When the federal government opened Supermax in Colorado, the country’s highest-security prison, in 1994, it had 50 to 60 more guards that it does today, reports the Rocky Mountain News. That was before it became “terrorist central,” the repository for all of the nation’s worst terrorists, from Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui to 1993 World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. The staffing of Supermax, along with three other prisons that house a total of nearly 3,000 inmates at the Florence Federal Correctional Complex, brought more than 100 townspeople to a meeting at City Hall last night to discuss plans to demand federal help.
The federal Bureau of Prisons has systematically cut personnel from its prisons, not just at Florence but around the nation. At Florence, guard numbers are 15 to 25 percent below even the Bureau of Prisons’ own guidelines it established in 2005 for minimum staffing to maintain safety, said representatives of the guards’ union. No Bureau of Prisons representative attended the meeting.