It’s home to Ramzi Yousef, who plotted the1993 bombing at the World Trade Center; 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui; “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski; and Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber.”
When inmates arrive at the United States Penitentiary Administrative-Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, it immediately becomes clear: ADX, the nation’s most secure Supermax prison, is built to cut them off from the world.
Now that Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, has been formally sentenced to death, his final destination will be in the hands of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. On Thursday, he was transferred to the U.S. Penitentiary in Florence, one of several correctional facilities in the city, including Supermax.
The worst of the worst in America’s vast prison network are delivered to ADX, the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” in buses, special vehicles, even Black Hawk helicopters.
Heavily armed patrols cruise the sprawling complex. A dozen imposing gun towers rise above squat brick buildings. Walls topped with razor wire partially block the snow-capped mountains.
“As soon as they come through the door … you see it in their faces,” former ADX warden Robert Hood said. “That’s when it really hits you. You’re looking at the beauty of the Rocky Mountains in the backdrop. When you get inside, that is the last time you will ever see it.”
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