Supermax Prisons

Topics: Supermax, Prison, ADX Florence Pages: 3 (832 words) Published: September 9, 2012

Maximum-security prisons are known to be designed and organized to prevent escapes and violence and to deter prisoners from harming one another including the correctional officers. Super-max facilities imposes strict limitations on the freedom of inmates and visitors. These prisons, usually an imposing edifice are prisons surrounded by high stone walls studded with guard towers. The purpose of these type of facilities is custody and discipline, it embraces military-style approach to order. Prisoners in custody under these facilities follow a strict routine. Inmates behavior is surveillanced, head counts are frequent eliminating the all the prisoners' privacy.


Supermax (short for "super-maximum security") is the name used to describe "control-unit" prisons, or units within prisons, which represent the most secure levels of custody in the prison systems of certain countries. The objective is to provide long term, segregated housing for inmates classified as the highest security risks in the prison system — the "worst of the worst" criminals, and those who pose a threat to national and international security. (Mears, Daniel 2012)

As stated in the Wiipedia the free Encyclopedia, Supermax and Security Housing Unit (SHU) prisons are controversial; some claim that the living conditions in such facilities violate the United States Constitution, specifically, the Eighth Amendment's proscription against "cruel and unusual" punishments. In 1996, a United Nations team assigned to investigate torture described SHU conditions as "inhuman and degrading." A 2011 New York Bar association comprehensive study suggested that supermax prisons constitute "torture under international law" and "cruel and unusual punishment under the U.S. Constitution." In 2012, a federal class action suit against the Federal Bureau of Prisons and officials who run ADX Florence SHU (Bacote v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, Civil Action 1:12-cv-01570) alleged chronic abuse,...
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