The "Supermax" Prison in Butner Will House the Worst of the Worst
Posted May 13, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
BUTNER — North Carolina is taking a tough stand against the most violent criminals in the prison system. A new prison called the "Supermax" will hold 100 unruly inmates.
The new facility has eight inch thick concrete walls, a heavy duty security fence and a secluded cell for each inmate.
Officials said that the Supermax has more security, more solitary confinement, and more control than other facilities.
The prison is a new experiment in North Carolina incarceration, which stems from a rapidly growing segment of our state's prison population.
"Keep in mind that we are dealing with the most violent inmate," Warden George Currie said. "An inmate that has demonstrated time and time again that he cannot make it in the regular inmate population. This is not for ordinary housing."
Doors, showers and toilets are controlled from a high-tech central control room. The central concept is that the inmates will never leave their cell area, and rarely have human contact.
The criminals will spend 23 hours a day in the specially designed cells, and only one hour for recreation.
The recreation area contains natural air and light from a window, but does not have equipment or any contact with anyone else.
When there is contact, everything is strictly controlled.
The warden is confident of the new prison, and some of the local residents agree.
"They have a youth center here, and a correctional center here, so its kind of a security place," Clarence Peace said. "I guess it will fit in here." Inmates who have killed other inmates, inmates who simply cannot be controlled are prime candidates for the Supermax.
This prison is a new approach for the North Carolina prison system, and the 100 cells cost taxpayers $9 million. Reporter:Mark Roberts