Laura L. Cepero

Toxic Traps: Environmental Hazards Threaten 2 Federal Supermax Prisons

A Solitary Watch investigation into the sites of the federal government’s two “supermax” facilities—the first open for two decades, the second slated to open soon—reveals a number of possible serious environmental hazards. The prisons, ADX Florence in Colorado and AUSP Thomson in Illinois, are built to hold men in extreme solitary confinement. This practice has roused increasing controversy in recent years, due to the psychological and physical damage caused by extreme isolation and sensory deprivation. Yet the impact of underlying environmental hazards on individuals locked down in small cells has never been adequately explored.

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