Local Security Not A Worry Near Colorado Federal Supermax


The Florence, Co., prison holding dozens of convicted terrorists is just part of the landscape, says the Chicago Tribune. Golfers tee off and kids hop off the school bus a few hundred yards from terrorists who sit in solitary confinement nearly 24 hours a day. The roster of 449 inmates at the U.S. Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility — Supermax — includes Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; would-be “shoe bomber” Richard Reid; mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing Ramzi Yousef; and Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski. If having terrorists imprisoned a 10-minute walk from your home is a risk, there’s no sign of it in Florence, a rural community 110 miles south of Denver.

“We still leave our doors unlocked at night,” former Mayor Bart Hall said. Thomson, Il., could become home to the second federal Supermax. Last week, federal officials visited the cash-strapped northwestern Illinois town of 600 as they consider converting a state prison there into a Supermax to house detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Republican politicians have criticized the plan, saying it would make Thomson and Chicago, about 150 miles east, potential terrorist targets. In Florence, roughly 3,800 residents are neighbors of the Supermax, and the thought of an inmate escape or terrorist plot is not a burning issue.

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