All prisoners who serve time at maximum-security prisons (or high security in the US federal system) are confined in individual cells, secured with electronic sliding doors controlled from a remote office.
Prisoners are allowed to get out of their cells once a day for just one hour – some states are more generous by giving an additional 30 minutes – and spending the remaining 23 hours inside.
Even when they are out of their cells, prisoners remain inside a block or exterior cage. Every movement in and out of the block is excessively restricted. Restraints and escorts by correctional officers are not out of the ordinary.
High-security institutions typically have secured parameters with walls and reinforced fences, close control of inmate movements, and a high staff-to-inmate ratio.
Although the vast majority of inmates incarcerated at high-security prisons are male, a small percentage is made up of dangerous women who committed violent crimes such as murders and aggravated assaults.
10 Rebecca Jane Butterfield
One of Australia’s most dangerous female prisoners, Rebecca Jane Butterfield, is both violent and suicidal. She has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is currently pleading for a transfer to a mental health facility by the end of 2020.
Butterfield has spent the last 20 years behind bars at the Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre, a maximum-security facility for female offenders.
Initially convicted in 1996 for unlawful entry, malicious damage, and drug offenses, Butterfield has remained in prison ever since.
The string of violent crimes she committed while serving time includes stabbing a fellow inmate 33 times to death in 2003.
9 Renee Acoby
At the age of 21, Renee Acoby started her federal prison sentence on the assault and drug trafficking charges. It was initially a three-and-a-half-year term.
Before that term ended, however, Acoby had become something the Canadian authorities refer to as “dangerous offender” – a title given only to the most violent killers and sexual predators in the country.
A copy was regarded as such for the crimes she committed within the penal system. She has been convicted in at least five hostage-takings and assaults on prison staff and other inmates. In Canada, dangerous offenders have an indefinite prison sentence.