James Weeden, Warden
Click here for the Maximum Security facility brochure.
Click here to see the 2012 Visiting Schedule for Maximum.
The Maximum Security facility is the state's oldest operational prison. The facility was opened during 1878 and is modeled on the Auburn style of construction, consolidating all inmate cells into one main building.
The facility was originally designed to house 252 inmates. Due to a growth in population, an addition was built in 1924 consisting of two cellblocks and 198 cells which became known as "steel city."
Maximum Security once served as the state's prison for both awaiting trial and sentenced inmates. As the sentenced population grew and the needs of the prison system changed, other facilities were added.
Surrounded by a wall with observation towers and a double chain-link security fence equipped with an electronic intrusion detection system to prevent and detect escape attempts, the facility is divided into six housing areas, one segregation unit, kitchen/dining area, recreation yard, education/gym building, and an industrial area.
The inmate population at Max is comprised of inmates serving long sentences for a variety of offenses along with those serving shorter sentences who have been transferred from other facilities for serious discipline and/or behavioral problems.
The staff at Max is well aware of the RIDOC's philosophy which encourages inmates to have regular social visits with relatives and friends to maintain close family ties and other positive relationships. The facility offers two different daily visiting periods, one from 1:30-3:45 p.m. and one from 6-8:40 p.m. Inmates are eligible for five visiting periods per week.
Maximum Security employs over 230 inmates, approximately 59% of its total population. Inmates perform a variety of functions to help maintain the institution. Approximately 190 inmates work in areas such as the kitchen, laundry, barber shop, library, and as porters within the housing modules and recreation areas. Industries consists of a print shop, carpenter shop, and laundry.
The mission of Maximum Security is to provide custody, control and security during the process of confining those persons sentenced under the provisions of a duly appointed court of law. During confinement: (1) to provide correctional treatment, training, care, and supervision commensurate with custody grade and category necessary to return each inmate to society as an effective member of that society and as a useful citizen with improved attitude and motivation; (2) It is the responsibility of each inmate to seek out and take advantage of those programs offered within Maximum Security.