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The growth of the inmate population nationwide has given rise to supermax prisons over the past two decades. Among the controversial issues that supermax prisons face are concerns about the types of individuals placed in solitary confinement and the arbitrary nature of those placements. This...
The supermax prison was designed to control the most violent, assaultive individuals, gang members, and other prisoners who could not be managed in less secure settings. Pelican Bay State Prison, which houses California's supermax, holds approximately 1,300 inmates in its security housing unit...
In recent years, states have invested heavily in supermaximum (supermax) security prisons, yet critical questions about them remain unaddressed. In this article, the author examines these prisons through an evaluation research framework, focusing on five questions: (a) Are supermaxes needed? (b)...
This research explores the sociopolitical context of prison violence and its control in the state of Illinois, and discusses the series of events that led to the opening of a supermax prison. Interrupted time series analyses were used to test whether the use of the supermax was associated with...
Supermax prisons have substantially increased in popularity during the last 20 years. This article presents an examination of the current state of knowledge on supermax prisons, in terms of both case law and criminal justice research, to assess the potential future of these facilities. Three...
This exploratory research examines supermax confinement in the United States. An examination of counts of supermax institutions and inmates from 2001-2004 produced by the American Correctional Association and an examination of Criminal Justice Institute data found that different procedures made...
Prison administrators claim that supermax prisons are essential tools in the management of unruly prisoners and that these facilities act as a deterrent to prisoners contemplating violence. Pelican Bay, known in prison jargon as “Up North,” is California's supermax prison. This article states...
The U.S. Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois (USP Marion) was the first federal supermax prison. The “mean little house” is one of the most significant U.S. prisons built in the past century. It has served as a model for high-security detention confinement and been copied worldwide. Marion also...
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