Prison Bureau Bids To Improve Supermax Security Denied


Four times since Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Prisons has been denied money to tighten security around the nation’s worst terrorists at its Supermax prison in Colorado, says the Rocky Mountain News. Supermax holds 400 of the most dangerous inmates and operates under the highest level of security. Inmates are released from their individual cells only one hour a day. Inmates at the Administrative Maximum Facility or ADX, include 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef; Unabomber Theodore Kaczynski; and Oklahoma City bombing conspirator Terry Nichols.

Union guards have complained that the lockup full of extremely dangerous inmates is understaffed. Prison officials deny that. When union leaders and state Rep. Buffie McFadyen went to see Bureau of Prisons chief Harley Lappin about the understaffing complaint, he told them he’d been denied three times for homeland security/counterterrorism grants to beef up security around the convicted terrorists. Mike Schnobrich, a guard at Supermax and union representative, who attended McFadyen’s meeting at the Bureau of Prisons, said the bureau wanted a centralized tower and perimeter fencing for its complex that holds Supermax and three other prisons. The idea “was to increase security of the entire complex, directed toward outsiders coming in, instead of the insiders coming out,” he said.


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