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Supermaximum, or supermax, prisons is the name given to prison facilities or stand-alone housing units with the highest levels of control, security, and segregation. The supermax facilities originated in the United States because of the steadily increasing incarceration rates that occurred between the 1970s and the 1990s. The dramatic growth of the prison population and the escalating disruptive behaviors of inmates is said to have prompted officials to look for new and different ways to manage these larger, tougher prison populations and to provide additional security for correctional officers, the general prison population, and the general public. One of the methods for managing the growth in disruptive, violent prison populations was the creation of a more segregated, long-term maximum-security correctional facility or unit. The result ...

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