10 Most Dangerous Prisons in the World

While a few are unlucky to be convicted for a crime not committed, most inmates in prisons are violent criminals and offenders. Prisons are homes to hardened criminals who are rapists, murderers and child molesters; in the most dangerous prisons in the world, criminals such as these are found abundantly.

While some prisoners enjoy luxurious lifestyles in their cells in some countries, it’s a miracle to make it alive the next day in the most dangerous prisons in the world.

Most Dangerous Prisons in the World

In these prisons, serving jail time feels like a death sentence. Here we take you through the list and what to expect behind bars.

Black Dolphin Prison, Russia

Located in Russia near the Kazakhstan border, this prison has been in existence since the 1700s. Home to cannibals, paedophiles and serial killers, it is said that the inhabitants of this prison have killed a combined total of 3500 between them.

most dangerous prisons in the world
Image: National Geagraphic

Inmates have a cell to themselves behind three sets of bars and are only taken out 90 minutes each day to a concrete exercise yard. There are 24hours supervisions and surveillance which eliminates any chance of escaping in this prison. New inmates are blindfolded and cuffed as they make their way through to their cells. The only way to escape in this prison is by dying. This is arguably the most dangerous prison in the world.

Penal de Ciudad Barrios

The deadly Mara Salvatrucha gang in El Salvador run this maximum-security prison where they normally face off with the rival Barrio 18 gang. Originally built to cater for 800 inmates, this prison now harbour over 2500 and the living conditions is not even fit for livestock animals.

most dangerous prisons in the world
Image: Adam Hinton

In this prison, there are no guards. The inmates run their own bakery and even health care centres. The inmates are heavily tattooed from head to toe and are constantly involved in violent fights which leave many for dead.

Bang Kwang Prison, Bangkok

Located in Bangkok Thailand, this prison harbours death row inmates and currently has close to 6,000 inmates in total. Bang Kwang prison is associated with diseases, lack of clean water and food, immense heat and regular violence and deaths. Home to hardened criminals, they are made to wear iron chains on the leg for the first three months and only survive on one bowl of rice soup daily.

most dangerous prisons in the world
Image: Bangkok Post

Inmates sentenced to die were previously shot before the Thailand government switched to death by lethal injection in 2013.

USP Florence ADMAX, Colorado

Regarded by the NYTimes as America’s toughest prison, the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility is also unofficially called the Alcatraz of the Rockies.

most dangerous prisons in the world
Image: New York Times

The supermax prison in Colorado boasts some of the world’s most notorious criminals including cartel boss El Chapo, Oklahoma City bomber Terry L. Nichols, Boston bomber Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev among many more. It has also harboured a certain John Hinckley who attempted to assassinate them America President, Ronald Reagan. That tells you all you need to know about this prison. This is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous prisons in the world.

Kamiti Maximum Security Prison, Kenya

Kenyan prisons are notorious for being in poor conditions and unfit for human survival, this is exactly what you get at Kamiti prison. The prison is in a dire state with overcrowding, water scarcity and heat. Prisoners become violent and this results in brutal beatings by the warders.

Kamiti prison kenya

La Modelo, Colombia

This prison in Bogota houses around 11,000 housemates and is known for its violence. On March 21 2020, a riot broke out in the prison leaving 23 inmates dead and 83 injured. Tensions flare due to coronavirus outbreak causing violence to erupt in the prison.

La Modelo, Colombia
Image: Reuters

On the 27th of April in the year 2000, 25 prisoners were killed while fighting. During a pipe drainage runout in 2016, the remains of at least 100 dismembered prisoners and visitors were found. This is, without a doubt, one of the most dangerous prisons in the world.

Gitarama Prison, Rwanda

Gitarama Prison in Kigali, Rwanda is one of the deadliest prisons in the world. The prison was built to accommodate only 600 inmates but now harbours around 7,000 inmates. The condition in this prison is deplorable and inmates have to stand since there are no spaces again. Inmates move barefoot and regularly suffer from ganger, reports also say 7-8 prisoners die on a daily basis.

Image: ZeeNews

In a prison where inmates can’t sit down, they resort to violent acts to survive. Housemates normally fight to death and eat each other’s bodies to stay alive.

Rikers Island, The Bronx, NY

There have been reports of closure but the prison’s notoriety continues to grow daily. The prison is well known for its violence and there have been reports of more than 9,000 assaults annually.

Image: Getty Images

Some of the popular inmates to have graced this prison includes Tupac Shakur, Sid Vicious and Mark David Chapman.

Makala Prison, DR Congo

African prisons are known to be inhumane. Makala prison was built to accommodate 1,500 inmates but the prison now harbours around 9,000. In January 2020, at least 17 prisoners were reported dead due to starvation. The prison lacked food and medicine and had not received food supplies in more than two months.

Image: AFP

Conditions are worse in the prison and so many prisoners are close to death. In what is surprising and cruel, only 6 percent of the inmates have been convicted while the remaining have been waiting for years for the judiciary system in DR Congo to actually work on their case.

KoutouKale Prison, Niamey

This facility in Niger’s capital holds the country’s most dangerous inmates which include terrorists, jihadists and militants. There have been reports of terrorist attacks on the prison which has failed due to its maximum security.

Image: AFP

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