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America's Super-Max Prison to Host Moussaoui

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America's Super-Max Prison to Host Moussaoui

Law

America's Super-Max Prison to Host Moussaoui

America's Super-Max Prison to Host Moussaoui

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5383628/5383629" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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The super-maximum federal prison in Florence, Colo., holds hundreds of the nation's most dangerous criminals. Bob Daemmrich/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Bob Daemmrich/AFP/Getty Images

A "super-max" facility is the highest-security prison in the U.S. penitentiary system. It's here that the worst offenders — or the most endangered ones — serve their time in near isolation.

There is only one federal super-maximum prison in the United States. It is located in Florence, Colo., about 100 southwest of Denver. The facility inherited the role of America's top prison from one in Marion, Ill. — which had become the home of the country's most dangerous prisoners when Alcatraz closed in 1963.

Florenc'es current inmates include Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and shoebomber Richard Reid. Zacarias Moussaoui is expected to join them. To get some idea of what the rest of his life will be like, Michele Norris talks with Robert Hood, the former warden in Florence.