Prison is not a place that anyone really wants to end up. In most parts of the world, prison isn’t too bad. But in some places, death is considered a better option than the life of a prisoner. Here are 14 prisons that you don’t want to spend any time in.
Camp 22 in North Korea
There was very little known about this camp until recent years. Officially known as Hoeryong concentration camp, it houses political prisoners. It is a maximum security area which is completely cut off from the outside world. The camp warden defected in 2012 and revealed the horrible details of what goes on there. Stories included human experimentation and torture, plus experimenting bioweapons on prisoners.
Carandiru Prison, Brazil
This maximum security facility has been under the spotlight for human rights breaches in recent years. When the state police stormed the prison during a riot killing over 100 inmates. The poor treatment of the prisoners has been documented many times over the years but few people want to help. It is the largest prison in South America and houses over 8,000 prisoners behind its walls
Tadmor Prison, Syria
Tadmor Prison has been known for its harsh conditions and abuse of human rights. Amnesty International called the prison one of the most brutal places on the planet. During the war in the Middle East it was captured and destroyed but it believed that it is still used for housing prisoners away from watchful eyes. One of the most brutal acts here was the 1980 massacre of over 2,000 inmates.
La Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela
This is one of the most brutal prisons in South America. Because of lack of funding, many of the workers in the prison are overworked and underpaid. Most of the time, they let inmates do as they please. Every day there is a violent attack on inmates. If you don’t get killed by another inmate with a machete, then there is still disease and hunger that might get you.
ADX Florence Supermax Prison, America
This maximum security prison in Colorado houses some of the most dangerous criminals in America. The prison was built after guard and staff kept being attacked. Fearing for the lives of the staff, a new tougher prison was built to house difficult criminals. The staff are isolated from prisoners at all times which has lead to a string of suicides and mass psychological damage within the prison population.
Gitarama Central Prison, Rwanda
This prison has been described as “Hell on Earth” by more than one source. The prison is nothing more than a large wall surrounding the prisoners. The open roof allows rain to get in but men can’t get out. It was built to house around 400 people but numbers have far exceeded this. After the genocide in the 1990’s, the prison was packed with over 7,000 men at one point.
La Sante, Paris
In modern-day Europe, you wouldn’t think that a prison like La Sante could still exist. It was built in 1867 and was the site of the guillotine. In recent years prisoners have protested about the treatment that they receive while serving their sentences. Since 2000 there have been mass suicides of prisoners. It has been closed in recent years after staff documented the harsh treatment and living conditions of the inmates.
Riker Island, New York
This is the main prison for male inmates in New York City and anyone who goes there knows it might be a death sentence. The prison was known for being tough on prisoners but nobody really knew how tough. Inmates were often beaten by guards or by enforcers. The prison can house around 14,000 inmates at any time. Staff have been known to be cruel to prisoners with mental health problems.
Petak Island Prison, White Lake Russia
Russia does not do things by half so when they built a maximum security prison, they made sure it was hell on earth for everyone involved. It has been called the Alcatraz of Russia because of the looming structure on the island. The prisoners are kept in cages 24 hours a day and have no access to hot water or toilets. Many prisoners go insane while they stay there.
Kamiti Maximum security prison, Kenya
This used to be the sire for political prisoners to be held during the 1980’s and 1990’s during the civil unrest. It was originally built in 1901 to house 800 prisoners. Since the 1980’s, the numbers have continued to grow. Now it is one of the most congested prisons in the world. It is believed that over 3,000 inmates have been housed together at some point.
Vladimir Central Prison, Russia
With a name like Vladimir, we can’t help but think of Vlad Drac the Impaler. During the Soviet Era, this prison was used to house political prisoners. Now the prison looks like it may live up to the images we have in our mind. Inmates are beating on a daily basis, sometimes it’s from the guards, sometimes it’s from other prisoners. Beatings have been known to be so violent that inmates have died from their injuries.
Camp 1391, Northern Israel
Very little is known about Camp 1391, the public only learnt about it in 2003. Since then any information has been kept classified. Courts have ruled that information about the prison must be shared with the public. All that is known is that it was built to house high-risk prisoners for the Israel Defence force. Everything else is just rumours but the UN has been trying to keep an eye on what goes on there.
Montelupich Prison, Germany
This was one of the Nazi prisons used to house Jews during World War 2. Since then the prison has not improved much. After World War 2 it became a prison for the Soviet Forces who kept prisoners of war there. There have been hundreds of thousands of people put to death behind the doors of this prison over the last 80 years.
Stanley Prison in Hong Kong
This is one of six maximum security prison in Hong Kong and it is the longest serving. Stanley was a place of execution until Hong Kong got rid of the death penalty in 1990. During the time that it was used, the gallows hung over 120 criminals. It was also an interim camp while Japanese forces occupied Hong Kong. On top of the 120 criminals, there were over 600 prisoners of the camp killed there too.