This is ADX: “The Alcatraz of the Rockies” where Joaquín Guzmán serves life in prison

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The United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility, commonly known as ADX Florence, is an American federal prison in Fremont County near Florence, Colorado. It is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a division of the United States Department of Justice.

ADX Florence, which opened in 1994, is classed as a supermax or “control unit” prison, thus providing a higher, more controlled level of custody than a maximum security prison. ADX Florence forms part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence (FCC Florence), which is situated on 49 acres (20 hectares) of land and houses different facilities with varying degrees of security, including the United States Penitentiary, Florence High.

The institution is unofficially known as ADX Florence or “the Alcatraz of the Rockies.” It is part of the Federal Correctional Complex, Florence, run by the Federal Bureau of Prisons under the United States Department of Justice.

ADX Florence was commissioned when the Federal Bureau of Prisons needed a unit designed specifically for the secure housing of those prisoners most capable of extreme violence toward staff or other inmates. As of January 2023, there are a total of 322 inmates housed. They are confined 23 hours per day in single cells with facilities made of poured, reinforced concrete to deter self-harm, and are under 24-hour supervision, carried out intensively with high staff–inmate ratios.

El Chapo is serving his life sentence in a maximum security prison in Colorado after being convicted in 2019 of charges including drug trafficking, money laundering, and weapons-related offenses.

He is incarcerated at the “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, which holds a number of high-profile inmates, including Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and Oklahoma City bombing accomplice Terry Nichols. The facility is so secure, so remote and so austere that it has been called the “Alcatraz of the Rockies.”

According to one of his lawyers, Jose Refugio Rodriguez, Guzman is unhappy with the harsh prison conditions including isolation and a lack of sunlight.

One of El Chapo’s sons, Ovidio Guzman, was arrested by Mexican security forces this month in an operation that left 29 people dead and sparked a dramatic shootout at an airport in the city of Culiacan.

The U.S. Department of State had been offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Ovidio Guzmán-López.   

Source: Federal Bureau of Prisons

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