For me at least it is not a question of whether we need super max prisons or not. The answer is obvious of course we do with all the violent inmates and criminals that we have and in many cases inmates that are so violent and lack conscience so much that they can’t control their violent behavior. And even enjoy hurting people so of course we need institutions to deal with these people.
The question at least for me is how should we deal with these inmates. The status-quo would be do what we are doing as a country in most cases. Which is to warehouse them and hope they do not get worst and that these institutions the staff can deal with these people, or try to improve their behavior or give them an out from their destructive behavior. Incentive for them to improve their lives in prison in the time that they do.
Rehabilitation so these inmates are easier to manage while in prison, but also for the inmates who get out an opportunity for them to be successful in prison so they can be successful on the outside and never have to come back to prison and based on the super max prisons that we have, I also believe the answer to this question is obvious as well. With how hard these inmates are to manage and how violent they still are while in these prisons.
That even super max prisons with the increase in security need to be institutions where inmates have opportunities to improve themselves. If for no other reason so they can be transferred to a regular maximum security prison. And have the opportunity to get better rehabilitated with better educational and work opportunities, so they can be productive, especially if they have a release date.