Shopping at a SuperMax Prison: USP Florence ADMAX

With grocery list in hand and coupons arranged by order of item location in store aisles, it’s time to go Shopping at a Federal SuperMax Prison: USP Florence ADMAX.

As you pass by the deli counter you  remember back to just a few weeks ago, in December, when you’d often see Theodore John Kaczynski, aka the Unabomber (inmate register number 04475-046), waiting for the clerk to wrap packages of pre-cooked bacon and cheddar squares. But the COs rolled-up old Ted near the end of 2021 and shipped him to the U.S. Bureau of Prison’s Federal Medical Center in Butner, N.C.

Roll up –  Order by a corrections officer for a prisoner to move out of an area. Also, when a prisoner is transferred to another location, they’re often told to place their belongings in the center of their bed and roll the mattress around them. The bundle is is easier to carry than individual items.

“Jenkins, let’s go. Roll ’em up!”

The feds have been tight-lipped about why they shipped Ted to Butner, but it can only mean that he’s seriously ill. I mean, they just don’t take hardcore lifers from the SuperMax in Colorado, the “Alcatraz of the Rockies,” and send them elsewhere unless, well, it simply can’t be good news for Kaczynski. Butner is where Bernie Madoff served time and where he died.

Butner’s had a few other notable inmates, such as John Hinkley, Jr. the guy who shot President Ronald Reagan, and Joe “Tiger King” Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage. Exotic was transferred to the Butner medical facility after a cancer diagnosis.

So no, you probably won’t be seeing Ted at the SuperMax deli counter again.

After your moment of woolgathering passes, you decide to grab some pepperoni slices and jalapeño refried beans, because you and the fellas are planning a “spread” for Sunday’s game. Then you head over to the aisle marked “Soups” where you pick up ten packages of Ramen Maruchan Hot-n-Spicy. You already have a bag of Doritos. That’s it. Your portion of the spread is done.

The next aisle is where you spot Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving Boston Marathon Bomber (95079-038) who, along with his brother, killed three people and injured approximately 280 others. The pair also shot and killed MIT Police Officer Sean Collier during an attempt to steal his gun. You make eye contact with him, but keep moving.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev stares into security camera of federal courthouse / United States Marshals Service

While perusing the CHIPS aisle you stop to chat with Michael Swango, aka Dr. Death (08352-424). He, too, is planning a meal for game day, but I imagine he won’t see a single guest. Who’d want to eat anything prepared by this guy? After all, he killed five dozen of his patients, friends, and colleagues by poisoning. Nope. Not a bite of anything he fixes, Not even a single Pepe’s Pork Rind.

You’re about to say so long to Swango when up walks Robert Hanssen (48551-083), a guy no one wants to talk to. In fact, everyone snaps their traps shut the second that guy is within earshot. You know about him, right? No? Well, let me tell you about the rat. He’s the FBI agent who was a spy for the Russian and Soviet Intelligence Services against the United States, and he did it for TWENTY YEARS! Hanssen gave up big-time classified secrets to the Russians, including our nuclear war strategies. People were killed because of him. He was such a rat that he received 15 life sentences. And that’s why nobody talks to the guy.

Standing near the hemmorhoidal cream and stool softeners is none other than Joaquin Archival Guzman Loera (89914-053), aka El Chapo, the 5′-6″ leader of Sinaloa drug Cartel. He may be short, but he carries a lot of weight, and was giving ole Hanssen the big “stink eye.” It’s no secret that El Chapo doesn’t like snitches, so the double-crossing stoolie quickly moved along.

Seeing Hanssen always spoils anyone’s day, even if the sighting is only in your mind.

So it’s back to the reality of your concrete and steel, soundproofed cell, where each day you’re confined to 22-23 hours of isolation. Reality is where high security cells have two doors, a solid metal exterior door and an interior door constructed of steel bars. If you’re lucky enough to have an in-cell shower, water flow is on a timer to prevent inmates from flooding their cells. Like the single stool inside the cell, the bed is made of concrete. The latter is topped by a thin mattress. The stool has no attached cushion.

But this article is about shopping, not living conditions, so here are the real rules for commissary shopping at USP Florence ADMAX:

Since inmates are confined to their cells, to purchase items from the commissary they must submit their lists in advance of their unit’s assigned delivery days.

Monday – D&Z units

Tuesday – F&H units

Wednesday – J-A & K units

Wednesday – J-B units

Thursday – G unit

Friday – B & E units

Commissary lists (see below) are sent to the commissary and each order is delivered to the cells. There is a limit on the number of items inmates are allowed to order, and there’s a limit to the number of items inmates may have in their possession at any one time. No stockpiling.

Inmates at the ADMAX are limited to spending $285.00 per month. Postage stamp costs are not included within the spending limit; however, stamp purchases are limited to $29.40.

Shoe sales must have prior approval and the cost is deducted prior to weekly commissary sales.

Hobby craft items are permitted, but there’s a limit to the number of items allowed in the cell.

So, with those things in mind, HAPPY SHOPPING!

Commissary Slip

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