The List Of Top 25 World's Worst Prisons

The List Of Top 25 World's Worst Prisons

Updated on September 10, 2022 14:27 PM by Andrew Koschiev

The most common punishment for committing a crime is serving jail time, which applies to almost every country worldwide. If you have watched 'The Shawshank Redemption,' you probably have a decent idea about what goes down in prison.

Doing time in prison punishment is not supposed to be a captivating experience, as it limits your movement; there will be no family and friends, no freedom, choice, dignity, life's luxuries, and also no hope for the future.

But, the experience of serving a sentence varies significantly depending on the prison and its location. So, in this article, we will look down at the world's worst prisons and what makes them more terrible. Let's now quickly dive into our list!

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India - Arthur Road Jail

Also called Mumbai Central Prison, Arthur Road Jail is Mumbai's largest and oldest prison, which is highly understaffed and overcrowded. Gang wars that have led to the abuse and even death of inmates have become a daily practice behind the bars of Arthur Road prison.

The prison was designed to accommodate about 800 inmates but houses over 2000 inmates, abusing its capacity and adding to the motivations of its inmates to adopt violent measures.

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North Korea – Camp 22

The Hoeryong concentration camp and also called Camp 22, was a prison in North Korea that is described to have ended in 2012. Camp had been a site of human rights violations, human experimentation, and sadistic abuse.

The North Korean government has always denied its existence. The conditions at Hoeryong Camp were some of the worst, with more than 1000 people dying from malnutrition, including children.

Inmates were casualties of torture that included water torture, hanging torture, kneeling torture, and box room torture. They were experiments of inexperienced medical officers who would practice surgical procedures on them and, in most cases, kill them.

Russia – Black Dolphin Prison

Black Dolphin is a Russian correctional facility home to the most brutal criminals in Russia, including serial killers, terrorists, rapists, cannibals, and paedophiles.

Guards move prisoners between buildings by bending them over, grabbing their handcuffed hands behind their backs, and having them blindfolded so they can't devise escape plans or attack prison helpers.

Inmates are just allowed 90 minutes of exercise a day; apart from that, they are not allowed to lie down or even sit on their bunks for 16 hours of wake time.

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UK – HMP Belmarsh

This is one of the three maximum-security facilities in England. A diverse range of men has been incarcerated at Belmarsh, the most common prisoner being those convicted of terrorism. Even though the prison has given facilities to inmates that include education, physical fitness, and workshops, it is still a place ridden with prison violence.

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France – La Sante Prison

The most infamous prison in France, La Sante prison, has had numerous riots, executions, and escapes. Prisoners are allowed to shower only twice a week, and cells lack proper ventilation; it does not surprise that inmates develop various health issues due to these absurd living conditions.

In 1999, La Sante witnessed the suicides of a little over 100 prisoners. The prison system has advanced an internal class system that makes living conditions worse for lower-class inmates.

Georgia – Gldani Prison

Georgia - The Gldani Prison was once a place where torture was normal. On September 18, 2012, Georgian national TV channels released video footage that contained recordings of inmates being raped, tortured, and beaten by the prison staff. They met the worldwide broadcast with protests being orchestrated by students and citizens of Georgia.

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Turkey – Diyarbakir Prison

Diyarbakir prison in Turkey is known for its inhumane practices and human rights injury. The violent conditions in Diyarbakir come more from the prison helper's side than from inmates' violence.

Mehmet Siddik Mese is only the unfortunate who has done time at Diyarbakir, and many like him have lost their lives here. Between 1981 and 1984, 34 inmates lost their lives due to torture, suicide, or being beaten to death.

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USA – ADX-Florence Supermax Facility

A supermax prison offers more custody and surveillance than a maximum-security prison. ADX-Florence Supermax Facility is in Colorado and is known for clinging to some of the worst illicit in history in custody, earning the reputation of being one of America's hard prisons.

ADX is escape-proof and houses 344 detainees as of July 2021. Detainees are kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours and under surveillance 24/7.

Kenya – Nairobi Prison

The Nairobi Prison was established in 1911. They intended to house at least 800 prisoners back in the day. Surprisingly, the facility became capable of hosting over 4,000 prisoners without any expansion.

David Mwania, the Nairobi Prison, is Kenya's most congested prison. Not only that, systemic abuse, disease, and violence are common problems in the area, according to the facility's governor.

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Rwanda – Muhanga Prison

Formerly called Gitarama prison, Muhanga prison is infamous for being dangerously overcrowded and for its inhumane conditions. It has reported cases of cannibalism; the adverse living conditions and overcrowding are drivers for inmates being hungry for each other's flesh.

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Venezuela – El Rodeo Prison

This facility houses 50,000 of Venezuela's most violent criminals. Gang wars are very common. Correctional officers couldn't contain the terrible conditions that the inmates put upon themselves. Rape, brutality, and murder occur within the facility's walls.

The administration of the El Rodeo prison can only do so much. There's even an incident where the Armed Forces offered assistance as gang wars are worsening daily.

