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Allen Rexford, correctional officer at Supermax

    Allen Rexford

    Allen Rexford, union offical and correctional officer at Supermax

    Supermax, Florence (Colorado) — Allen is a union official and a prison warden. He has a gun and a few (slim) hopes. He tells us about himself, the astronomical reoffending rates, his disillusionment in a system he thinks is broken and about Supermax, the mega-prison in Florence. The Administrative Maximum is all built on sensory deprivation. Even when the inmates are on an outside rec yard, they see nothing but straight up. The walls, 20-foot walls, so all they can do is look up... They see sky. They get no familiar surroundings around the prison. That way they have no landmarks. They really can't tell which way is north, which way is south. It's to prevent them from making some type of escape plan. If they said let's go north, if they ever made it out, they'd be disorietntated and wouldn't know which way to go. We did the photo shoot with him just behind our motel on Front Street, the most naturally western street in town.


    @ Brendas responses -

    This is so very typical with inmates and their families. They don’t place the blame where it belongs… on the ones convicted of the crime. I have seen a few persons released from prison because of new evidence (usually DNA) that exonerates them; however, this is few and far between. Also, keep in mind that not all camp inmates are white color criminals. Drug trafficking is prevalent, and some of these inmates have worked their way down from higher security. They really COULD be bank robbers, murderers, or child molesters in the camp, they would have worked their way down from medium or high security over the years. And besides, lets face it, if there were no punishment for committing ANY crime, what would prevent you from doing it?? If you “wire fraud” 10 million dollars, you should do 6 months in prison and be let out because it was “white collar? Prolly be fine……..unless it was YOUR 10 million dollars……. Right? This is the type of attitude that lends itself to the downfall of our civilization…. The “don’t blame me” and the ‘it wasn’t like I killed someone” and “my parents were mean to me” attitude we instill in our kids now…… would explain why we have so many 18-30 year olds in the system……
    Hi Allen,
    I'm working in a french prison in Nice.
    The difference between French prison and yours is that our administration is against us.
    It's very interesting to discover your system.
    Hi allen
    i'm student and i'm working on a subject about the american prison.
    do you think american are proud ta have Supermax ?
    Dear Mr Rexford,

    I am a French student, working on the issue of private prisons, or more exactly what is called in France " private/public partnerships". The university which I belong to is in Nantes (western France). With the four other students with whom I am working, we have decided to focus our analysis on Nantes' prison, which has recently been transformed in that type of partnership (it used to be only managed by the State).

    Thus, the question which we are studying is the following: How can a Partneship Pivate Public modify the organisation of penitentiaries?

    The researches I have made led me to the documentary Prison Valley and hence, to your intervention and that is why I took the liberty of making contact with you. Would you agree to answer some of our questions?

    In conclusion, I would like to insist on the fact that your name will not be explicitely quoted as we are engaged to respect anonymity regarding our contacts. Needless to say, we will send you a copy of our project.

    Looking forward to reading you soon,

    Your sincerly,

    Chloé Masson.


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