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Supermax prisons: Budget cuts were made during the Bush years

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In hearing and reading President Barack Obama’s speech regarding Guantanamo Bay, I noticed that he did mention supermax prisons when he said: “As we make these decisions, bear in mind the following fact: nobody has ever escaped from one of our federal "supermax" prisons, which hold hundreds of convicted terrorists.” And the president is correct as the debate still rages on what to do with the GITMO detainees.

 

Take heart, America, you will be safe with these detainees being held at a supermax prison.  If they are convicted, at these prisons they are handled with the utmost care for your safety and given little benefits in the process.  Quite frankly, it is a hell on Earth should one find themselves locked up in one of these prisons.

 

I for one am thrilled that he brought these prisons to light since they are anything but a security threat to our nation.  In my previous piece, I wrote of a few who are presently serving their sentences in the Florence, Colorado supermax prison.

If we are going to ask the most important question: Whom can we trust to keep us safe within the confines of any prison system, it surely WAS NOT the Bush/Cheney administration.

 

In reading this past article, Budget cuts increase job hazards at Supermax, please take note of the date it was written; November 8, 2006.  Then ask yourself which president was in charge at that moment in time.  It was non-other than former President Bush.  Instead of adequately funding the staff requirements to oversee these prisoners such as Ted  Kaczynski, Eric Rudolf, Terry Nichols, and yes, Ramzi Yousef: former President Bush built the American Embassy in Baghdad which cost you, the tax payer roughly $592 million dollars. I included pictures of that monstrosity within my piece.  After reading that piece, then ask yourself: Which should have been our top priority?

 

Getting back to the budget cuts at these supermax prisons, a guard, Cory Hodge had this to say: "I felt like staffing levels were coming to a point where it was getting ridiculously dangerous to be there,” When it comes to the safety of any guard, let alone many guards and the prisons they work in, it should not be looked upon as pork barrel spending.  They are responsible for overseeing the most dangerous criminals in our country.

 

With these budget cuts, it was non-other than former President Bush who threatened your security.

 

When the supermax prison in Florence, Colorado opened up in 1994, it staffed 240 guards to oversee these dangerous prisoners.  The August preceding when this article was published it states: “of the 221 guard positions allotted to Supermax, only 186 were filled,” Say what?!

 

You will read within this article, “Today there are more than 460 inmates, up from 265 in 1995. Supermax has 490 beds.” And that was back in 2006. I would say more funding to these prisons is needed and the senate should have approved the president’s plan so we can hold these prisoners at this and other maximum security prisons after going through our judicial system.

 

On both my Twitter.com and Facebook.com page today, I wrote the following entry: “At GITMO, one sees detainees being able to have human contact: At Supermax in CO. they have little to none if convicted using due process.” And that is true.  At supermax prisons, prisoners are kept in their cells 23 hours a day.  They get one hour yard-time alone.  They also shower and eat within the confines of their cell.  They have a limited view of the outside world as the solitary window to the outside world blocks out the scenery.  While in their cell, their reading material is limited and the only TV they have is a black and white one.

 

Tonight as I viewed Countdown with Keith Olbermann, they were airing shots of GITMO with detainees playing soccer with other detainees in the yard. If I were a detainee, I would fear being sent to a supermax over GITMO.  No open-air cells or dormitory settings, but cement cells where one’s food is pushed in by a guard.  That is what due process will bring all of us instead of letting them linger in a legal limbo.

 

If you do not believe my claims, one only has to view this CBS report: A Clean Version of Hell. That is what awaits these detainees should they be brought to the continental United States, tried, convicted, sentenced, and yes, with due process.

 

Author’s email address is, xmjmac@optonline.net

 

Copyrighted material: Should you wish to use any portion of this column, please email the author for permission.

 

I am a writer who currently writes pieces for my own blog http://www.mary-macelveen.blogspot.com I have been published by Buzzflash.com, TheLiberalPatriot.org and MikeHersh.com. I was a guest on the Jay Diamond Radio Show on WRKO in Boston and have (more...)
 

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