7. USP Florence ADMAX, Florence, Colorado
USP Florence ADMAX houses the most violent and brutal criminals in America and has the sternest and strictest security measures of an American prison. Designed to control the most uncontrollable criminals, Florence’s high-profile inmates are considered too hazardous and dangerous for any other maximum-security prison. Its design has, so far, shown to be impenetrable.
Notorious gang leaders, foreign terrorists, and domestic terrorists have all spent time at Florence (including Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols, and Theodore Kaczynski). With such powerful criminals caged within its walls, the prison needs to be secure against escape while also ensuring no intrusion missions are able to break prisoners out.
To this end, the prison is designed so that inmates never know their actual whereabouts within the facility; a small four-inch by a four-feet slit of a window is their only source of natural light.
Like Petak Prison, inmates are subject to up to 23 hours of solitary confinement per day and are almost completely withdrawn from both other inmates and guards. The prisoners are technically allowed exercise, but at Florence, this consists merely of circling around a concrete pit.
This is but one reason why the prison is thought to be psychologically unbearable. The Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph told a Colorado Springs newspaper that Florence was designed to “inflict misery and pain.” Likewise, former warden Robert Hood gave the prison a fitting description: “a cleaner version of Hell.”