TDD (202) 514-1888
Fact Sheet: Security at the Department of Justice
Bureau of Prisons Adminstrative Maximum Security Facility
Securing convicted terrorists and other violent criminals so that they no
pose a threat to society is a top priority for the Department of Justice.
the second time in two years, Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales toured
Bureau of Prisons (BOP) Administrative Maximum Security (ADX) facility in
Colorado today to see first hand the security at the nation’s most secure
prison. Since it opened in 1994, BOP has continuously enhanced security
through additional staffing and the new features at this facility.
ADX staffing levels
- Currently there are 327 staff members assigned to the ADX, which houses
- Staffing at ADX Florence in general, and for correctional officers in
is appropriate for the security and safe operation of the facility.
the past year, correctional officer staffing has increased–presently
92 percent of authorized positions are filled.
- The inmate-to-staff ratio at ADX Florence is the lowest in the BOP and is
comparable to or lower than other “supermax” prisons.
||4.6 to 1
||1.5 to 1
||2.5 to 1
||2.0 to 1
||3.0 to 1
||1.5 to 1
||2.2 to 1
||1.8 to 1
||2.5 to 1
||1.9 to 1
||2.9 to 1
||3.5 to 1
||4.2 to 1
Recent Safety and Security Enhancements:
- Recent upgrades in security technology at ADX enhance the staff’s
ability to supervise inmates. Over the past two years 96 cameras were
added and 64 older cameras were replaced. There are now more than
400 cameras in operation at the facility.
- Rates of serious assaults on staff and inmates remain low due to a number
of resource intensive strategies such as technological advances and
correctional management practices including lockdowns, inmate transfers,
- In December 2006, a complex-wide armed mobile patrol vehicle was added to
provide additional perimeter security.
- Additionally a “comm-tower,” encrypted monitoring system was
installed at the complex that provides ground level and overhead views of
all facilities at the complex. Additional plans are in place to further
enhance the abilities of the tower.
Enhancements to Monitor Inmate Communication:
- Since October 2006, BOP has monitored 100 percent of the general mail
sent to or from inmates designated by BOP as terrorist inmates. There
are currently 213 terrorist inmates in the Federal Bureau of Prisons
wide – 33 of whom are subject to Special Administrative Measures. BOP
defines terrorist inmates as those having been convicted of, charged with,
associated with, or linked to terrorist activities, or belonging to
that planned and/or executed violent and destructive acts against the
and/or privately owned U.S. corporations.
- Mail is not delivered to or sent from such inmates until after it is read
(translated if necessary) and analyzed for intelligence purposes. If
suspicious content is found, the correspondence is referred to the FBI for
analysis prior to being processed any further.
- BOP monitors 100 percent of phone calls for these inmates; however,
language translators may not always be available, BOP records all such
for translation. To address this, BOP is concentrating resources
in a counter-terrorism unit that will greatly enhance the agency's
for language translation, content analysis and intelligence sharing. BOP
has several full-time language specialists to monitor terrorist
and has worked with the FBI to greatly increase assistance in analyzing
- Two FBI employees in Colorado, one special agent and one intelligence
have been assigned to assist ADX Florence with terrorist communication and
matters. Special Investigative Supervisory staff from each institution have
received Terrorist Management training. In December 2006, 20 BOP intelligence
staff participated in an intensive intelligence gathering and analysis
course provided by the FBI.