El Chapo: King of jailbreaks could be spending the rest of his life in the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'

El Chapo will likely spend the rest of his life at ADX Florence after being found guilty of masterminding an international drug smuggling cartel on Tuesday


                            El Chapo: King of jailbreaks could be spending the rest of his life in the 'Alcatraz of the Rockies'

On February 12, 61-year-old drug kingpin Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman was convicted of 10 counts of various drug trafficking charges at a US District Court in Brooklyn after he was found guilty of running the world's largest drug smuggling operation. Guzman's decades-long criminal career included money laundering, weapons offenses, as well as the murder of his rivals.

His criminal record will probably see him safely ensconced in USP Florence ADMAX aka the Alcatraz of the Rockies — a 490-bed "supermax" jail located in Florence, Colorado, 90 miles south of Denver, where inmates are held in special "control units" that function as prisons within prisons, reports Daily Mail.

The ADX (administrative maximum) Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado is a state of the art isolation prison for repeat and high profile felony offenders. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)
The ADX (administrative maximum) Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado is a state of the art isolation prison for repeat and high profile felony offenders. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)

The cartel druglord has sprung himself twice from Mexican jailhouses but he might just be up against a wall if tries to do the same from ADX Florence, known for being America's most secure prison from which nobody has escaped till date. El Chapo will spend the rest of his life within a "control unit" specifically designed to deprive him of almost all human contact. The unit includes bombers, hate-preachers and domestic terrorists who occupy neighboring cells.  



 

In 2017, Martin Horn, a professor of corrections at City University of New York's John Jay College of Criminal Justice said, "There's a high likelihood that he would end up at ADX Florence given his history of escaping and his ability to compromise corrections staff in Mexico."

El Chapo will spend the rest of his life within a "control unit" specifically designed to deprive him of almost all human contact. The unit will include bombers, hate-preachers and domestic terrorists who occupy neighboring cells. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)
El Chapo will spend the rest of his life within a "control unit" specifically designed to deprive him of almost all human contact. The unit will include bombers, hate-preachers and domestic terrorists who occupy neighboring cells. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)

Also known as Supermax, the maximum security prison opened in 1994 and currently houses 402 male inmates in special "control units" that function as prisons within prisons. These cells are designed to deprive inmates of virtually all contact with the outside world as they are confined to single-person cells for up to 23 hours a day. While escaping the facility is next to impossible, special restrictions are in place to ensure that the most hardened inmates have no medium of exerting influence or threats beyond the walls of their individual units.

"The prisoners really have no contact with other prisoners, all their movements are controlled," Horn told Reuters at the time. "They get limited privileges, limited contacts. ... It's a tough place to do time."

USP Florence inmates have their choice of a regular menu at mealtime, a no-meat option, a no-pork option, a low fat/low sodium option, or, upon approval from the prison chaplain, a “religious diet.” If they ever need medical attention, they are generally responsible for a $2 co-pay. And while prisoners may earn up to 54 days off their sentence each year for good behavior, there is no parole in the federal correctional system, states the Quartz.

Like in every prison all incoming and outgoing mail is inspected by guards. Upon their arrival, prisoners receive three khaki shirts, three pairs of khaki trousers, five pairs of boxer shorts, five pairs of socks, and a winter coat. They’re also issued one knit hat, a pair of gloves, a pair of shoes, and four bath towels and washcloths. 

The dining area at the ADX (administrative maximum) Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)
The dining area at the ADX (administrative maximum) Supermax Prison in Florence, Colorado. (Photo by Lizzie Himmel/Sygma via Getty Images)

While U.S. authorities have refused to confirm where Guzman will be held citing security concerns while the trial is ongoing, officials from the Federal Bureau of Prisons have said he will be treated like any other inmate.

"He will be treated as any other offender who is sentenced to a term of imprisonment," the Bureau said in a statement to Newsweek. "If convicted, the [U.S. Marshals Service] will request designation and forward all his documentation to the [Designation and Sentence Computation Center]. He will be classified and his sentence computation will be completed. Based on his classification, he will be placed in a Bureau facility commensurate with his security and program needs," the statement added. 

If El Chapo will be sent to ADMAX, he would make it to the list of some of the most notorious names in the annals of US criminal justice to be housed there. They include Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI turncoat Robert Hanssen, “shoe bomber” Richard Reid, “underwear bomber” Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab,  domestic terrorist Ted Kaczynski, otherwise known as the Unabomber and Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.