13 prisons throughout the world: from luxury to misery

7/ San Diego, Colombia

The women’s prison in San Diego, Colombia, transforms its prisoners into veritable chefs! They are released every evening, and work as cooks, waitresses or in the wash up in a restaurant within the establishment. The prisoners are selected within the framework of a programme aiming to help them reintegrate into society.

8/ Onomichi, Japan

Onomichi prison mainly contains older people. The prisoners have access to electric ramps, they are fed healthy food and their activities generally involve knitting and sewing. There are worse things.

9/ Arcahaie, Haïti

The civil prison in Haïti is decidedly overpopulated. The cells are far from the stuff of dreams: rusty iron bunk beds, the floors littered with rubbish – despite the colours painted on the walls, they would more than motivate you to steer clear. In 2016, 174 prisoners escaped during a riot in which one person was killed and several were injured.

10/ Lilongwe, Malawi

Lilongwe prison is seriously overpopulated: almost 200 people are incarcerated in a space intended for 60. The prisoners, many of whom are Ethiopian migrants, have to share a toilet with 120 people, and share a tap with 900 others. They are only fed once a day, due to the prison’s budget.

11/ Altiplano, Mexico

Altiplano prison is a high security penitentiary with walls measuring up to 1 meter thick. Telephone transmission range is limited to less than 10 kilometers away, to prevent communication between the prisoners and their loved ones. The cells are more than basic, and seem encrusted in a layer of unidentifiable dirt. This prison was considered impenetrable up until 2015, when El Chapo escaped via a tunnel.

12/ Ciudad Barrios, El Salvador

The prison cells in Ciudad Barrios, in San Miguel, measure barely 3 meters wide and 4 meters high. There are no fewer than 30 people held in such atrocious conditions. These dungeon cells were first intended to detain people for no more than 72 hours, but many people have stayed in them for over a year.

13/ Tadmor, Syria

In 1980, the Syrian president ordered the execution of 2400 prisoners. It took two weeks to disinfect the entire Tadmor prison, which was closed down in 2001. In the meantime, bacteria spread rapidly and numerous prisoners ended up catching gangrene. This terrifying establishment was the site of torture and executions, including decapitating prisoners with axes – a far cry from the prisons of Norway… It was reopened in 2011 but was destroyed by ISIS in 2015.

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