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June 22, 2009

"A Clean Version Of Hell"

The title of this post is the title given to this 60 Minutes segment, which ran last night and discusses the federal supermax prison in Colorado.  The piece is mostly a re-run of an earlier segment, but the introduction highlights its new salience in light of the possibility of moving some GTMO detainees to the facility.  Here is how 60 Minutes describes the piece:

A look at the secretive "Supermax" federal prison, where the nation's most dangerous and infamous criminals are held under the strictest rules.  Scott Pelley reports.

Some related Supermax posts:

June 22, 2009 at 04:43 PM | Permalink


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Well, isn't hell what these people deserve? I would think that victims' families suffer more than these scum do.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 22, 2009 5:05:30 PM

I think the ones not convicted of anything deserve it even more. People not convicted of crimes deserve it even more.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 22, 2009 5:40:24 PM

If 123D is so cruel, give these folks the choice. See how many agree and choose the supermax lifestyle. The most distinguishing characteristic of a supermax prison is the greater staffing ratio. Staffing is the sole path to greater staff safety. One has to suspect that prisoners of this caliber are kept alive to generate more of these jobs for high unemployment, remote areas of the nation. The local jail could be a supermax with more staff and more sophisticated leadership. The physical layout and the rules do not make a supermax.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 22, 2009 7:15:38 PM

Punitive Responses to Suicide Attempts

Self-harm is not always a symptom of a serious mental illness. Nevertheless, the desire to harm oneself warrants careful attention by mental health staff. Similarly, all attempts at suicide must be dealt with as a mental health emergency. Yet in prison self-harm or attempted self-harm is frequently dismissed as malingering — without consideration of whether the effort to attract attention is being made by someone with serious psychiatric needs. Dr. Terry Kupers has testified:

I have in all my tours of prisons checked on the psychological autopsies of suicides…. In reviewing those reports, in 100 percent of cases in about 16 different institutions I have found that successful suicides are preceded by a note in the [medical] chart saying this individual is just malingering or is manipulating or is an antisocial personality; don’t pay any attention…. [O]ne can manipulate and be mentally ill or at serious risk or suicide; one can be malingering, and the malingering can be a symptom of the mental illness. Overall my impression is that the mental health staff [at Wisconsin’s supermaximum security prison] doesn’t take that into consideration.

Posted by: George | Jun 22, 2009 9:10:25 PM

I wish you still had your blog. I understand it is probably a time consuming and frustrating job. But, the internet is the only power that the common man has left in America.

Posted by: DLJ | Jun 23, 2009 12:01:56 PM

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