Prisons – the unbreakable and the famous ones especially – led to a strange fascination in people all over the world. Alcatraz, maybe the most famous of them all, became a subject of study and interest for the book and movie industry and let’s face it, we all love a prison-break movie. But while many novels or films speculated a lot based on the reality of those places, the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of prisons in this world that ca be easily compared to Hell on Earth. Nobody in his right mind would ever want to end up in one of these secluded, violent, mind breaking holes of never ending torture. There are still a lot, spread all over the globe, but today we’ll take a look to those ten that made a very sad history.
1. Rikers, New York, U.S.A
They say that Rikers is more dangerous that any given violent and dark neighborhood on the Planet and no convict will ever rehabilitate there. It is famous for its history of violence between the inmates and the guards, as the average number of deaths by stabbing managed to decrease in the last year from 100 a month to 70 a year. Given the fact that the most dangerous criminals get to Rikers, the guards don’t show them any mercy, as they are constantly afraid for their lives.
2. ADX, Colorado, U.S.A
This facility was created as a response to the disturbingly high rate of violent actions between inmates or against guards. Here in Colorado, are sent only the most violent and dangerous convicts and mostly the ones that have been involved in the killing of other inmates or law enforcement. The prisoners spend 23 hours a day in their cells, without any possibility to have contact to each other. The prison is artificially lit and a convict may get to see the light of day only when he is freed. The security is so tight, that inmates can’t go outside for the daily walk. It is said that here, a convict may lose his mind in less than 3 years due to the isolation.
3. La Sante, France
Despite its humanitarian name (Health), La Sante became famous not only in its origin country, but all over the world, because of its worrying rate of inmate suicides. You know something is wrong when the convicts start eating rat poison or chloral just to get away from this nightmare. It is famous for the horrific life conditions, misery, deprivation, rapes, deaths, slavery and inhuman conditions.
4. Tadmor, Syria
A former inmate, the poet Faraj Beraqdar, described this prison as a “the kingdom of death and madness.” With a horrific reputation, it is considered the most violent and dangerous facility in the whole world, a place where unspeakable tortures and abuses happen on a daily basis. Guards kill inmates without any regard to human life, and they even follow a torture manual, teaching them to slowly kill convicts until the latter find their ends in the cruelest ways possible. The biggest human massacre in the history of all prisons in the world took place here, in 1980, when the guards killed 500 inmates without any reasons.
5. Diyarbakir, Turkey
Turkish legends regarding prisons tell a story about hatred and fear and Diyarbakir retells this story over and over again. They say here tale place premeditated inmate massacres, and the ones who don’t die, suffer inhuman treatments which defy all human rights. An inmate’s life belongs to the guards and history knows a lot of the horror stories about the violence and abuses taking place here.
6. Mendoza, Argentina
This is an overpopulated penitentiary, holding around 1600 inmates in only 600 suitable cells. A story of sudden and mass unexplainable deaths occurring frequently surrounds the cold walls of this prison. Hygiene is a very relative notion here, as the inmates don’t benefit from running water or toilets, and a long reputation of torture and abuse made the newspapers headlines many times.
7. Nairobi, Kenya
Imagine a prison cell designed for ten people, but which is inhabited by 38. Imagine the total lack of running water for showers and a minimum – survival ratio of drinking water. Nairobi penitentiary is known as the sum of all imaginable spreading diseases possible. Typhoid Fever, malaria, smallpox and AIDS are the most common inmate natural killers, as the people imprisoned here totally lack any form of suitable hygiene, caring, medical assistance or even clothing.
8. La Sabeneta, Venezuela
It is considered one of the most corrupt prisons in the world as guards are very scarce and one man can end up watching over 100 inmates, Bribes, killings, gang fights, mutiny, these are all daily happenings here in La Sabeneta. Prisoners often manage to have weapons and the ratio of shot kills in this prison is the highest than anywhere else.
9. Petak, Russia
Nobody wants to end up in a Russian prison and especially not in Petak. The security of this prison is obtained quite easily: inmates spend 22 hours in their cells and during the 2 hours of going outside, they are held in special cages. This is a prison for the most dangerous criminals and nobody managed to escape ever from Petak.
10. Carandiru, Brazil
It seems that all the horrors in the world were gathered here in Carandiru. If those who saw the documentary managed to sleep afterwards, it’s very good, but the level of terror and horror in this place was unthinkable. Horrible tortures, mass rapes, AIDS spreading, legalized killings, complete lack of hygiene or medical care, all these were only some of the terrors one confronted in Carandiru. Closed by the authorities in 2002, this gate to Hell still brings shivers on the spines of those who know its history.