Otherwise known as “supermax”, these “supermaximum prisons are free-standing facilities or units within other prison facilities” which are intended for “inmates” who are said to be extremely vicious and troublesome (Hougas, 2001, n.
p.).Their cell is only about “3.
5 meters by 2 meters” which has a “metal sliding outer door and steel bars on the inner door” (Supermax Security for Top Terror Convicts, n.d., n.p.). Here they are not allowed to eat with other inmates and they are not also allowed to mingle with them; in fact, they stay inside the cells most of the day (Supermax Security for Top Terror Convicts, n.
d., n.p.). They are however given sixty minutes to leave their cell and exercise (Supermax Security for Top Terror Convicts, n.d., n.p.
). A window is also provided but it is only ten centimeters wide just enough to see the sky (Supermax Security for Top Terror Convicts, n.d., n.p.).
“Why have supermax prisons become such an attractive option for management of violent or seriously disruptive inmates” you may ask? Since it entails, “segregation”, “management of violent or seriously disruptive inmates” becomes easier; prison guards are not usually threatened by inmates attacking them since these inmates stay in their cells for “twenty three hours” and will only be allowed to leave their cells for exercise purposes, which only runs for “sixty minutes” (Rhodes, 2005, pp. 1692 – 1695). Furthermore, even if these inmates are extremely dangerous, they cannot easily inflict injury over other inmates because they are not allowed to mingle with other inmates; controlling their behavior would not be too much of a problem because each inmate is held in their own cell which usually has its own camera as well (Rhodes, 2005, pp. 1692 – 1695).
Last but not least, it is more manageable for the staff of the “supermaximum prison” as well because the “media” or “the public” is not allowed access to the aforementioned place (Rhodes, 2005, pp. 1692 – 1695). See, if the “public and the press” cannot go in there then they have no chance to interfere with the rules or what is going on; thus management & control is solely the solitary confinement’s decision (Rhodes, 2005, pp. 1692 – 1695).
Excessive MeasuresThere are no official documents stating directly that “some of the measures employed inside supermaximum prisons are excessive” however if one is deduce from those researches which looks into the effects of supermaximum prisons on inmates, it would be excruciatingly difficult to prove otherwise (Hougas, 2001, n.p.). Let’s take for instance the common results inferred by an expert from his study: “perceptual distortions, illusions, vivid fantasies, stunning hallucinations, hyperresponsivity to external stimuli, cognitive impairment, massive free-floating anxiety, extreme motor restlessness, emergence of primitive aggressive fantasies, delirium-like conditions, and stupor” (Hougas, 2001, n.
p.).In addition to that, other occurrences include the following: “1) some eventually hear voices or whispers on their head most likely because they have been recurrently placed under “segregation”; 2) some are disoriented or cannot concentrate probably because they are always thinking about what the prison guards are usually doing to them – “cuffed, shackled, and always monitored”; 3) some are too angry and think of extremely hurting the prison guards which shows that extreme measures were implemented against them, for example, they are “deprived of everything except for just a number of things”; 4) some turn fearful because of the extreme treatment that they experience; and 5) some just turn more violent and possibly carries out disruptive acts at random simply because they cannot take the punishments or extreme measures anymore (Hougas, 2001, n.
p.). Such occurrences only prove that indeed “some of the measures employed inside supermaximum prisons are excessive” (Hougas, 2001, n.p.).