Aranjuez Prison, Aranjuez, Spain
Spain’s Aranjuez Prison lets parents and children stay with their incarcerated family members. With Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, and a playground, the goal is to prevent kids from realizing, as long as possible, that a parent is behind bars
Luzira Prison, Kampala, Uganda
In Luzira, inmates are assigned more responsibility that would be in similar prisons in the United Kingdom or the USA. Inmates assume responsibility for maintenance of harmony and functionality of the units where they live, including the growing and harvesting of food, its preparation and its distribution within the prison. Learning is encouraged, with many men learning and teaching carpentry skills to others. The guard to prisoner ration in Luzira… Read More
Bastøy Prison, Horten, Norway
Bastøy prison is the largest low-security prison in Norway. The prison is located at Bastøy island in the Oslo Fiord, belonging to Horten municipality. The prison uses the whole island, but the northern part with the beach Nordbukta is defined as open to the public. The prison is organized as a small local community with about 80 buildings, roads, beach zones, cultural landscape, football field, agricultural land and forest. In addition to… Read More
San Diego Medium-Security Women’s Prison, Cartagena, Colombia
Inmates at the San Diego Women’s Prison in Cartagena get a taste of freedom every night as they morph into cooks, waitresses and dishwashers at “Interno,” a colorful restaurant now open in one of the facility’s indoor patios. 25 of the nearly 180 inmates housed here were selected as part of a program looking to help women near the end of their sentences transition back into society. Women at this low-security… Read More
Halden Prison, Halden, Norway
Halden Prison is a maximum-security prison in Halden, Norway. It has three main units and receives prisoners from all over the world, but has no conventional security devices. The second-largest prison in Norway, it was established in 2010 with a focus on rehabilitation; its design simulates life outside the prison. Among other activities, sports and music are available to the prisoners, who interact with the unarmed staff to create a… Read More
Norgerhaven Prison, Veenhuizen, Netherlands
Inmates at the Norgerhaven prison in Veenhuizen, Netherlands, have a bed, furniture, a refrigerator, and a TV in their cells, as well as a private bathroom. The crime rates in the Netherlands are so low, that they faced an “undercrowding” crisis. To solve this “problem”, the country struck a deal with Norway in 2015, to take on their prison overflow. Now part of Norwegian inmates serve their sentences in Norgerhaven.
Onomichi Prison, Onomichi, Japan
Elderly prisons are becoming more common in Japan as the country continues to age. Onomichi Prison hosts an all-senior population. Inmates have access to handrails, soft food, and spend their working hours knitting and sewing
HMP Addiewell, Lothian, Scotland
HMP Addiewell is a learning prison, where residents can address their offending behaviour and the circumstances which led to their imprisonment through Purposeful Activity. Purposeful activities include education, counseling and work. Nature and family contact whilst in prison is also a fundamental element of the rehabilitation process.
Black Dolphin Prison, Sol-Iletsk, Russia
At Russia’s notorious Black Dolphin Prison on the border of Kazakhstan, inmates share small 50-square-foot cells that are set back behind three sets of steel doors. Inmates live in a “cell within a cell”, with 24-hour surveillance. Black Dolphin houses the most brutal criminals, including serial killers, cannibals, and terrorists. A prison lieutenant told National Geographic, which did a documentary on the facility, that the only way to escape is… Read More
Penal De Ciudad Barrios, Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel, El Salvador
These cells are just 12 feet wide and 15 feet tall, but they’re usually packed with more than 30 people. They were initially constructed to serve as 72-hour holding cells, but many inmates stay for more than a year. Most of their days are spent pulling apart their clothes and using the thread to sew together hammocks, where they sleep stacked on top of one another like cords of wood.
Champ-Dollon Prison, Geneva, Switzerland
Opened in 1977, the main function of Geneva’s Champ-Dollon prison is to hold prisoners before trial and sentencing. The numbers of inmates is constantly increasing, which has lead to a chronic problem of overcrowding. 115 different nationalities were represented in the prison in 2010 with just 7.2% Swiss.
The Las Colinas Detention And Reentry Facility, Santee, California
The prison was designed to be the first detention facility of its kind in the U.S. where environmental and behavioral psychology are used to “improve the experience and behavior of both inmates and staff”
Cebu Provincial Detention And Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC), Cebu, Cebu Province, Philippines
CPDRC is a maximum security prison where the prisoners perform dance routines as part of their daily exercise and rehabilitation, and many of their performances are filmed and released online, making them a popular feature among fans and veritable online celebrities
Landsberg Prison, Landsberg Am Lech, Germany
This is the prison where Hitler wrote “Mein Kampf,” and 278 Nazis were executed for war crimes. Nowadays, the conditions are considerably better at Landsberg. The progressive prison provides 36 courses in their central training centre for occupations such as bakers, electricians, painters, butchers, carpenters, tailors, shoemakers, heating & ventilation workers and bricklayers.
Oslo’s Skien Prison, Oslo, Norway
Prisons in Norway are meant to mimic outside conditions as much as possible to prepare inmates to reenter society. At Oslo’s Skien prison, inmates have private bathrooms, a TV, video games and access to a gym and yard. Mass murderer Anders Breivik is currently serving his 21 year sentence there. He tried to sue the state over “cruel” conditions in 2016, however, this man’s prison life would seem luxurious to… Read More
The Maula Prison, Lilongwe, Malawi
The Maula prison in Lilongwe, Malawi, is severely overcrowded — in 2015, almost 200 people were crammed into one 60-person cell. Prisoners there, many of whom are Ethiopian migrants, must share one toilet per 120 people and one tap per 900 people. Prisoners are fed just once a day, due to the small budget of the Malawian government. One of a few highlights for the inmates is sports. Men are… Read More
Abashiri Prison, Abashiri, Japan
At Abashiri Prison in Japan, guards inspect inmates’ rooms once a day. The prison houses offenders with sentences of 8 years or less. Life inside is very strict, however there’s no record of gang violence, rape, drugs or murder at the prison. Abashiri has a souvenir shop in front of the main gate, where they sell goods made inside the prison. Items sold range from Abashiri Prison Candy to all… Read More
Otago Corrections Facility, Milburn, New Zealand
It has been dubbed the “Milton Hilton” – a place where prisoners can relax in ultimate luxury while they do their time. The Otago Corrections Facility in New Zealand looks more like a teenager’s bedroom than a prison. There are health facilities and a library designed to keep people feeling like members of society.
Haiti’s Civil Prison, Arcahaie, Haiti
Haiti’s Civil Prison, on the coastal town of Arcahaie, is notoriously overcrowded. In 2016, 174 inmates escaped during a riot that left one guard dead and others injured.
Evin Prison, Tehran, Iran
Although the Iranian regime has continuously denied it, Evin Prison is known to be a virtual torture factory, where countless numbers of inmates have met their fate. Due to the number of intellectuals imprisoned within its walls, the prison has been nicknamed Evin University. The prison is extremely overcrowded, hygiene is poor and in Iran’s sweltering hot summers, the temperature can reach up to 45 degrees Celsius. There is no… Read More