Supermax: A Clean Version Of Hell

60 Minutes' Scott Pelley Reports On Supermax Prison And Its Inmates

There have been concessions to the Islamic terrorists. 60 Minutes got a hold of the commissary list and found prayer rugs on sale for $18 and a menu with no pork. But, still, they're ordered around by female guards and that really upsets them.

"A terrorist inmate threaten to kill my family, because I was doing my job," Batulis says.

"I wonder, do the corrections officers prefer to work elsewhere in the prison? Do they prefer to work with the gang-bangers and the murderers," Pelley asks.

"I do," Batulis says. "Because I am a female.

Batulis says she can feel it. "It's very obvious. I mean, they just look at you with sheer disdain," she explains.

Turns out that sheer disdain doesn't end there: 60 Minutes has been told that there have been frequent hunger strikes among the Islamic terrorist inmates inside Supermax and to keep the inmates alive there are often force feedings. That's when an inmate is restrained and liquid nourishment is poured down a tube in his nose. We're told there have been about a dozen hunger strikers and one of them used to be Osama bin Laden's secretary.

Former Warden Robert Hood told us that he supervised many of these feedings. "I probably conducted, authorized, conducted 350, maybe 400 of involuntary feedings. Again, not…individuals, because you could have one person, three meals a day for, you know, two months. That adds up," he tells Pelley.

Bureau of Prisons' records that 60 Minutes has seen show there have been as many as 900 of what the bureau called "involuntary feedings" of terrorists in H-unit since 2001.

Why did the prisoners stop eating? What was the complaint?

Says Hood, "It was conditions of confinement."

Some of the conditions they object to are outlined in a document: inmates get letters only from people approved by the prison and they get one, monitored, phone call a month, for 15 minutes.

As strict as that seems, 60 Minutes has been told there is an even higher level of confinement, sort of an "ultramax" inside Supermax. It's a group of cells where there's virtually no human contact, not even with guards and there are only two prisoners are considered so dangerous that they're locked in this place that's known as "Range 13."

One of them is Tommy Silverstein, who killed a prison guard; the other is World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef.

Warden Hood says Yousef is on Range 13 for just one reason. "He has that Charlie Manson look," Hood says. "He just has the eyes. He has some charisma about him. He's in uniform. But you know that there's a powerful person that you're looking at."

"You didn't want him in a place where he could give anybody any orders?" Pelley asks.

"True," Hood agrees.

60 Minutes has been told something strange is happening with Yousef. He now insists that he has renounced Islam and converted to Christianity. He has even begun leaving his cell for exercise.

Warden Hood left before all this happened, but still he doesn't buy it. "He's playing a game with someone. If he's doing that, he's doin' it for the reaction," Hood says. "He's doing it for whatever. He is the real deal."

There are plenty of other real deals at Supermax -- they're the all-stars of infamy. There is unabomber Ted Kaczynski, Oklahoma City bombers Terry Nichols and Tim McVeigh, before McVeigh was executed, and Robert Hanssen, the FBI supervisor turned Soviet spy. Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph is also at ADX. So are the al Qaeda terrorists who bombed the U.S. embassies in Africa. Mob informant Sammy "The Bull" Gravano has also been at the facility.

  • CBSNews

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