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  • Before I start this video, I just have to tell you guys about the amazing Norwegian vacation I took last week.

  • I stayed at this gorgeous resort called Halden Fengsel.

  • It was nestled away in this cute little forest of birch trees and blueberry bushes, with jogging trails and soccer fields, and even its own rock-climbing gym.

  • My room was awesome—I had my own flat-screen TV, a mini-fridge, and this really luxurious bedding, but I tried not to waste too much time cooped up in there alone.

  • I spent most of my vacation taking wood-working classes, learning new cooking skills in their professionalgrade kitchen classroom, and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.

  • But the best part isand I'm really not joking, hereit was completely free.

  • You see, I was a little jet-lagged when I landed, and my rental car drifted a little bit off the road and a little bit into the side of an orphanage,

  • but the police were so understanding that they actually gave me a free ride and paid for my whole stay at Halden Fengsel.

  • Speaking of which, I never actually learned what Halden Fengsel translates to!

  • Let me just type it into Google, andit turns out I was in a Norwegian prison.

  • In fact, Halden Fengsel is apparently where Norway puts some of its most dangerous criminals, because none of them have ever attempted to escape.

  • Well, the US has an inescapable prison where they put their most dangerous criminals, tooit's called the ADX Florence, and it works just a little differently.

  • There are thousands of jails and prisons across the United States, but ADX Florence is in a completely unique category: it's the only federal supermax prison in the entire country.

  • But that begs the question: what, exactly, is a federal supermax prison?

  • Well, the US has two distinct prison systems: state and federal.

  • The vast majority of the 1.5 million Americans currently in prison, which, by the way, is a totally normal number and is only like six times higher than it was in the 1980s,

  • have been sentenced to state prisons for committing state crimesthings like theft, assault, drunk driving, or doing drugs anywhere other than an Ivy League dorm room.

  • The federal prison system is much smaller, and was originally created to deal only with three things: piracy, counterfeiting, and treason.

  • It's since expanded a bit, and now encompasses things like terrorism, espionage, cybercrimes, political assassinationsin other words, serious crimes, the sort of crimes you need to plan out in advance,

  • and don't just do because you had one too many Dagobah Slug Slingers at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge and beat a stormtrooper unconscious with a plastic lightsaber in front of a crowd of screaming children.

  • Now, a federal prison can belong to one of five security categories: minimum, low, medium, high, or administrativeotherwise known as supermax.

  • The ADX Florence is the only prison that belongs to that final category, and the US government uses it to house the country's highest-profile criminals:

  • people like Ted Kaczynski, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, El Chapo, the Hamburglar, and about 350 more terrorists, spies, and murderers.

  • This was a job previously carried out by Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, which was shut down in 1963 because it was the most expensive prison in the country,

  • and could still be escaped by a suspiciously well-groomed Clint Eastwood.

  • When the ADX Florence was built in 1994, it was designed to be really for-real inescapable this time.

  • Now, if you're out there thinking, “Oh yeah? Well I'm an insufferable contrarian on the internet and I bet I could escape it,” let's walk through exactly how impossible that would be.

  • Firstly, after being sentenced to life in the ADX for being an insufferable contrarian on the internet, you would be escorted to your cell by armed guards, wearing shackles on your hands, feet, and torso.

  • So, basically, unless you could flex your abs hard enough to break steel, you're not escaping quite yet.

  • Now your cellwhich you'll be kept in for 23 hours a day in nearly complete solitary confinementis only 7 feet by 12 feet or 2 by 3.5 meters,

  • and encased in reinforced, soundproof concrete, complete with matching concrete furniture that can't be disassembled or moved.

  • Your shower and your sink are flood-proof, your lights are controlled entirely remotely,

  • and your one window is only 4 inches wide and angled towards the sky in such a way that you can't ever tell where in the prison you're being held.

  • So if you thought about planning an escape with the other prisoners, which, again, wouldn't even be possible since you're being held in a solitary soundproof room,

  • you wouldn't know where they were or where to go once you got out of your cell.

  • You also shouldn't get too excited about that one hour a day you spend outside your cell, because you're spending it alone in a windowless concrete pit with a single chin-up bar,

  • also designed to prevent you from knowing where in the prison you're located.

  • If you're really good, you might get to spend that hour in a communal recreation yard,

  • as long as your definition of communal includesbeing locked in a cage sort of near other people locked in their own cages.”

  • And that might not sound like a lot, but it's a lot more socialization than you can expect during other hours of the day,

  • since guards are instructed to have little to no interaction with the prisoners at all, and instead monitor you, 24 hours a day, from a central control room.

  • If you still think you're somehow built different and can punch through a concrete wall without anyone noticing,

  • you should also know that the central control room can shut every door in the prison with a single button,

  • the entire thing is surrounded by 12-foot-tall razor wire and more armed guards, and you're also in the middle of nowhere in Colorado.

  • The closest semblance to civilization is probably the Half as Interesting offices in this undisclosed location,

  • but our sponsors said we're not allowed to shelter enemies of the state anymore, so you're really out of luck.

  • Speaking of whichif you're trying to form a grassroots movement to break you out of ADX Florence, or really actually do pretty much anything,

  • you need a website and you need an email address.

  • Of course, if you want a better shot of success, you need a professional website and email address, and Hover can help with both.

  • Whenever I come up with an idea for a new YouTube channel or podcast or prison escape scheme, the first thing I do is grab a corresponding domain on Hover.

  • That's because once someone else has a domain, it's gone for good, but Hover's transparent and fair pricing means I know I'm always getting the best deal for a domain,

  • and they're usually not expensive at all.

  • Plus, you can set up a custom email address at that domain in a minute.

  • It's what we use for our company email addresses, and it really goes a long way to have a custom email address rather than one ending in Gmail, Yahoo, or iCloud.

  • So, get your custom domain and email address before its gone for 10% off at, and you'll be helping support the channel while you're at it.

This video was made possible by Hover. Get your custom domain and email address before its gone for 10% off at

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How the US' 100% Inescapable Prison Works

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    Jeff Chiao posted on 2021/11/30
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