Top 10 Prisons With the Most Inhumane Living Conditions

Tags: #Prison ,   #prisoners ,   #prisonreform ,   #jail

Dan N. Scarborough

Dan N. Scarborough

Last updated:  2023-05-14 18:00:10

As early as the 17th century, people — even orphans — were imprisoned as punishment for crimes or as they awaited trials. The size and living conditions of prisons nowadays vary greatly. They are frequently correlated with the types of prisoners they imprison.

In a controversial pay-to-play option to assure minimal suffering while they service their obligations to society, the wealthy and famous may even have the possibility to serve their sentences in facilities renovated with luxuries. Yet, there are jails on the other end of that range. There, inmates face serious violent risks, inadequate medical care, and extreme overcrowding. Those are highlighted in this top ten list, ranked by inhuman conditions.

10. Black Dolphin Prison, Russia

In this case, you should be afraid of a dolphin

The Black Dolphin Prison, also known as Penal Colony No. 6, is situated close to the Kazakhstan-Russia border. It is meant for the nation's most violent and dangerous convicted criminals, including Chechen terrorists, cannibals, pedophiles, and serial murderers. The dolphin sculpture made by the prisoners and placed on the grass in front of the jail reception gave the area its name.

Guards patrol the facility every 15 minutes, and video monitoring observes the prisoners around the clock. To prevent inmates from learning the layout of the jail, interacting with other inmates, or overwhelming the guards, they are handcuffed, blindfolded, and forced to walk with their heads bowed. Black Dolphin is thought to be the only one using this method.

9. Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Kenya

Gallows are still there, just in case

Kenya's worst prison is the Kamiti Maximum Security Prison in the Roysambu Constituency. It was constructed in 1954 by the British to hold criminals during a state of emergency established in October 1952. However, it was designed after an outdated colonial system. The old gallows in Kamiti are still in place, but the last execution occurred in 1987.

The prison's declared capacity is 1,200, but sources say between 1,800 and 2,500 people are squeezed within. The surroundings are unclean, so severe illnesses like gonorrhea, syphilis, T.B., HIV/AIDS, and dysentery are widespread.

8. Terre Haute Federal Prison, USA

The American execution facility isn't very merciful

This Indiana prison complex has maximum-security, medium-security, and low-security units. The Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev resides in Terre Haute, often known as "Guantanamo North," and is currently facing execution. The ACLU claimed that the prison denied the inmates access to medical treatment and mental health services. Furthermore, the excessive noise they endured prevented them from getting any sleep.

Terre Haute had the most COVID-19 cases in the federal prison system in January 2021, including death row inmates. Since U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland declared the Department of Justice would reconsider its position on the death penalty on July 1, 2021, federal executions at Terre Haute have been put on hold.

7. La Santé Prison, France

The most ironic prison name of all time

The name of this jail in Paris translates to "Prison of Good Health," although that is far from the truth. At this jail, severe despair and even suicide are significant issues because the convicts find their living circumstances intolerable. Veronique Vasseur, a former prison doctor, authored a book about the conditions within and how they affected the inmates. 

She asserts that some inmates ingested drain cleaners and other substances to relieve their suffering. Unsurprisingly, there were 124 suicides documented in 1999 alone. To put this in perspective, the average yearly suicide rate in California is merely 24, even though the state's jail system houses more than 160,000 inmates.

6. Rikers Island, United States

Rikers is a nightmare even for the most brutal convicts

Some people might be surprised to learn that one of the most inadequate prisons in the world is located in the United States. This is especially true for Rikers Island in New York, which solely serves as a short-term detention facility for inmates awaiting trial, those serving sentences of less than a year, or awaiting transfer.

However, according to individuals who have served time in this institution, Rikers Island is one of the worst experiences of their lives. The jail has a reputation for systematic abuse. At least seven complaints against the Department of Corrections over guard-sanctioned violence between prisoners have been filed.

5. Gitarama Central Prison, Rwanda

Things really get intimate in overcrowded space

One of the worst overcrowding situations in the world is at Gitarama Central Prison. Despite having a capacity of just 400, the prison keeps almost 7,000 prisoners. Thus, the convicts are compelled to stand crowded together all day because of the confined spaces. 

Several convicts have had their toes, feet, or legs amputated due to prolonged standing on filthy flooring. The facility's overcrowding problem originally surfaced in the 1990s and has only worsened.

4. Diyarbakir Prison, Turkey

Turkish aren't the human rights champions for sure

One of the list's newest prisons is Turkey's Diyarbakir Prison, which opened in the 1980s. As a result, you would not anticipate some of the problems observed in many of the older penitentiaries, such as subpar housing and overcrowding, given that the prison is occupied with more people than it was designed to hold. 

However, the institution has experienced so many challenges that even the most brutal inmates have pleaded with the administration to take action. Due to the prison's well-known history of denying its inmates their human rights, the convicts have gone on hunger strikes and even set themselves on fire to raise awareness of the problems.

3. Bang Kwang Prison, Thailand

"Bangkok Hilton" is infamous for its lack of comfort

According to most, one of the world's worst jails is Bang Kwang Prison in Bangkok, Thailand. Its sarcastic moniker, "Bangkok Hilton," pokes fun at the disparity between the luxury hotel company and the appalling circumstances within the prison. It is a high-security facility that experiences extreme overcrowding and a persistent financial shortage. 

When the jail was constructed in the 1930s, it had a capacity of just 3,500 convicts, but today it is home to almost 8,000 prisoners. Inmates are shackled at the ankles for the first three months. However, the shackles are worn by those on death row until their passing.

2. Camp 22, North Korea

If you end up in Camp 22, you probably won't walk out

Although there are numerous Asian jails with appalling conditions, Camp 22 in North Korea has the worst. Since most of the 50,000 inmates are serving life terms for opposing the government, it is an unusual jail. 

It is unlikely that anyone entering this prison will enjoy freedom again. It is a sizable prison covering 87 square miles and is surrounded by electric fencing and armed guards. The detainees experience routine brutality, meager food, and hard labor.

1. La Sabaneta Prison, Venezuela

The prison run by prisoners

The worst prison in the world is, without a doubt, La Sabaneta Prison in Venezuela. It is one of the most violent, lawless, and crowded jails anywhere. More than 3,700 individuals are incarcerated there, despite the facility being designed to house just 700 convicts.

This indicates that due to understaffing and a lack of finance, the guard-to-inmate ratio is 1:150. They are unable to impose any rules since there are too few guards to supervise so many prisoners. Instead, violent gangs are in charge. This is one of the rare prisons run by prisoners who created mini dictatorships.

Serving time in prison is one of the most typical penalties for committing a crime, and it applies to practically every nation. Being incarcerated is not supposed to be a pleasant experience because it takes away one's freedom, autonomy, dignity, and comforts of life. However, depending on the institution and location, the experience of serving a term differs significantly.

In your opinion, what are the worst prisons on this list? Which prisons would you add to the list?

Cover photo: MarcelloRabozzi/Pixabay



Add new Comment

Characters 0 of 1000

Thank you for comment

Similar Articles

Latest Articles

Top 5 Articles

Trending Articles

Sponsor Ads