The 50 Craziest Prisons and Jails in the World

10. United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX Florence)

Location: Florence, CO
Notable Residents: Zacarias Moussaoui, Richard Reid, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, Theodore Kaczynski, Luis Felipe and Gustavo Colon, Thomas Silverstein, O. G. Mack
Amenities: Some inmates spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement

United States Penitentiary, Administrative Facility (ADX Florence) is a super-maximum security prison used to hold the most dangerous federal inmates. The prison was built in response to incidents at other prisons, like the 1983 murder of two COs at USP Leavenworth. It was determined that a prison where dangerous inmates would be isolated from other inmates and corrections officers needed to be built, as simply throwing more time onto the sentences of prisoners serving life wasn't accomplishing much.

ADX Florence opened in 1994, and Fremont County residents were actually happy to see it happen because it created new employment opportunities. The prison houses just under 500 male inmates who have been problematic at other prisons, or are considered flight risks. Prisoners who oversaw prison gangs while incarcerated will be shipped to ADX Florence for security purposes, likewise prisoners with a history of violence against guards or other prisoners.

Inmates spend up to 23 hours a day in solitary confinement during their first year at ADX, then can be eligible for more free time if their behavior improves. The goal is ultimately to transfer prisoners to less restrictive prisons to have them finish their sentences.

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