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Getting locked up isn’t supposed to be fun. It’s meant to scare the stuffing out of you. Now, that said, these prison hellholes are some of the most miserable places on the planet. There is little hope of getting out, much less living til the sun next rises. So, grab your tin cup and make some noise as we check out the most dangerous prisons in the world.
Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador
This prison, which holds more than double its capacity, has to provide individual vertical hammocks for bedding. And, that’s the good part! Constant clashes, between members of the notorious gangs, MS 13 and rival Barrio 18, make the life expectancy of anyone (guards, especially) drop dramatically. We’ll leave the description of health conditions for another day, Okay?
Bang Kwang Prison, Bangkok
All inmates wear shackles around their legs during their first three months of incarceration. Death row inmates have it worse, as the irons are actually welded onto their legs. Prisoners are treated to one bowl of rice per day, but they’re given the option to purchase other food from the prison’s canteen. In this prison, if you have no outside entity representing you, you will suffer greatly until you are released (iffy) or dead.
Diyarbakir Prison, Turkey
This may not be the Turkish prison in the film Midnight Express but, what this dungeon lacks in fame, it makes up for in notoriety. Diyarbakir is well-known for its use of torture on inmates. But, they up the ante on cruelty by sentencing children to a life of imprisonment, crawling through sewage-flooded hallways, among an overcrowded environment full of murderers, rapists, and pedophiles. Suicide may very well be the only way out of this hell.
Carandiru Penitentiary, Brazil
Shut down for good in 2002, Carandiru was a hotbed of terrors on many different levels. In 1992, military police stormed the prison and killed 111 prisoners in a bloody massacre that exposed one of those levels. Meanwhile, another slaughter was brewing inside. After the deadly assault, it was revealed that one out of every five inmates in the prison had been diagnosed with HIV, and prisoners often underwent surgery without anesthesia. Health conditions were so bad that even the prison doctor didn’t set foot inside the facility for years.
La Santé Prison, France
In a cruel, in-your-face gesture, Paris’ notorious prison is named La Santé (The Health). In this penitentiary, where depression and suicide are extremely common, prisoners have resorted to swallowing drain cleaner (just lying around, is it?) as a way to escape this dungeon that is maybe one step above the Chateau D’if. La Santé experienced 124 suicides in 1999. In a prison infested with rats and lice, the worst vermin in the complex seem to be the guards, who have been consistently accused of sadism and brutality.
ADX Florence, USA
A “SuperMax” prison, in the state of Colorado, utilizes extreme control measures for prisoners considered to be the most dangerous offenders in America. Inmates have to spend 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in claustrophobic and creepily sterile cells. Prisoners are force-fed to prevent agenda-driven hunger strikes. These conditions lead to highly-stressed inmates who routinely attempt suicide.
La Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela
In 1996, 244 prisoners were slain in Venezuelan prisons, either by guards or by other inmates. In La Sabaneta Prison alone, 108 were killed in a riot and fire that consumed the facility. In this horror chamber, rivals have shot, burned, stabbed and beheaded each other in an all-out war of survival. Weapon sweeps by guards turn up not only homemade knives, but automatic handguns and, occasionally, even grenades.
Kamiti Prison, Kenya
This little acre of the Devil’s is known for its severe lack of sanitary conditions to include very little clean water, unbearable heat, and the rampant spread of disease. With conditions of ridiculous overcrowding, the place is well-known to be quite rapey.
Black Dolphin Prison, Russia
This prison houses Russia’s worst of the worst! Their collection of monsters include murderers, rapists, pedophiles and cannibals (yes…the non-zombie kind). In order to match the nature of the convicts, the guards and higher-ranking officials are equally “unpleasant”. The prisoners are moved around in hunched over positions, brutalized by attack dogs, and are not allowed to sit or rest from when they wake up until it is time to sleep.
Tadmor Military Prison, Syria
Though it may look like wide-open ancient ruins, escape from this hellhole is virtually impossible because the only access route is through an underground tunnel. Dubbed by Amnesty International as the most oppressive prison in the world with every aspect of it designed to dehumanize its populace. It became more infamous in June 1980 when President Hafez al-Assad ordered the killing of all prisoners as retaliation for the attempt on his life by the Muslim Brotherhood. The revenge massacre, that lasted for 2 weeks, killed up to 2,400 inmates.