After escaping from jail twice and the thousands of privileges he had in the previous prisons where he was held, El Chapo Guzman, spends the rest of his life in the “Supermax”, a maximum security prison in the United States.
Before being arrested in this place, Joaquín Guzmán Loera, founder and head of the Sinaloa Cartel, enjoyed different privileges in other penitentiary centers.
This is recounted by Malcolm Beith, a British journalist, in his book ‘El Último Narco’, where he tells how El Chapo had parties with liters of wine, lobsters and even a Turkish bath.
Employees and other inmates attended these parties, and she also had a list where she managed the names of all the prison workers. He also had his own telephone, he did not use handcuffs, he could order food from outside the prison and travel around the prison.
Guzmán Loera escaped these luxuries twice, the first time in 2001 from the Federal Center for Social Readaptation of Puente Grande, in Jalisco and the second time in 2015 from the Federal Center for Social Rehabilitation of La Palma, in the State of Mexico.
Less than six after his escape, on January 8, 2016, El Chapo was captured in the city of Los Mochis, Sinaloa, by troops of the marine infantry. The operation left five Guzmán allies dead and one infant wounded.
On July 17, 2019, Joaquín Guzmán was sentenced to life imprisonment for having been found guilty of 10 different drug trafficking charges.
A court in New York, in the United States, sentenced him to serve a sentence in a maximum security prison called the “Supermax”, which he met two days after being found guilty.
The US judge, Brian Cogan, in charge of Guzmán’s case, was the one who sent him to the prison located in the state of Colorado.
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility, ADX Florence or “La Alcatraz de las Rocosas” is the prison where El Chapo is currently being held.
The Supermax Prison is a correctional facility or set of separate housing units within a maximum security prison in the American prison system that is designed to house both the inmates described as the most hardened criminals, as well as those who cannot be controlled by other means.
These facilities specialize in the safe control of inmates who have engaged in violent behavior against other inmates or staff of another institution or who have had difficulty following the rules in lower security prisons.
Some supermax facilities also house prisoners who require protective custody or who are part of a “special population” (such as prisoners sentenced to death). In 2006, 44 US states had at least one such prison.
Many supermax prisons are located in rural areas. Supermax buildings or housing units are designed to minimize inmate movement, increase the ability of correctional officers to observe inmates, and isolate inmates from negative prison influences.
They have significant architectural and technological advances that have not been seen in other types of prison facilities, such as the extensive use of closed circuit television, the provision of medical and psychological treatment services through remote technology, and the use of robotics elements to deliver food to prisoners and operate cell doors.
Also, in most supermax facilities, inmates are alone in their cells. They are locked up for 23 hours a day, receive only one hour of recreation, which may or may not take place outdoors, and have limited contact with correctional staff and visitors.
If visits with family or friends are allowed, these are non-contact visits that may involve video conferencing or meetings separated by a glass partition. Inmates are fed in prison cells and rarely leave the institution, even to receive medical attention or appear in court.
Most supermax prisons offer very limited rehabilitation programs. When rehabilitation programming is offered, generally the service is one-on-one and is carried out with bars that separate the inmate from the service provider.
In the Alcatraz of the Rockies, members of the Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), terrorists, spies, former members of Al Qaeda and serial killers are being held.
El Chapo lives in a 2 by 3 meter room, where there is a bed, a sink and a water dispenser, all made with cement and embedded in the walls and floors to prevent the inmates from mobilizing them.
The prison opened its doors in 1994 and to date none of its inmates have escaped. The 410 inmates were transferred in armored trucks or Black Hawk helicopters, and they are under surveillance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The cells have a window that is 106 cm high and 10 centimeters wide to avoid any view of the sky or other cells. Convicts do not interact with each other and sometimes use pipes to communicate with each other.
According to Marie Colón, Guzmán’s lawyer, to CNN, El Chapo had three hours to go outdoors, which were reduced by the pandemic, he also said that Guzmán eats and bathes inside his cell.
She has two 15-minute calls a month and uses them to communicate with her mother Consuelo Loera, her sister Bernarda, or her daughters.
According to a 2014 Amnesty International report, it concluded that this type of isolation has a devastating effect on the mental and physical health of inmates, who even injure themselves with whatever object they find.
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