prison is: a highly restrictive, high-custody housing unit within a secure facility, or an entire secure facility, that isolates inmates from the general prison population and from each other due to grievous crimes, repetitive assaultive or violent institutional behavior, the threat of escape or actual escape from high-custody facility(s), or inciting or threatening to incite...