Red Onion State Prison, Wise County, VA

Red Onion is a SuperMax prison. It houses about 800 inmates and opened in August 1998. It was built on reclaimed strip mined land. I flew the balloon with the camera from the cemetery, adjacent to the prison. The prison officials were not happy, but for me the tragic irony of the whole thing made it worthwhile. The SuperMax prisons are designed so that prisoners are visible from secured positions by the guards at all times.

Ken Abbott