Notorious Prisons and Jails | 60 Minutes Full Episodes

Notorious Prisons and Jails | 60 Minutes Full Episodes

Supermax (ADX Florence) (00:00:11)

  • The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum (ADX) in Colorado houses some of the world's most dangerous criminals, including convicted Al-Qaeda terrorists.
  • The prison holds fewer than 500 inmates, who spend up to 23 hours a day in their cells with limited access to sunlight, exercise, and human interaction.
  • Supermax has a special wing for terrorists, including Richard Reid, Zacarias Moussaoui, Wadih el-Hage, and Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
  • Inmates at Supermax are subjected to strict conditions of confinement, including limited human contact, monitored phone calls, and restricted access to letters and visits.
  • There is an even higher level of confinement within Supermax known as Range 13, where two extremely dangerous prisoners are held in solitary confinement, including Ramsey Yousef.
  • Supermax also houses other notorious criminals such as Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber.
  • The prison is dangerously understaffed, with more than a quarter of the staff jobs unfilled, leading to entire housing units going uncovered and monitored by officers elsewhere in the prison.

Rikers Island (00:13:30)

  • Riker's Island, New York City's largest jail, houses approximately 10,000 inmates, including many awaiting trial and a growing population of mentally ill individuals.
  • The jail has been under scrutiny due to a culture of violence, excessive force, and neglect, prompting the intervention of US Attorney Preet Bharara.
  • An investigation revealed a lack of discipline for officers despite numerous complaints, contributing to the ongoing problems at Riker's Island.
  • A class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of inmates highlighted the alarming number of severe physical injuries, including facial fractures and traumatic brain injuries, within the facility.
  • The case of Bradley Ballard, a mentally ill and diabetic inmate, exemplified the neglect and inadequate care at Riker's Island. Ballard was locked in solitary confinement for six days without access to medication, leading to his death.
  • The city's medical examiner declared Ballard's death a homicide, and the Department of Correction adjusted its practices to prevent similar incidents.
  • A report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene revealed that 77% of serious injuries at Rikers involved mentally ill inmates, indicating a systemic problem.
  • Another mentally ill inmate, Jason Etaria, died after ingesting toxic soap while in solitary confinement. Correction officers and supervisors failed to provide Etaria with medical attention despite his obvious distress, and a report detailing the incident was never filed.
  • Captain Terrence Pendergrass, a supervisor at Rikers, was convicted in 2014 for his role in Etaria's death.
  • The culture at Rikers is described as broken and entrenched, with officers feeling comfortable engaging in misconduct even under camera surveillance.
  • Jason Eia, a mentally ill inmate at Rikers Island, died alone in his cell after his pleas for help were ignored, and he was deprived of urgent medical care. Officers Castro and Lazarte, responsible for Eia's care, have been fired.
  • The city has recently initiated several policy changes to address the problems at Rikers, including installing more cameras and reducing the use of solitary confinement.
  • A federal monitor has been appointed to ensure the reforms are implemented.

Agency in Crisis (Aliceville women’s federal prison) (00:27:25)

  • The United States federal prison system houses over 157,000 inmates, including dangerous criminals.
  • The Bureau of Prisons faces challenges such as understaffing, reports of abuse in women's prisons, and a high recidivism rate.
  • Colette Peters, the new director, aims to reform the system by prioritizing staff mental health and compassionate treatment of inmates.
  • The severe staff shortage of around 8,000 correctional officers leads to increased misconduct and violence, with non-traditional staff being used to supervise offenders.
  • Inmates feel disrespected and unsafe due to staff shortages and limited opportunities for education and rehabilitation.
  • Female inmates at FCI Dublin have been victims of sexual abuse by male officers, resulting in convictions, lawsuits, and an ongoing class-action lawsuit alleging abuse and retaliation.
  • Despite investigations and measures taken by the Bureau of Prisons, inmates report continued retaliation, and more staff members have been accused of abuse.
  • New management and security cameras have been implemented in affected areas, but victims question the adequacy of these measures.
  • Over 45 current and former Dublin inmates have filed lawsuits against the Bureau of Prisons for sexual abuse.

Prisoner 760 (Guantanamo Bay, Part 1) (00:40:38)

  • Muhammadou Salahi, a former Guantanamo Bay detainee, spent over 14 years in captivity without charge or trial.
  • Salahi's journey to Guantanamo began when he joined the mujahideen in Afghanistan to fight against the Soviet Union but left when he realized the Afghans were fighting each other.
  • After leaving Afghanistan, Salahi cut all ties with al-Qaeda and did not consider himself a member of the organization anymore.
  • Salahi was captured by the Mauritanian secret police in 2001 and handed over to the CIA, who flew him to Jordan for eight months before taking him to Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo Bay.
  • Salahi's special interrogation plan, personally approved by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, involved techniques that have since been outlawed.
  • Despite the challenges of solitary confinement and isolation, Salahi found solace and support from some of the guards who treated him with respect and compassion.
  • Salahi taught himself English while imprisoned, wrote a bestselling book about his experiences, and developed close friendships with some of his guards.
  • Salahi's release was partly due to a letter written by a guard who vouched for his character and expressed a desire to welcome him into his home.

Prisoner 760 (Guantanamo Bay, Part 2) (00:55:34)

  • Muhammad Salahi, also known as prisoner 760 at Guantanamo Bay, was the only detainee to document his treatment in a book while still imprisoned.
  • Salahi endured months of interrogation by the FBI and was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including sleep deprivation, exposure to cold temperatures, and waterboarding.
  • Salahi was falsely informed that his mother had been detained and might be transferred to Guantanamo, causing him severe emotional distress.
  • Under duress, Salahi made false confessions, claiming to be an active Al-Qaeda recruiter and involved in a nonexistent bombing plot in Toronto.
  • Salahi's account is corroborated by reports and investigations conducted by Congress and the Departments of Justice and Defense.
  • Despite being falsely imprisoned and tortured for 15 years without charge or conviction, Salahi maintains a positive outlook and has authored several books during his imprisonment.
  • Salahi's military prosecutor resigned from the case, convinced that Salahi had been tortured based on US government documents.
  • A federal judge ordered Salahi's release in 2010 due to substantial evidence of mistreatment and torture.
  • Salahi believes torture is ineffective as it yields false confessions and unreliable intelligence.
  • Salahi's mother passed away in 2013, and he was unable to see her again after his imprisonment.
  • Salahi's release from Guantanamo was a transformative experience, which he considers a rebirth.

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