In First Media Tour, Supermax Warden Defends Staffing


In the first news media tour of the federal “Supermax” prison in Colorado since it opened in 1994, warden Ron Wiley said he was annoyed that the lead of every article about it lists famous inmates like Zacarias Moussaoui, Terry Nichols and Ted Kacyznski, reports the Canon City Daily Record. Wiley reminded reporters that “The Unabomber,” “The American Taliban,” “The Shoe Bomber,” and others make up a small percentage of those housed at the facility. This week’s tour included representatives from the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, CNN, Fox News, CBS and the network's “60 Minutes,” as well as local newspapers.

A group called the Council of Prison Locals last month slammed the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for staffing numbers at the facility that the group says have reached “dangerously low” levels. Wiley, who became warden in 2005, responded, “We're very comfortable with the staffing levels.” Supermax houses 478 inmates. The tour did not include the control unit, which houses the most dangerous and disruptive inmates in the federal prison system. They get just one hour outside their cells daily with their only communication inside the facility being with correctional officers. Wiley said there is no such thing as a “bombers' row” for notorious terrorists. Wiley and other prison officials say the facility is staffed at “almost 90 percent.”


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