A supermax prison is a state-run supermax in the Nevada desert where prisoners can be kept for as long as they want.
In theory, a supermax should be designed to be as peaceful as possible.
But the reality of supermax prisons in the United States is that they’re not.
The average supermax inmate is on the receiving end of the harshest punishments.
Supermax inmate David Boyd was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the attempted murder of his wife.
He was later found not guilty of the murder and sentenced to life in prison.
Another inmate, Jeffrey Smith, was sentenced for the murder of a friend, who was also a superlative inmate.
“Inmates have to be taught to respect their prison authorities and how to behave,” Supervisor Chris Sauter told the Las Vegas Review Journal.
“The inmates learn that they have to treat them as if they are human beings.”
Superlatives are often met with the use of torture.
Sauter, however, says he was never taught the “worst-case scenario” of a super max prison.
“I’m not a torturer,” he said.
For the most part, he says, supermax prisoners are treated with dignity.
At least for now.
When the state of Nevada enacted a super-max law in 2018, a number of concerns emerged.
Most notably, superlatives don’t have a minimum term, meaning that even if a prisoner’s crimes are so egregious that they deserve to spend a minimum of 20 years in a super prison, they’ll likely spend less than a month there.
If a prisoner is given the option of transferring to a smaller facility or to a maximum-security facility, they often choose the latter.
And superlatively inmates don’t always have access to mental health care, meaning the state can’t monitor the well-being of those who are incarcerated.
Still, the law has been met with criticism from activists who say the current supermax policy is overly punitive.
Many advocates, including former Vice President Joe Biden, say the law needs to be more humane.
More: Super max inmates are routinely denied the right to vote and many are barred from serving in the military.
A federal appeals court recently upheld a lower court’s ruling that the supermax law violates the right of superlives to due process.
That ruling was a blow to a number activists, including the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights, who argued the super-lives are a fundamental right.
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who presided over the ruling, said she agreed with the ACLU’s assessment that superlates are a form of prison.
“Superlives, like all other prisoners, are denied basic civil liberties and are routinely subject to arbitrary and discriminatory disciplinary measures,” Sotomaya said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the ACLU v.
Nevada super-maximum law case.
With a decision expected by June, it’s likely the Supreme the law will be overturned.