The Big House: Life Inside a Supermax Security Prison

The Big House: Life Inside a Supermax Security Prison

Language: English

Pages: 192

ISBN: 0896580393

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The warden tells all! "The Big House" is a frightening insiders look at life in a world-famous, maximum-security prison and the first to be told from the wardens perspective. Let Warden James H. Bruton lead you beyond the massive coils of razor ribbon and into the cell blocks of some of Americas most dangerous prisoners. Experience the shocking reality of working everyday with murderers, robbers, rapists, and thieves. Meet the inmates who have killed or maimed and who would take human life in a heartbeat. Who are they, and what are they all about? Walk inside with the Warden to this world of unimaginable ferocity and numbing reality. Experience in graphic detail the grim and sinister realities of prison existence as you come face-to-face with child molesters, predators, drug smugglers, and gang members. Learn the management techniques of controlling the most violent and difficult-to-manage offenders as well as why the staffs approach to treating inmates has made Oak Park Heights supermax prison one of the safest and most secure prisons in existence. About the Author: Jim Bruton was the warden at Oak Park Heights for five years, from 1996-2001. He worked in correctional facilities for 14 years and has 35 years of experience in the field of corrections. He is an adjunct faculty member in Criminal Justice/Sociology at five Twin Cities colleges/universities.

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other cons because they were weak and frightened no one in prison. They had been vicious to a helpless or vulnerable victim, but in these surroundings, the tables are often turned and they’re the victims. Serial killers do not earn a reputable status in prison by their body count alone. And often they are viewed as simply insane, which places them outside the respect hierarchy as simply someone to stay away from or ignore. At the bottom of the hierarchy are those cons doing time for sex crimes.

make some amends. During his incarceration at the Stillwater correctional facility, Anthony agreed to make a training video detailing what he had done. In the video, Anthony speaks candidly of his relationship with Walker. He discusses the hours of conversations, the months of personal interaction. He describes the fear that developed as Walker brought him closer to the elements of his criminal world. He reflects upon the role drinking and drugs played. He describes the final crime and the ruin

full of cons–so much so that we had to be selective of who we accepted for transfer. If a vulnerable offender was improperly placed in this setting, he could easily fall victim to a true con. During those years, Minnesota placed younger offenders in its maximum-security St. Cloud prison. Over time, Oak Park Heights received several of St. Cloud’s most difficult offenders, but they ultimately had to be returned as they couldn’t cope with our tough inmates. They may have been aggressive inmates at

Nevada. It was an unpleasant experience in a poorly managed facility. In the Segregation Unit, I found garbage had been stacked up outside cells, then thrown and strewn about the unit. The floors were filthy, the walls and railings going up to the upper tier of cells marred and scratched. Everywhere the mood was volatile. Inmates were banging on their doors, threatening guards. The prison had taken on the character of its appearance. That the appearance of a prison tells something about its

Wood. He established the underlying philosophy of how this prison was going to operate–and not just for those who worked and lived at the facility, but for those in the community who would someday face the offenders when they were released. Wood was the best prison administrator and warden I have known. He could have become the successful CEO of any corporation or, without even knowing the intricate details of the game of football, been a winning coach. He would analyze and study any situation,

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