- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 3, 2002

Sniper suspects John Allen Muhammad and John Lee Malvo are being held in downtown Baltimore at the highest of high-security prisons and will have no contact with each other, state corrections officials say.
The 340-inmate Maryland Correctional Adjustment Center houses death row and the most disruptive and violent inmates in the state prison system. But the facility known as Supermax, short for super maximum security, also has a contract with the federal government to house 96 federal pretrial detainees.
Mr. Muhammad and Mr. Malvo were moved there Oct. 25.
Leonard Sipes, Maryland State Division of Corrections spokesman, acknowledged that special security arrangements were made to accommodate Mr. Muhammad and Mr. Malvo because they are high-profile suspects also considered to be highly dangerous. He declined to give more details except that "they will have no contact with each other."
However, prison officials have released some information about life inside Supermax.
State prisoners, the death row inmates and the federal pretrial detainees all live under high-security measures but are kept in separate populations.
State inmates wear orange jumpsuits, while the federal inmates wear burgundy jumpsuits like the one Mr. Muhammad wore during a court hearing Tuesday.
Typical pretrial detainees are kept on a rigid schedule: breakfast from 5 to 6 a.m., lunch at noon and dinner at 5 p.m. They are allowed six hours a day in a common area, or pod, where there is a television. The detainees are permitted visitors who remain behind glass and speak through microphones, but the privileges can be restricted based on inmates' behavior or the need for additional security.
Because the federal pretrial detainees are held temporarily, their numbers fluctuate in the facility. They are usually held two to a 7-foot-by-9-foot concrete cell that has a steel door, stainless-steel bed platforms, mattress pads, a toilet and a shelf.
There are six housing units in the prison, which are separated from administrative areas and from one another by a series of grills and "safety vestibules" sealed by inner and outer doors.
The housing units are separated into three columns. Each column has two levels and four separate sections, or "quads," consisting of 12 cells. Each quad has a control center in the middle, with large glass windows for observation.
Each of the three columns has a fenced-in roof exercise yard, which is visible from heavily guarded tower posts. A brick wall with razor ribbon surrounds the rear of the prison.
"There is no inmate they can bring us who will exceed the capacity of this institution," Mr. Sipes said.
Authorities say supermax prisons are designed to modify the behavior of the most violent inmates with the goal of returning them to the prison population. But critics have questioned whether holding prisoners in isolation 18 to 23 hours a day is inhumane.
Only one inmate has escaped from Supermax since it was completed in 1988.
In November 1991, murderer Harold Benjamin Dean escaped after prying open a metal screen with a smuggled hacksaw blade and squeezing through an 8-inch-by-12-inch window.
Dean used a rope made of a bed sheet, a towel, underwear and socks to lower himself to a nearby roof, made his way across several other roofs, then lowered himself down the prison's exterior wall. However, he was recaptured and returned to the prison.

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