Argentina – Mendoza Prison

Mendoza prison is the same as inhumane conditions, torture, and death. The facility houses 1,600 prisoners in a facility that's only 600 inhabitants. In 2005, Amnesty International condemned the conditioning facility.

Even the corrections officers are part of the issue as they are notorious for abusing the inmates and their families.

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El Salvador – Ciudad Barrios Prison

Ciudad Barrios Prison has exclusively housed the Mara Salvatrucha gang members, more commonly known as the MS-13.

The prison is one of the most violent prisons in the country, without a doubt, with the governing body being the prisoner themselves, who are cold-blooded individuals that even the prison staff dare not mess with.

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New York – Rikers Island Prison

According to inmates, Rikers prison is even worse than the roughest streets in New York. Prisoner violence is widespread and legendary. In the hopes of reforming the conditions inside the prison, city officials made Rikers Island the country's strictest prison.

With this, SWAT Teams became responsible for curbing the murders and violence, including riots. They search prisoner cells continuously, and the teams confiscate hundreds and thousands of makeshift weapons.

Brazil – Anisio Jobim Penitentiary

Anisio Jobim Penitentiary is a prison in Brazil that saw one of the most brutal prison riots ever. The inmates did not want to riot due to poor living conditions, and officers were not the target; rival gang members were. The riot occurred on January 1, 2017, between two factions, The Family of the North and The First Command of the Capital.

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Russia – Petak Island Prison

Petak Island Prison is located in Novozero Lake. It houses a few of the most dangerous convicts in Russia; however, they do not fear danger from one another since their interaction is limited due to being confined in small two-person cells for 22.5 hours a day.

The remaining 1.5 hours are spent in cages. Such adverse living conditions leave psychological bruises that severely deteriorate a person. The prisoners are not allowed any education, only two short visits a year, are deprived of sanitary facilities, and are tortured beyond capacity.

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USA – Attica Correctional Facility

Attica Correctional Facility is located in Attica, New York, with maximum security. It has been a good home to some of the worst criminals in the history of America and has been a site of prison violence.

One of the worst riots occurred in 1971 when the prison's residents overpowered prison staff and took 42 staff members hostage. The riot ended after four days, and 43 lives were lost, of which 33 were convicts, and the rest were prison staff.

Syria – Tadmor Prison

Tadmor Prison has a reputation for being the most brutal detainment facility in the world. Prisoners were tortured and killed by being dragged to death or cut up using an axe.

In the June of 1980, President Hafez-al-Assad ordered soldiers to "kill every prisoner in sight" in response to an attack on his life. The number of those massacred remains unclear to this date, but it is expected to exceed 1000, all members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

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The USA – San Quentin Pris

The oldest prison in California, home to several serial killers and rapists. San Quentin is the only California prison with a gas chamber and death row.

On January 25 January 25, 2006, a death row prisoner cut a guard's arm to the bone when he was being uncuffed. In the February of 2006, over 100 detainees were injured due to racially motivated attacks.

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Thailand – Bang Kwang Central Prison

Bang Kwang Central Prison is a secure correctional facility in Thailand, around 11 kilometers north of Bangkok. New inmates are made to wear leg irons for the first three months of their sentence, and death row inmates are required to have leg irons permanently welded on.

Cuba – Guantanamo Bay

Guantanamo Bay has been criticized for detaining individuals without trial and the routine infliction of torture on inmates, including waterboarding and sexual abuse.

There have been many reports of suicides and suicide attempts at Guantanamo Bay. Prisoners have protested against indefinite detention by going on hunger strikes but were force-fed using nasal and rectal feeding, another violation of human rights.

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Columbia – La Modelo

La Modelo is based in Bogota in Columbia. La Modelo is one of the prisons with two wings: the north wing, which holds the left-wing rebels, and the south wing, which holds the right-wing government supporters.

The space between the wings is the battleground where the killings take place. The prison helper does not carry weapons inside the prison, even though the inmates have access to firearms and explosives

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Venezuela – La Sabaneta Prison

La Sabaneta was a notoriously oppressive and dangerous prison that had to shut down in 2013 due to riots, poor living conditions, disorientation, and extensive human rights abuse.

A riot broke out on January 3, 1994, due to ongoing gang activity. This same incident caused over 150 inmates to lose their lives, some at the hands of rival gang members and some at the hands of the prison staff.

Gang violence was common due to the security personnel. In 2013, more than 60 residents of Sabaneta died, leading to the permanent closing of its doors.

Russia – Vladimir Central Prison

Vladimir Central Prison is one of the largest maximum-security prisons in Russia, where inmates serve sentences that range from 10 years minimum to life.

The prison can house 1220 inmates, but nowadays, it is extremely overcrowded and ridden with diseases. Routine torture is a regular sight at Vladimir Central; prisoners are dragged out of their cells, made to put up their hands on a wall, and then whipped and beaten to death.

Russia – Butyrka Prison

Russia is notorious for giving a hard time to people who are a menace to society. Butyrka Prison is located in central Moscow and is the largest of Moscow's remand prisons. Not only is overcrowding an issue here, with cells meant to contain only ten inmates being stuffed with over 100 inmates.

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