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Maximum-security prisons Essay

Abstract

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.

Introduction

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, failure to properly diagnose and neglect of prisoners who are seriously mentally ill.

The U.S. government houses a number of convicted terrorists, gang leaders, spies, and similar prisoners in a supermax prison known as ADMAX, the Federal administrative maximum security prison in Florence, Colorado, west of Pueblo. Al-Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui was sentenced to life without parole at Florence upon his conviction on May 4, 2006.Residents also include Theodore Kaczynski, a domestic terrorist otherwise known as the Unabomber, who once attacked via mail bombs; Robert Hanssen, an American FBI Agent turned Soviet spy; Terry Nichols, an accomplice to the Oklahoma City bombing; and Richard Reid, known as the “Shoe Bomber”, who was jailed for life for attempting to detonate explosive materials in his shoes while on board an aircraft.

A lawsuit alleges severe abuse of federal prisoners at ADX-Florence in Colorado, what’s known as a supermax facility where many inmates are housed in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day. It charges the government violates the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.

Conclusion

To conclude, I would recommend the super-max prisons to consider the lives of prisoners being locked-up having no privileges at all. I acknowledge the fact that they have committed horrible and heavy crimes and those acts that have already been made have caused damage to the state and/or the U.S. and that what has been done you cannot take back or undo but I strongly believe that these criminals should have at least a fair lock up there with a few privileges allowed in these maximum-security prisons. The prisons should allow the inmates to have at least some contact with other prisoners and a little more freedom.

According to Mr. Arone (American Corrections p. 270) “If you lock a dog in a pen and throw food inside three times a day and never talk to him after a year when you open the pen you’re going to have a killer.” This makes absolute sense because I strongly believe that when a person is locked up in four walls with nothing to do or no one to talk to and with limited disgusting food thrown in, it will definitely make a person go crazy throughout the time. These criminals are already serving time for their crimes but I don’t agree that they should be treated like animals. This is severe abuse is called cruel punishment.

To conclude, I would recommend the super-max prisons to consider the lives of prisoners being locked-up having no privileges at all. I acknowledge the fact that they have committed horrible and heavy crimes and those acts that have already been made have caused damage to the state and/or the U.S. and that what has been done you cannot take back or undo but I strongly believe that these criminals should have at least a fair lock up there with a few privileges allowed several times a week at the least in these maximum-security prisons. The prisons should allow the inmates to have at least some contact with other prisoners in hope of therapeatic communication, and a little more freedom for personal needs.


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