The Top 10 Worst Prisons in the World

Posted: January 6, 2012 in News and politics

1. ADX, Colorado This is the ultimate prison, literally. Since it opened in 1994, ADX is nothing but slow and inhumane torture. Although those there are the worst of the worst, human rights protestors from all over the world have targeted it. Inmates are only allowed out of their cells for 9 hours a week and barely interact with anyone. There’s hardly any sunlight and you have to do everything in your cell. If ever there was a way to destroy any semblance of hope an individual had then ADX is it!
2. Tadmor Military Prison, Syria
This is one of the most brutal prisons ever. Torture, executions and untold brutality goes on within these walls. The medieval methods of torture have been well documented. Innocent and guilty alike have been dragged via a rope until they’re dead, beaten to death with pipes and chopped into pieces with an axe. However, that’s nothing compared to the massacre of June 27, 1980. Approximately 500 inmates were killed for no apparent reason by the guards and commandos. This is the worst known massacre of its kind to ever have taken place.
3.Carandiru Penitentiary, Brazil
Prison massacres, HIV, legalised torture… Whatever you can imagine from a prison, they have it here. A fifth of all 7,500 inmates have HIV and the vast majority of them didn’t have it when they first walked through the gates. On top of that, if they have to have surgery then forget the anaesthetics. Apparently, anaesthetic is a luxury soothe patients are operated on without anything to numb the pain at. Instead, they’re left to scream. Every now and then there’s a massacre or riots as well but at least that’d be relatively painless in relation.
4. La Sante Prison, France
La Sante is well known for its suicide figures, with 124 suicides occurring in 1999 alone. Prisoners have actually eaten rat poison to escape the depravity here. Some prisoners become slaves, others only leave their cells for 4 hours a day and the violence is horrendous. The punishment block has no running water and many are left down there for days because of minor misdemeanours. The treatment just isn’t humane by any stretch of the imagination.
5. La Sabeneta Prison, Venezuela
With 1 guard to 150 inmates here its no wonder that this is one of the worst prisons on Earth right now. Corruption and bribery run riot here, and that’s just the staff! The prisoners are worse with 624 inmates being hurt and 196 being murdered within the walls in 1995 alone. Yes, all of that happened in just one year! The previous year though 108 died in a day when the inmates had a gun battle… between themselves. Not a nice place to be methinks.
6.Rikers, New York 5 years ago, this prison would’ve been at number 1 on the list but recent reforms have forced a dramatic improvement so it’s a little tamer than it used to be. For example, the 70 stabbings that take place there every year now used to be around 1,000 a decade ago. The violence is legendary and guards reported that they lived in fear of their lives. Although this isn’t the case anymore, it’s a ghost that’ll haunt the prison forever.
7.Diyarbakir Prison, Turkey

This prison has been cited for its human right violations, which are thought to cross the line into true atrocity. From 1981 to 1984, 34 prisoners lost their lives due to the excessive instances of torture, both mental and physical, practiced at Diyarbakir. This prison is notorious for the sexual abuse of its inmates, and its unlivable conditions. Prisoners have attempted hunger strikes, set themselves on fire in protest of prison conditions, and committed suicide in order to escape the horrors of this Turkish facility. Diyarbakir is known to incarcerate mere children for sentences of life imprisonment, and its “crimes against humanity” make it one of the word’s most sadistic and forbidding penal institutions.
8. Bang Kwang Prison, Thailand Known as the “Bangkok Hilton”, Bang Kwang is understaffed, overcrowded, and filled with inmates who struggle with insanity as they spend the first months of their sentences chained in leg irons. The Thai culture doesn’t believe in coddling prisoners, and, in the words of Director of Prison Khun Nattee, “Thai prisons are tough…you don’t want to be in Bang Kwang.” Poor medical care is standard at this prison, with sick inmates shackled to their beds as they wait for medicines they probably will never get. If you find yourself on Death Row at Bangkwang, you will have leg irons welded on until your execution, and you will be given only two hours notice before dying by lethal injection.
9. San Quentin, California

In the 1930’s, San Quentin was rife with corruption by management, until a new director, Clinton Truman Duffy, appalled at the inhumane conditions at the prison, decided to implement reforms in the 1940’s. Prior to his appointment, prisoners made counterfeit currency in the prison shops, had their heads shaved and were forced to wear numbered uniforms, while eating out of pails and enduring solitary confinement in poured-concrete cells that had little air and no light. Even a petty offense to prison regulations would land an inmate in solitary, and race riots would put inmate lives at risk on a regular basis. San Quentin is still a harsh environment, filled with California’s most violent offenders, and the high ratio of guards to general population, just barely keeps the prison system from spiraling out of control.
10. Alcatraz, California

This prison, known as “The Rock”, or “Devil’s Island” was built to house the criminals of the 1920’s, who broke laws during the times of Prohibition leading into the Great Depression. Another study in stark, soul-destroying discomfort and isolation, Alcatraz was known for its unique design, which made escape almost unthinkable. Inmates had no contact with the world outside the prison gates, and suffered harsh discipline from prison officials, as well as an inhumane policy of “silence” that forced prisoners to forgo speech for long periods of time. As can be expected, this was no boon to mental health, and many inmates went insane as they were forced to endure the stringent conditions of the prison without any conversation or other release of their emotions. The prison was shut down in 1963, but its grim legacy lives on, in film and legend.

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