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Guzman Likely Bound for 'Escape-Proof' Prison

'He'll never be allowed on the yard,' former warden says
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2019 2:43 AM CST
Updated Feb 13, 2019 6:52 AM CST
Guzman Likely Bound for 'Escape-Proof' Prison
Guard towers loom over the administrative maximum security federal prison called Supermax near Florence, Colo.   (Chris McLean/The Pueblo Chieftain via AP)

(Newser) – Joaquin Guzman has a history of spectacular prison breaks—but this time, he's not going to be able to climb through an escape hatch in his shower and ride away on a motorbike. Experts say "El Chapo," who faces a mandatory life sentence after being found guilty of drug trafficking in federal court in New York, is almost certainly headed for the "Supermax" ADX Florence prison in Colorado, which has been nicknamed the "Alcatraz of the Rockies." "There's no question in my mind that Guzman will be going to the Supermax prison in Colorado," former warden Bob Hood tells NBC. The "escape-proof" facility was described as the most secure ever built in the US after it opened in 1994, and experts expect Guzman to be held in a control unit likened to a "Supermax inside Supermax."

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Many prisoners at ADX Florence spend 23 hours a day, including mealtimes, in 7-by-12-foot cells fitted with 4-inch windows, through which they cannot see the sky—or determine exactly where they are in the facility, the AP reports. If he is sent there after sentencing in June, the 61-year-old Sinaloa cartel leader's fellow inmates will include Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, Aryan Nations prison gang leader Thomas Silverstein, and numerous terrorists connected to 9/11—though he is unlikely to meet any of them. "He’s such a high-profile person that, in my opinion, he’ll never be allowed on the yard with other prisoners for the rest of his life," Hood says. (Guzman's trial was "an amazing open book.")

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