Supermax Prisons Summary

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This essay considers the opposing views of Gregory L. Hershberger a regional director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) and Professor Daniel P. Mears as it relates to housing criminals in supermax prisons. Gregory L. Hershberger supports supermax prisons conversely Daniel P. Mears claims that supermax prisons prevent prison officials from providing programs or treatment.
Supermax prisons a house what prison officials refer to as the worst offenders, however, most offenders are sent there based on their behavior while in prison (Hickey,139). Hershberger wrote an article in Corrections Today in 1998 supporting supermax prisons within the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Accordingly, the prior housing of dangerous or volatile offenders was
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Where by violent or troublesome inmates are collectively housed. Offenders in supermax are restricted from movement and are confined to a cell twenty-three hours a day, with one hour of exercise. Almost half of the wardens of supermax prisons stated that there the goal of supermax was punitive in nature and served as a deterrent to other inmates as well as reducing recidivism. Wardens were surveyed, and most agreed that supermax prisons were beneficial to prison systems thereby improving safety, order, and reducing violence. When wardens were asked about the factors that warranted placement into supermax, wardens in the surveyed states did not have any consensus; wardens were just as likely to recommend a drug dealer to supermax as well as a murderer (Hickey). Even though supermax prisons may provide logistical support for placement of violent offenders, increasing segregation at a normal facility level as well as staff training could enhance normal prisons in the housing of problematic offenders. The most insightful observation made by Mears is that there is no standardized tool to effectively assess inmates thereby the random placement of offenders into supermax does not adequately house any particular offender. Mears provides a cautionary example when he provides that Pelican Bay a supermax prison in California lost a federal lawsuit for excessive use of …show more content…
A 2012 article from the Business Insider was regarded as it listed offenders who were housed at ADX, the BOP’s supermax in Colorado. Immediately, Mears logic about the need to develop assessment tools seemed apparent in the randomness of offenders said to be located at ADX. Many of the inmates are considered to be the highest security prison in the United States does house some rather infamous inmates. Matthew Hale, a former member and founder of a neo-Nazi organization, is convicted of soliciting to commit murder, a former doctor who poisoned a woman and perhaps a few other to Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and last but not least Terry Nichols for the Oklahoma City bombing. A clear disparity exists from attempted murder to a bombing. When considering safety and an offender’s ability to instigate others, there is no doubt that Terry Nichols may be able to influence others but based on face value a doctor who quietly killed patients may have less need for placement in a supermax (Rogers, 2012). What is overwhelming apparent is the supermax prisons’ punitive nature, even though the public may have little interest in the humane treatment of certain offenders, it is apparent the crimes that are committed are

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