Some prisons are equipped with simple privileges such as access to sports equipment and communal sports.

The inmates are also often allowed to work on community projects, for example, road cleanup with the department of transportation or wilderness conservation, which means there are times when inmates are allowed to get out of the correctional facility and engage in everyday activities, albeit for a limited time.

In very remote areas, some facilities are not even fenced at all. Such minimum security prisons are most likely intended to confine non-violent white-collar criminals who pose a little physical risk to society.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are the maximum security and supermax prisons, the confinements for the most aggressive and violent criminals.

Most prisoners here have committed severe violations like murders and assaults or are known to be prison gang members.

Such facilities are (or used to be) homes to some of the most dangerous prisoners, including those on death row.

Kelly Henry

10 /10 Lisa Montgomery

Currently incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center, Carswell – an all security levels prison – Lisa Montgomery committed the bizarre and depraved crimes of kidnapping an unborn child and killing the mother on December 16, 2004.

Montgomery befriended Bobbie Jo Stinnett, who was eight-month pregnant, via an online chat-room. When the two met at the latter’s home, Montgomery strangled Stinnett then cut her open to remove an unborn child from her womb.

The surviving baby girl was placed in her father’s custody following Montgomery’s arrest on December 17. She is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on January 12, 2021.


9 /10 Charles Ng

Together with his accomplice Leonard Lake, who died by suicide while in custody, Charles Ng is believed to have killed six men, three women, and two male infants at Lake’s cabin during the mid-1980s. He was dishonorably discharged from U.S. Marine Corps in 1984.

He was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1999 and is currently incarcerated at San Quentin State Prison. As of 2019, Charles Ng remains on death row. No execution has taken place in California since 2006.

Wikimedia Commons

8 /10 Randy Steven Kraft

American serial killer Randy Steven Kraft, also known as the Freeway Killer, the Scorecard Killer, and the Southern California Strangler, murdered at least 16 young men between 1972 and 1983. He is also believed to have killed more than 50 others around the same period.

Many of his victims were found with burn marks around the genitals, face, and chest. Kraft was convicted in May 1989 and is currently incarcerated on death row at San Quentin State Prison.

Wikimedia Commons

7 /10 Rodney James Alcala

For the five murders he had committed between 1977 and 1979, Rodney James Alcala was sentenced to death in California in 2010.

Alcala is thought to be responsible for several other crimes, too including rape and kidnapping. His actual number of victims is anywhere from 8 – 130. 

Alcala is also known as the Dating Game Killer for his appearance on The Dating Game TV show in 1978, right amid his murder spree. He is currently incarcerated at California State Prison. The execution date has not been scheduled.


6 /10 Kaboni Savage

An American drug dealer and organized crime leader, Kaboni Savage, is currently incarcerated at ADX Florence, a supermax prison, on death row for ordering the firebombing of a house where a federal witness lived killed six people, including four children.

When giving the order, Savage was in custody at Federal Detention Center, Philadelphia. In total, Savage has 12 convictions for murder and one for witness intimidation. He received a death sentence for each. The execution date has not been scheduled.


5 /10 Vincent John Basciano

The former boss of the Bonanno crime family, Vincent John Basciano, was convicted in August 2007 of murdering Frank Santoro and again in May 2011 of ordering the murder of Randolph Pizzolo. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole.

He initially served his life sentence at supermax ADX Florence but later was moved to a nearby United States Penitentiary, High Florence. Basciano is currently incarcerated at USP Big Sandy.

Public Domain

4 /10 Joseph Michael Swango

A former physician and a serial killer, Joseph Michael Swango is believed to have been involved in 60 cases of fatal poisonings of colleagues and patients.

He admitted to killing four people in the process, although authorities believe he has murdered dozens of people and poisoned countless others.

He was sentenced to three consecutive life imprisonment without the possibility of parole and currently is incarcerated at ADX Florence, a supermax prison designed to keep the most dangerous criminals in high-level security confinement.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement

3 /10 Bobby Joe Long

And now we’re moving to the most dangerous criminals who died while on death row or have already been executed.

Starting the list is an American serial killer Bobby Joe Long, who was executed by lethal injection on May 23, 2019.

During eight months from late March to mid-November, Long sexually-assaulted and murdered at least ten women in Tampa Bay Area, Florida.

He released one of his victims, Lisa McVey, who then provided information to the police, enabling the authorities to track him down.


2 /10 Barry Mills

Former leader of white supremacist prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood, was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for a series of serious crimes, including armed robbery, murders, and attempted murders.

He was first incarcerated in 1967 and spent about a year in prison. He was re-imprisoned in 1969 for an armed robbery crime and stayed imprisoned from then on.

The prison gang leader also was convicted for inciting the Lewisburg riot and nearly decapitating an inmate in federal prison. Mills died on July 8, 2018 at the age of 70, while serving time at the ADX Florence.


1 /10 Thomas Silverstein

On May 11, 2019, Thomas Silverstein died at 67 in a hospital in Lakewood, Colorado, while serving time at the supermax prison ADX Florence.

Silverstein was a violent white supremacist who was continuously incarcerated since 1975.  He was initially sentenced to 15 years for armed robbery

Still confined within the penal system, he murdered three people, including two inmates and a correctional officer – one at United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth and the other two at USP Marion. He spent 36 years in “no human contact” security status until he died for his crimes.

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