ADX Florence, also referred to as the US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, is a Supermax prison for male inmates that is situated in the south of Florence, Colorado. Local residents call it the Alcatraz of the Rockies. The Federal Bureau of Prisons, which is part of the US Department of Justice, is in charge of operating this facility. ADX Florence houses prisoners that are considered to be among the most dangerous in the country, and therefore require the strictest level of control and enforcement.
This control unit prison was built after a series of security breach incidents that occurred in Marion prison, Illinois, in which two officers were killed by inmates. Authorities acknowledged that certain dangerous prisoners required more secure facilities in order to isolate them from guards and other inmates. Prisoners at ADX Florence are held in solitary confinement for 22 or 23 hours per day. All furniture in cells are made out of concrete, and small privileges like TV and radio are leveraged against prisoners who misbehave.
ADX Florence was inaugurated in late 1994, and claims almost 500 inmates. The population is made up of terrorists (foreign and domestic), spies, gang leaders, or other prisoners considered to be too high-profile or too dangerous for maximum security prisons. Many prisoners at ADX Florence have been transferred in from lower security prisons, usually following escape attempts or especially violent behavior.