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USP Florence Admax, ADX Florence
Fremont County - Federal Prison - Colorado
United States Penitentiary Florence ADMAX

Prison System: Federal Bureau of Prisons

Status: Active, opened in 1994

Location: Florence, Fremont County, Colorado

Address: 5880 Hwy 67 South, Florence, CO 81226

Phone Number: 719-784-9464; inmates cannot receive phone calls           

Fax Number: 719-784-5290; inmates cannot receive faxes

Offender Gender: Male

Security Level: Administrative

Warden: David Berkebile

Distinguishing Feature: The United States Penitentiary Florence, ADMAX, is a supermax facility that is part of the larger Florence Federal Correctional Facility.  This facility houses some of the most dangerous inmates in the entire Federal Bureau of Prisons. 

One of the most secure prisons in the entire United States, USP Florence ADMAX is where the most dangerous and disruptive prisoners in the entire federal prison system serve their time.  Although the prisoners are all very high-risk, the prison is not associated with high rates of violence or with a history of riots because of the extreme controls placed on the inmates.  The individual cells are constructive almost entirely of poured concrete, so that they do not have removable parts, as well as special toilets that shut off it blocked, showers that run on timers so that inmates cannot flood their cells, and tapless sinks.  The cells are soundproofed to prevent prisoners from communicating with one another through Morse code.  The cells have windows, but the only view from the window is the sky, so that prisoners cannot tell where in the facility they are located.  The prison exercise yard is similar to an empty swimming pool.  The prison has motion detectors and cameras to back up the heavily armed perimeter guards, who patrol with silent attack dogs.  The center of the prison contains a special unit for inmates who continue to misbehave; those cells are completely darkened and soundproofed, and the beds have full body restraints built directly into the concrete beds. 

As a supermax facility, USP Florence ADMAX has much higher security than most prisons.  Very few (approximately 5%) of the inmates are initially assigned to this prison, while the rest of them are transferred to the facility after demonstrating high-risk behavior, such as escape attempts, assaults, or being linked to terrorists or terrorist organizations.  The majority of the inmates at the prison are there because of a history of assaulting correctional officers or seriously injuring other inmates.

The main prison facility at USP Florence ADMAX only houses maximum custody inmates, who are kept in single occupancy cells.  Very few of the inmates are initially assigned to this prison, but are sent to USP Florence ADMAX after demonstrating problem behavior at other facilities.  The goal of the facility is to provide extremely close supervision while also providing inmates with the chance to demonstrate progressively responsible behavior so that they can step-down to lower security facilities.  The program is a three-year program, if the inmates comply, with the idea that inmates will be transferred to other facilities if they successfully complete the program.  Before being placed in the ADMAX facility, the inmates receive due process hearings.  The facility has four general population units, and those inmates can receive up to 10 hours out of their cells per week and have two 15-minute phone calls each month.  Inmates who comply with the program can join the step-down component, where they are housed in the Intermediate Unit, where they are housed in groups of up to eight inmates instead of in solitary cells, and can get up to 1.5 hours of out-of-cell exercise each day and receive an additional phone call.  The next step is the transitional phase, which increases out-of-cell time and adds an additional phone call.  Next, inmates move to the PreTransfer Unit, and inmates who comply with those requirements are transferred to other facilities.  There is also a special Control Unit, which is administrative segregation within the ADMAX facility, housing the most dangerous or disruptive inmates, not just in the prison, but in the entire Federal Bureau of Prisons system.  There is an adjacent minimum security camp facility.

The goal of USP Florence ADMAX is to ensure that the prisoners do not escape, and it simply does not offer the same type of rehabilitative programs as other lower-security facilities.   

The history of USP Florence ADMAX actually begins at a different federal prison, the high security USP Marion.  On October 22, 1983, two inmates were able to defeat security procedures and stab two officers in two separate incidents.  The Federal Bureau of Prisons responded by placing all of the inmates in extended solitary confinement, because the prison was not set up in a way that could guarantee guard safety.  Moreover, the prison population, many of whom were already serving multiple life sentences, consisted of many people who had shown a consistent disregard for human life and for their own personal safety, making traditional prison incentive and disincentive programs less successful.  Normal Carlson, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, determined that a higher security facility was necessary, and sought to design an entire control unit prison.  The prison opened in November 1994. 


There are a number of nationally famous inmates at USP Florence ADMAX, because prisoners here have been deemed especially high-risk.  The most high-profile inmates are terrorists: Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person convicted of the September 11 attacks; Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, who carried out the Oklahoma City bombing; Eric Rudolph, the Olympic bomber; Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber; Ramzi Yousef, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and Faisal Shahzad, who attempted to set off a car bomb in Times Square.  Organized crime members are also prevalent at the facility, including: Gangster Disciple leader Larry Hoover; Aryan Brotherhood leaders Barry Mills and Tyler Bingham; and Bonanno crime-family leader Vincent Basciano.  Former FBI agent turned Russian spy Robert Hanssen is also at the facility. 

Inmate Mailing Address:

Inmate Name, Register Number
USP Florence Admax
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226

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Visitation Hours:

Thursday - Sunday (and holidays) 8:00am - 3:00pm

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Year Built or Opened: 1994 Warden or Supervisor: Warden David Berkebile Daily Inmate Count: 404 Total Capacity: 490 Security Level(s): Administrative

USP Florence Admax
U.S. Penitentiary
P.O. Box 8500
Florence, CO 81226

Phone Number(s): 719-784-9464
Fax Number: 719-784-5290
Email Address: FLM/[email protected]

5880 Hwy 67 South
Florence, CO 81226