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  Kaczynski Is Solitary Again, but With Amenities in 'Supermax' Prison

Associated Press
Saturday, July 4, 1998; Page A16

FLORENCE, Colo.—His freedom is gone, yet Theodore J. Kaczynski's new home at the Supermax federal prison is a step up when it comes to living conditions.

After spending the better part of three decades alone in a cramped, crude cabin in the Montana woods, the killer known as the Unabomber now has a shower, toilet, electric lamp, concrete desk and stool, cigarette lighter and a 13-inch television. His cell is slightly larger than the cabin. Kaczynski can order books, from novels to law texts, from an extensive library without ever leaving his climate-controlled abode.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are delivered to his cell, and he may choose from several culinary options for each meal. He receives freshly laundered bedding and clothing, including prison-issue khakis, three times a week.

Still, the United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility, which squats menacingly amid the parched scrubland of southern Colorado, was designed to house "the folks who simply cannot function in open institutions," said research analyst Tom Werlich.

It is considered the most secure prison in the nation. More than 22 percent of the prison's charges are men who have murdered fellow inmates at other federal institutions. More than 35 percent have been involved in violent attacks on prisoners or staff members elsewhere.

Others, like Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bomber Timothy J. McVeigh and World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef, are housed here based on their original offenses and fears they could plan similar crimes from prison.

The three men have no contact with one another or other inmates, and are shackled and accompanied by at least two guards every time they leave their cells, which is for no more than two hours a day.

Kaczynski was sent to Supermax last month after he pleaded guilty to being the elusive Unabomber, whose homemade bombs killed three people and injured 23 others between 1978 and 1995.

Supermax is just one of four federal prisons that make up the sprawling Federal Correctional Complex, a modern collection of buildings in the barren foothills west of Pueblo, in south-central Colorado. It sits in the rear of the complex, a fortress ringed by guard towers, wrapped in razor wire and eyed by electronic surveillance cameras. Some call it "the Alcatraz of the Rockies," referring to the former penal island in San Francisco Bay.

The $190 million Supermax was completed in 1994 to house the "worst of the worst," who previously lived at a maximum security facility in Marion, Ill. The Marion facility replaced Alcatraz, which closed in 1963 and now is a tourist attraction and historical landmark.

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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