Introduction to Criminal Justice
Introduction to Criminal Justice
A Supermax prison facility is where prisoners are put in solitary confinement cells. Prisoners are put in confinement for up to 23 to 24 hours a day without interacting with fellow inmates. The prisoners are also denied human contact from outside the prison and contacts with the wardens is done when it is extremely essential. They are designed to control prisoners who are rowdy when they are get contact with other prisoners. They represented more advanced punitive measures that seek to reduce the manpower need to manage and control prison cell establishments.
Solitary Confinement of prisoners means that a prisoner will have no contact or interaction with fellow inmates or other people during while serving his term. The inmates are only allowed an hour to walk within the vicinity and are then taken back to their single cell. Moreover, these rooms have no windows. They are also not given any reading materials. The maximum amount of time that they can spend out of the cell in a week is less than five hours. Any recreational activity is not allowed. Solitary confinement, therefore, means total isolation from other human beings. It is meant to deter deviant behavior and encourage good behavior among inmates in order to provide harmony, order and control in maximum prison facilities.
These Supermax prisons are used to house hard core criminals like notorious terrorist arrested within the country and those that are prosecuted and sentenced. They are also used to imprison murderers and violent criminals. Moreover, one of the critical significance of the Supermax prisoners is to isolate disruptive prisoners from the general cells. Inmates who are always fighting or disrupting peace, bullying others or harassing their fellow prisoners are usually put in isolation. Other prisoners who are put in solitary confinement are those who have a tendency to escape. They are put in these prisoners to prevent them from escaping and thus serve their full sentence.
One of the benefits of having Supermax prisoners is the reduction of administrative costs for running prisons. The cost of running a general prison cell is high compared to a supermax prison. This is because more officials will need to be deployed to maintain order. Moreover, more crimes like assault, sexual harassment are averted by use of solitary confinement cells. It also ensures that a court’s sentence is fully served before a prisoner gets their freedom. This is because it significantly reduces the chances of a prisoner escaping or conspiring with fellow prisoners or prison authorities on the same.
Human beings should be treated with dignity and all their human rights respected. Some basic human rights can be limited like the freedom of movement. Prisoners are meant to deter, prevent, reform and punish criminals and crime. However, supermax prisons have come under sharp criticism for violating human rights to unacceptable levels. Putting a person is solitary confinement is fine for a short period to deter deviant behavior. However, long time imprisonment in these cells interferes with the human psychological and sociological nature and can lead to a breakdown. It is also an act of demonizing a person who has already been punished for his or her criminal acts.
Fettig, A. (2013, April 1). Tamms "Supermax" Prison, with its Inhumane and Ridiculously Expensive Solitary Confinement Practices, is Officially a Thing of the Past! Retrieved April 18, 2013, from www.aclu.org: http://www.aclu.org/blog/prisoners-rights/tamms-supermax-prison-its-inhumane-and-ridiculously-expensive-solitary
Frieden, T. (2007, September 14). Reporters get first look inside mysterious Supermax prison. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from edition.cnn.com: http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/09/13/supermax.btsc/index.html?iref=allsearch
Human Rights Watch. (2000, February 1). Out of Sight: Super-Maximum Security Confinement in the US. Retrieved April 18, 2013, from www.refworld.org: http://www.refworld.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/rwmain?page=publisher&publisher=HRW&type=&coi=USA&docid=3ae6a86b4&skip=0
Recommendations. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2013, from www.hrw.org: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/supermax/Sprmx002-01.htm#TopOfPage