Guantanamo Bay Prison

When you hear of prisons there are two that are notorious for holding the most notorious criminals; Alcatraz and Guantanamo Bay Prison. While Alcatraz closed its doors in 1963, it housed Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Stroud, there were many amenities provided in the prison. Like Alcatraz, Guantanamo Bay Prison provides various amenities, from food and shelter to legal to representation to right to worship.

The first amenity that you think of when you think of a person in prison is that the prison provides food and shelter. Food is prepared for various cultural diets to satisfy those with strict dietary regimes. In terms of a shelter, prisoners are in various cells, however, dependent on their crimes, exercise in the main yards can range from 30 minutes twice a week to several hours. There are currently plans to incorporate team sports into the yards with soccer fields, volleyball nets and even ping pong. There are also plans to expand the living quarters to accommodate the prisoners in a more comfortable environment.

There are times when a prisoner may have cause to file a complaint or pursue legal actions. In Guantanamo Bay Prison there are many legal actions that can be taken. Most of the legal actions are regarding status in the prison system. The three different ways a prisoner can get an adjustment in their status is by Combatant Status Review Tribunal, administrative review boards, and military commissions, which is used where there is a violation of war laws. The Combatant Status Review Tribunal is a one‑time opportunity comprised of three military officers whose duty is to review the detainee’s status. The Administrative Review Board annually reviews the prisoner’s records to evaluate whether the prisoner is still a threat or if the prisoner can be released. Military Commissions are used to evaluate whether a prisoner committed a war crime.

One of the more advanced amenities in Guantanamo Bay Prison is the right to worship. When a detainee is brought in to the prison, a copy of the Koran is given to the prisoners, written in one of five different languages, depending on what the primary language is. In addition to this, prayer beads and rugs as well as other religious materials are given to them. There are prayer times announced on the loudspeaker and there are stenciled areas that point into the direction of Mecca.

When you hear about prisoners going to Guantanamo Bay Prison, instead of feeling bad for the prisoner, know that the prisoner is not going to a hole in the ground, but to more of a five star motel of prisons.


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