60 Minutes - "Supermax: A Clean Version of Hell"

Last night, Sunday, October 14, 60 Minutes ran a piece on the ADX Federal Prison in Florence, Colorado. This is the supermax to beat all supermaxes. It has been called the "most secure prison facility in the country" and it holds some of the more famous prisoners our country has, though I won't bother with the list here. There are a myriad of problems with it, not the least of which being that people don't want to work there as it is a quarter understaffed, which of course leads one to wonder about the claim of "most secure".

The following 60 Minutes piece, "Supermax: A Clean Version of Hell" leaves very little to the imagination about the terrible mental and psychological effects that such isolation has on a person. The question it does not begin to address, is why is it justifiable to cause such mental harm to a person when long-term solitary confinement is NOT the only way to remove even the "worst of the worst" from communities where they may do harm. Please have a look at the 13 minute story. (You may need to launch it in Microsoft Internet Explorer to watch the video.) Also, on the right column there are numerous other "Resources" that are very interesting and current on the topic of solitary confinement in prisons.


Anonymous said...

I also agree that solitary confinement is not the right answer to problem, but infact the mental torture the prisoners face during that period takes stability out of their mind and make them even more dangerous.
Mark Osborn
Addiction Recovery Arizona

smoothie said...

These are people who have proven themselves to be a danger to society.

What should we do with them? Let them go and give them a puppy?

Get real. Who the Hell cares if they go through "mental torture?" Tell them to stop being criminals when they are free, and they won't have to worry about being "tortured."

Anonymous said...

What mental harm have these people left on their victims? Let 'em rot in gaol.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the story-

Very well reported.

Regarding 2 of the 3 comments-

If this were your relative, you would not want them to suffer like this. No, I do not have an incarcerated relative, but I do understand the difference between correction and depravity. It's bad enough that many prisons do not offer any rehabilitation services at all; however, this is just plain torture.

the biggest problem here, that I see, is that many of these prisoners are not "lifers". Many of them have sentences ranging from 10-25 years. What this means is that more than likely, these folks are going to be on the streets eventually.

If you think they were bad before they were incarcerated, imagine how they will be when released on the streets after being subjected to social isolationism. I shudder at the thought.

Anonymous said...

How would you feel, tho, if your family member was incarcerated for a much lesser crime with one of these animals, to be tortured, raped or murdered in a different prison? ADX isn't the first or even second stop for an inmate....they're there because the reeked havoc in their previous prisons. Who knows what to do with people who refuse to be anything but evil? There's a LOT worse prisons in the world for people who have committed much lesser crimes. At least this facility is clean and they get food and medical care, which many unincarcerated people in the world aren't getting. Not to mention the fact that they will be transferred back to a standard prison first, to maybe be 'resocialized.' Bottom line: lack of respect for human life, can't be rehabilitated, no matter what you do.

US_DOJ_Gov said...

For Those Protesting ADX:

How about 1 ADX prisoner is released to each of your homes/ couches until a solution suitable to you is figured out?

Ready to step up?