Prisons are considered to be a punishment for any crime committed. They have existed for centuries and in some cases, there are different kinds of prisons depending on the crime. Prisons are quite different from jails, since prisons are for those with a long-term sentence, while jails are more for a short-term sentence.

There are prisons all around the world, every country has at least one. Prisons may vary in size and even amenities. There even are “luxury” prisons that have comfortable beds, private bathrooms, recreational activities

But those aren’t the ones we’ll be talking about in this article. Today we’ll take a glance at the polar opposite. Severely overcrowded and violent atmospheres, and not to mention the lack of medical care, this is a list of the 10 most horrible prisons to get locked up in the world.


10. Guantanamo Bay – Cuba

via PRI

Guantanamo Bay was opened in 2002 after the success of 9/11. It locked up all the Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners captured in Afghanistan. There is a well-known facility inside called Camp X-Ray where the detainees were interrogated by using some techniques – aka torture. In 2017, 41 detainees were remaining.


9. Diyarbakır Prison – Turkey

via Pinterest

Diyarbakır Prison was constructed in 1980 to imprison the most violent criminals in Turkey. This prison is known for its use of physical and mental torture. Its capacity is 688, yet it accommodates around 1,000 prisoners. You definitely don’t want to be there.


8. Bang Kwang Central Prison – Thailand

via Bangkok Post

Bang Kwang Central Prison opened in 1933 and it’s located seven miles north of the capital Bangkok. It is considered one of the worst prisons in the Far East. It’s overcrowded since its capacity is 4,000 inmates and it houses 6,000, most of them waiting for their execution.


7. San Quentin State Prison – USA

via Nature

San Quentin State Prison was opened in 1852 and it’s the largest male facility in the US, who await their execution. Its capacity is 3,082 and it houses around 4,000 inmates. There is a gas chamber still inside the prison, yet it hasn’t been used since 1996. Today death sentences are carried on by lethal injections.


6. Camp 1931 – Israel

via Cryptome

Camp 1931 is a high-risk secret Israeli prison camp. It remained unknown till 2003 when it was accidentally discovered by an Israeli historian. Till today there is much information that remains hidden by the Israeli government. For instance the name of most of its prisoners, or how many of them are inside, or its real capacity, or even its date of creation.


5. Butyrka Prison – Russia

via The Moscow Times

Butyrka Prison was constructed in 1879 as a fortress. Today it serves as one of the worst overcrowded prisons in Russia. Single cells were meant to be for 10 prisoners and today they hold more than 100 prisoners. AIDS and tuberculosis are common inside.


4. Rikers Island Prison – USA

via BBC

Rikers Island Prison was established in 1932. It is well known for its extreme violence, inmate mistreatment, and corruption. It has one of the highest rates of solitary confinement in America’s correction system. Recently, 1,000 more isolation units were constructed.


3. La Sabaneta – Venezuela

via Worst Prisons In The World

La Sabaneta was built in 1958 and closed in 2013 due to government intervention. Its capacity was 700, yet it housed till its day of closure more than 3,700 prisoners. It was known not only for being overcrowded and extremely corrupted, but for not having access to medical care, food, or clean water, diseases spread, and its excessive violence.


2. Camp 22 – North Korea

via Business Insider

Camp 22 is a concentration camp founded in 1965. It is reported to be closed since 2012 and has been turned into a “re-education” camp. This camp is completely isolated from the outside world. There are an estimated 50,000 inmates inside.


1. Gitarama Prison – Rwanda

via Glasslicious

Gitarama Prison is considered to be the most crowded prison in the world. Its capacity is 400 yet it hosts over 7,000 inmates. Conditions in this prison are so terrible that half a dozen deaths happen each day due to lack of access to medical health. Worst is the fact that since food is scarce, prisoners have resorted to eating each other’s flesh to survive.