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Whistleblower Manning's home for next 35 years

August 22, 2013 08:17 IST

Whistleblower Manning's home for next 35 years

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Rediff Newsdesk

United States Army soldier Bradley Manning, who was convicted on charges of leaking a trove of classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, will spend the next 35 years of his life in jail.

The 25-year-old Private First Class from Oklahoma reportedly leaked over 7 lakh classified Iraq and Afghanistan war logs and diplomatic cables in 2010 while working as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad.

He also leaked a 2007 video clip of a US helicopter crew killing at least nine men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. The Pentagon concluded the troops acted appropriately, having mistaken the camera equipment for weapons.

Now, for his 'crimes', Manning will be incarcerated at Fort Leavenworth, the US military's most famous prison.

According an Associated Press report, Manning would share space with the US military's worst criminals and confront a dreary, unchanging environment where inmates are highly restricted, graveyard work shifts are common and jobs pay just pennies per hour.

Rediff.com takes its readers on a trip inside the maximum security penitentiary…

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Image: US Army Private First Class Bradley Manning is escorted by military police as he leaves his military trial
Photographs: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

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Whistleblower Manning's home for next 35 years

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The United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas is the only maximum security correctional facility in the US Department of Defence.

It is the oldest penal institution in continuous operation in the Federal system.

Operations started in May 1875 at the United States Military Prison (later renamed USDB) and continue to this date.

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Image: This could be the type of cell that Manning could be incarcerated in. Here, a soldier is seen demonstrating a cell search at the US Disciplinary Barracks
Photographs: Courtesy US Army

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Whistleblower Manning's home for next 35 years

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The special-housing unit is reserved for inmates who could be locked up 23 hours a day.

Food is slid into cells through narrow slots, and a small window at the foot of each door lets the guards, known within the USDB as correctional specialists, chain inmates’ ankles before they’re escorted out for showers or fresh air.

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Image: A common area of a cell block for those in post-trial incarceration
Photographs: Courtesy US Army
Tags: USDB

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Whistleblower Manning's home for next 35 years

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Every time one of these inmates moves, two or three staff members are with them.

The correctional specialists actually have more contact with maximum-security inmates than those who pose fewer risks.

Small liberties are granted to inmates who toe the line.

They get TV-time and meals served from a food cart in a common area instead of on a tray in their locked cells.

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Image: Soldiers escorting a colleague playing inmate during a training session at the US Disciplinary Barracks
Photographs: Courtesy US Army
Tags: TV

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Inmates also have access to traditional education programs and vocational-work details. Apprenticeship programmes include carpentry, dental assistance, graphic design, screen printing and welding.

Work details are offered in embroidery, textile repair, graphic arts and woodwork.

The state of Kansas also offers licensing in barbering, and some details allow inmates to pocket 14 to 80 cents an hour.

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Image: This is the US Disciplinary Barracks, where Manning will spend the next 35 years of his life
Photographs: Courtesy US Army
Tags: Kansas

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