While it might be accurate to say that nothing is ever 100% secure, the fact that some systems are a hard nut to crack – and which might never get cracked – can never be ignored. Various systems such as banking, security, web, finance, prison systems, etc., in their various capacities comprise of components or structures which are deemed as being impenetrable or unbreakable.
When it comes to the prison system in the United States, a few of them have earned esteemed reputations for being extremely secure. They have made their mark on the world and housed some of the most hardened criminals ever known in the 20th and 21st century safely.
Now, let us take a look at the most secure prisons in the United States.
There are more than 40 super-maximum security prisons in the United States, and only one of them is being run by the federal government, and that’s the ADX – The Alcatraz of the Rockies. It is inarguably the highest security prison in the country. Also, it is a prison designed for the worst sets of criminals, who have proven their lack of concern for the lives of others.
At ADX, all the inmates are kept in solitary confinement for approximately 23 hours daily. In most prisons (if not all), a standard cell will give access to a window, from which they can look out into wherever the window is facing, get some sunshine and think of freedom. Well, ADX thinks that’s some load of bull crap; if you are in there, they ain’t giving you room to think of escaping. To make their intents sink home, each cell has a 4” wide slit that pass as a window, and when an inmate looks through it, they will be faced with the inner courtyard. Inside the cells, there is no hope for natural sunlight, and when let out for recess, you will be damn lucky to get sunlight for even a minute past an hour.
Through a Step-Down program in the prison, some inmates are allowed to workout for 2 hours a day, for about five times a week. But, they are only able to workout in a reinforced steel cage placed at a strategic point, under heavy supervision. The most human contact an inmate ever gets comes from visit from a family member or a friend. The inmates are placed on shackles in a tiny cubicle, from where they can see their visitor on the side of the room demarcated by glass; communication is made across a telephone line, and there is not even the slightest room for the transfer of even a strand of hair.
An ex-inmate reported the prison as being hellish, with most of the inmates just screaming all day. A year in there and your chances of becoming bipolar is as high as the sky. The prison holds just more than 400 inmates presently.
Camp Delta, United States
This facility is located at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and it is not your regular prison with regular prison officers. Camp Delta is managed by U.S Navy Masters-at-Arms and U.S Army military police, and that translates to stricter management. Due to the strategic location of the camp, the inmates who are mostly referred to as detainees are denied certain rights even though it is an American prison.
Prisoners sent here are mostly those who are related to terrorist organizations or who promise to be some form of threat to the security of the nation. And what you get is dependent on how well you cooperate during interrogation. On that note, Camp Delta has different levels of comfort zones and accessible amenities, which are distributed in different camps. These include Camp One, Camp Two, Camp Three, Camp Four, Camp Five, Camp Five Echo, Camp Six, and Camp Seven.
Though closed now; Camp Three used to be the entry point which every inmate must pass through. Here, detainees are kept in isolation such that they can’t interact with or see other inmates. After interrogation and an inmate was proven to be cooperative, he can then be sent to Camp Two, then Camp One.
Camp Four is the most lenient of all, with inmates living in what seems to be communal dormitories – prisoners of war style. They get involved in games and have access to books. A detainee is only allowed here when they have been considered compliant and allowed to wear white uniforms instead of orange uniforms which are worn by noncompliant prisoners.
Camp Five and Camp Five Echo are where the dread starts. They are considered as the disciplinary blocks, and a made up of small cells with very bright lights that can make anybody lose focus and go nuts. Detainees are kept in isolation, with squat toilets on the floor for their use. Camp Six also adapts the solitary confinement module, but with basic prison amenities.
Camp Seven is considered as an ultra-high security prison on an isolated ground and off-limits. And quite frankly, its precise location cannot be determined, neither can we tell what goes on in there. But, whichever way it goes any prisoner will have to steal guts from hell to even think of escaping any of these camps – Not when a GI is assigned to check each prisoner every three minutes.
Terre Haute Federal Correction Complex is located in Terre Haute in Vigo County, Western Indiana. It is a correctional complex with provisions made for a minimum, medium, and high-security correction facilities. It doesn’t matter where you are placed; there is no escaping from here. The main facilities Federal Correction Institution (FCI) and the other, United States Penitentiary serve different purposes. FCI is medium security for holding volatile inmates under heavy supervision while USP is a special home for death row inmates referred to as Special Confinement Unit. Inmates from other state prisons are transferred to the Special Confinement Unit for more secure confinement when they have been sentenced to death. The high level of security adapted in the facility’s structure was used in modeling Camp Five in Camp Delta.
Now, think of the kind of security in this prison that the military has to copy. How secure can that be?
Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary United States
Yeah, the prison has ceased to exist, but its glory days will never be forgotten. Alcatraz is in this list for the honorable mention, as it is known all over the world for its toughness. You will be making a safe bet if you say that all other supermax prisons must have attempted to be as secure as it was.
Strategically placed on island 2 kilometers off San Francisco, it was a tough prison to break out of, and even if you do, where are you heading to? Alcatraz housed the most dangerous prisoners of its time, and being a military base surrounded by water isn’t exactly a factor that tells a prisoner, “It is not so secure, please escape.”