Top 10 Worst Prisons in the World

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When we think about prison, we think of rancid food, hardened criminals, a chilly room with no windows, and violence. It is a place that no one wants to be in. If you talk to anyone who has ever done time inside a prison, they will tell you horror stories of what they have seen, and in some cases, endured first hand. Stories of rape, stabbings, and murders would chill anyone to the bone.

While most prisons endure various forms of violence, and harsh living conditions, there are a few that endure some of the most unspeakable acts of evil you will ever hear about.

Here, you will learn about the ten worst prisons in the world. This list will feature the worst of the worst, in regards to living conditions and violence.


#10: Nairobi Prison in Kenya, Africa

Nairobi Prison

Over 3,800 inmates reside in this prison, which was meant to hold only 800 inmates. Nairobi prison has the worst congested prison in Kenya. When you walk through the prison doors, you find many half naked men, lying on a concrete floor, pressed together. In the prison’s capital wing, 400 inmates reside and face capital punishment. Several dozen inmates are confined to cells that were meant to house only a couple of inmates. Because this prison is terribly over-crowded, prisoners sleep with their bodies pressed together, which has resulted with prisoners being sodomized. For breakfast, several thousand prison inmates come out of their cells. Some are in inmate uniforms; some are in civilian clothes, which cause tension between the over-crowded prisoners. They sit down to a breakfast of boiled water, and unsweetened maize flour. For lunch, inmates are greeted with the pungent stench of ugali, boiled vegetables, and raw sewage. When not eating, they spend their day squeezed together in a cage.


#9: ADX Florence in Fremont County, Colorado, USA

ADX Florence

The US Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility is a “supermax” facility located in Colorado. This facility houses criminals who are too dangerous for the maximum security prisons. This prison, which opened in 1994, houses around 490 inmates. These inmates spend 23 hours a day in a cold, concrete cell. Most rooms have a four inch mirror, which are designed to prevent the inmates from knowing what their location is on the property. Food is delivered by the prison guards to the inmate cells. Several high-profile inmates caused controversy by telling the press about ADX’s “deplorable conditions.”


#8: La Sante Prison in Paris, France

La Sante Prison

La Sante Prison is located in southeastern France and has been around since 1867. What makes this prison one of the worst prisons in the world is the amount of skin diseases that had been documented throughout history. Prisoners were only allowed to shower twice a week, and the prison cells would reach a temperature of 100. Prisoners also contracted skin diseases from eating rotten food. With an increase of rats on the prison property, inmates would use their sheets and clothing to cover up holes in the walls so rats would not enter their cell. Various reports of rape, torture, and murder have been documented throughout history.


#7 Black Beach Prison in Equatorial Guinea

Black Beach prison

Black Beach is located in Equatorial Guinea on a volcanic island. This prison makes the list due to the numerous reports of torture. Rape, brutal beatings, and burning inmates have been reported throughout the history of this prison. The amount of food given to inmates is very minimal. Prisoners have reported going six days without food. Many inmates have died from starvation due to the food rations. Inmates also are denied medical care and visits from the outside, on a regular basis.


#6 San Quentin State Prison in California

San Quentin State Prison

San Quentin, former home of mass murderer Charles Manson, is the largest prison in California, and houses some of the toughest criminals in America. There are constant gang wars inside the prison walls. The Aryan Brotherhood is said to have been founded in San Quentin. To this day, the Aryan Brotherhood is among one of the major prison gangs in San Quentin. Because of the violence within this prison, California sends all of its death row inmates to San Quentin to be put to death.


#5 Mendoza Prison in Argentina

Mendoza Prison

Mendoza Prison makes the list due to its overcrowding and deplorable living conditions. This prison is bursting at the seams, with a population nearly three times the prison’s capacity. In this prison, you will find a handful of inmates living in a room that measure about 4 square meters. With a lack of septic tanks, inmates are forced to void, and move their bowels, into plastic bags and bottles. With no access to showers, inmates are left to stand around in their own stench all day, everyday. Also, there is no medical care in Mendoza prison. The only time someone sees medical staff is when the inmate passes away.


#4 La Sabaneta Prison in Venezuela

La Sabaneta Prison

Venezuela’s prison system deals with severe over-crowding. La Sabaneta is no different. Along with the over-crowding, you have an under-staffed guard detail. For every 150 inmates, you have one guard that is in charge. This means that La Sabaneta is chock full of violence. In 1995, 196 prisoners were killed due to jail violence. During that same incident, 624 inmates were badly wounded.


#3 Drapchi Prison in Lhasa City, Tibet

Drapchi Prison

Drapchi Prison, a nine unit prison, opened its doors in 1965. This prison holds political prisoners of all ages. Inmates at this prison suffer beatings if you even look at a guard the wrong way. If you participate in a protest, you will be severely beaten. If someone survives a beating and finishes out their sentence, they can be arrested, jailed, and beaten again. In 1994, 13 nuns were arrested for protesting. Along with the nuns, 100 female inmates went on a hunger strike and endured beatings. After a week of the hunger strikes and beatings, prison guards eased up on the beatings, fearing that the brutality would give them a bad reputation.


#2 Camp 1391 in Israel

Camp 1391 in Israel

Little is known about Camp 1391, but, it was discovered in 2003 by accident. Upon arrival, prisoners are not told where they actually are. Guards often tell them that they are on the moon or in a submarine. Inmates have reported being raped and sodomized with a stick. Living conditions are deplorable. Cells are dirty, and toilet buckets are cleaned only a few times a week. The Red Cross is not allowed inside the prison, or members of the Israeli parliament.


#1 Diyarbakir Prison in Turkey

Diyarbakir Prison

Diyarbakir tops the list of world’s worst prisons, due to the fact that they imprison children. Both adults and children endure torturous beatings. Prison guards reverted back to the middle ages to find ways to torture the inmates. Some of the methods used include: crushing limbs and genitals, and beating the soles of feet.


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