Top 5 Worst Prisons in the World

No prison is meant to be a carnival, but sometimes they get stuck on the tilt-o-whirl until they’re horrifying and misshapen examples of what the system is supposed to be. How bad have some prisons gotten? Read on for five of the worst in the world.

Worst Prisons

Worst Prisons in the World

ADX Florence Supermax Facility

Built as a “final deterrent” for extremely violent prisoners, this supermax facility is home to the murderers, rapists and serial offenders who were simply too wild for regular prison. Not surprisingly, confining all of America’s worst criminals to a single prison has not turned out well. There have been multiple deaths, shootings and stabbings, with one inmate actually being attacked the minute he stepped through the doors.

Bang Kwang Prison

Leg irons are only one of the ways that Thai prisoners are tortured in Bang Kwang Prison. They can also expect violence, poor medical care and brutality from the guards, none of which is reported through official channels, only exposes. The inmates on death row have it the worst: They only get two hours’ notice before their executions, and no final words or last visits with family.

La Sante Prison

Inmates of this Paris prison are forced to share their bunks with rats and lice. They can also expect to be beaten, starved, raped and even “enslaved” by stronger inmates, all while the guards turn a blind eye. These awful conditions have led to almost 200 prisoners committing suicide in 2002-2003 alone, the men preferring to swallow drain cleaner rather than continue life in such a miserable state.

Ironically, “La Sante” means “health.”

Tadmor Prison

Tadmor Prison was so brutally horrifying that it had to be shut down after protests from human rights advocates. Not only were the prisoners beaten, starved and routinely executed, but in 1980, after a failed assassination attempt on the Prime Minster of Syria, extremists gained entry to the prison and slaughtered more than a thousand inmates in their cells.

Carandiru Penitentiary

It was finally demolished in 2002, but for decades this Sao Paulo prison was considered one of the worst in the world, racking up as many 1300 prisoner deaths in its 46 year history. That’s one death every twelve days! It was also home to a rampant AIDS epidemic that spread to almost a fifth of the penitentiary’s population, meaning that if you didn’t die from a shank, you would die in the medical bay.

Jennie is a former paralegal and history buff residing in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. She recommends Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer Marc V. Taiani and Eric Barnes for superior legal representation.   When she’s not blogging, she enjoys traveling the west coast with her wonderful husband of three years, Ben. For more information on Pennsylvania law, visit


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