The thought of going to prison is enough to scare the living daylights out of anyone, especially with the horror stories that you can read in newspapers and books and those you see on TV.
Stabbings, murders, violence, gang rape and any number of other horrors are all widely broadcast by people that have spent time on the inside. Of course, they’re not your run of the mill prison stories because you don’t tend to hear much about the ones that don’t see any action from one year to the next, but the same names do keep coming up time and time again.
Certain prisons, both old and new, are notorious for violence and some easily out perform others in the horror stories stakes. The 10 worst prisons in the world are listed below. Read ‘em and weep!
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 is a lovely prison to be in. With children imprisoned for life and guards masterminding attacks against the prisons, it’s definitely less than a safe place to be. Prisoners are classed largely as political so they have no rights whatsoever. This may sound a little like the Dark Ages, and it really is. The guards do as they please, as an attack against 33 prisoners in 1996 proves. 10 died and 23 were injured, all at the hands of the authority.
8. San Quentin State Prison, California
As one of the world’s best known prisons, San Quentin is synonymous with violence, executions and the worst of the worst criminals in California to date. It has over 1500 employees and they still can’t control the inmates. The riots in February 2006 proved a good example of that. Racial attacks led to 100 prisoners being badly injured and 2 killed. That’s not the only incident but it’s a great example of just what goes down behind the walls.
9. Mendoza Prison, Argentina
It isn’t the violence here that you have to worry about but the conditions that you’d have to survive if you were sent there. The prison should cater for 600 prisoners but there are over 1000 more there than should be so the overcrowding is horrendous. That isn’t to say that you wouldn’t be exposed to torture because you most likely would at some point.
10. Nairobi Prison, Kenya
Some prisons make their way onto the list of worst prisons not because of violence but because of the conditions that they house prisoners in year in and year out. Inmates here tend to be naked and infected with horrible diseases that kill them slowly. Overcrowding means that they don’t get the medical help they need and most die in agony.