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Prisons: Top 10-The Best, The Worst & The Most Unusual

Prisons: Top 10- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, The Wacky & The Thriller Dancing Prison:

10. San Pedro Prison, LePaz Bolivia: Imagine a prison with no guards, no police and where the prisoners establish their own rules.  Inmates must purchase their cells, so the rich live in luxury (well as far as luxury goes in La Paz- in prison), and the poor in the ghetto cells. Inmates must work and the prison has stores and restaurants. Take a look for yourself. This is a short (little over a minute) you tube video clip.

Once you pass through the security gates, any resemblance to a normal prison disappears. Children are permitted to live in the prison, whole families may reside on the inside. There are schools, on the inside, for children to attend. If that doesn't blow your mind, take a stroll through the market stalls, dine at a restaurant {Okay, not a 4 star,'s prison, after all.} Want your hair cut, or a mani/pedi? Head over to the hair salon. There is even a hotel for guest. No guards, not metal bars, no weapons.  There is a small catch. As the saying goes: Nothing is free, freedom has it's price. And the San Pedro Prison is no exception. The inside of San Pedro Prison resembles the streets of Bolivia's poorest neighborhoods. Inmates must pay for their own cells,  so most have to work, inside the prison.

"If you have money you live like a king."  According to the fun & quirky website: Odee, Money buys posh private cell accommodations with their own bathrooms and kitchens. In the poorer section of the prison, inmates must still pay for their cell, but it is a small, shared cell.

San Pedro is also rumored to be a large producer of cocaine base.

What do yo think? Is this the way to go? Would it serve as a deterrent in America if we starting making criminals pay for the cost of their government ordered, mandatory residences?

9. Beauty Prison: If the above prison has a beauty shop, El Beun woman's prison in Bogota, Columbia is known for hosting their own inmate beauty pageants. "There she is...Ms. America..." I wonder how the inmates, who are incarcerated for drugs, murder and a host of other crimes, do on the final question portion of the pageant. You know the moral-do good question. "How would you save the world," or "How can we fight world hunger." or better yet, "Ms. Contestant, gives us your view on how we can fight the war on drugs?" Yea! That's the question I want to ask the beauties in their skimpy outfits and extravagant headdresses.

8. Highest Suicide Rate: La Sante Prison, Paris France:
Once home to Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega, La Sante prison, has the highest suicide rate in the world. The 23- hour- a -day lockdown in cells with an average temperature of one hundred degrees, is considered a contributing factor in the number of inmate suicides.

7. Angola Bound- Louisiana State Prison. The worst of the worst. If you are interested in reading more about Angola Prison, check out my earlier post and watch a clip of Aaron Neville singing "Angola Bound."

6. San Quentin State Prison- California~~~~ Holy shit! Look at the inmates locked in their cells. This would be enough to make me to consider suicide. San Quentin is known as a gang affiliated prison, in fact not being a member of a gang is extremely dangerous.

5. Maricopa County Jail, Phoenix Arizona~ Hold up. This is a county jail, not a prison and the living condition are so intolerable that in 2008 and again in 2010, a U.S. District Judge ruled the prison conditions: unconstitutional. One part of the jail is called tent city. Tent city is outdoors and the heat index has been measured as high as 165 degrees.

All inmates are required to wear pink undergarments. Say what?

4. Tadmor Prison, Syria: In 1980, Syrian President Hafez-al-Asaad ordered the massacre of between 500 and 800 Tadmor Prison inmates. Clean up, after the massacre, took two weeks. The prison was known for severe beatings and hangings without cause.The prison was closed after President Hafez-al-Assaad's death in 2001.

3. Can prison be Thrilling? That might be a stretch, but at the Cebu Prison in the Philippines, inmates and a professional choreographer, practice and rehearse hours each day for their production of Michael Jackson's Thriller.

Dancing is a form of rehabilitation for the inmates. If you watch just one of my video clips, you gotta see this one.

2. Australian Prison, Justice Center Leoben~ Austria's 5 Star Prison. Listen to these staggering statistics. America has a higher crime rate, than Austria, for virtually every crime including, murder and drug offenses. Austria trumps the U.S. in just one crime category. Why is the burglary rate in Austria an elephantine 40% higher than in the U.S.? Take a look at the photos below and you'll see why. You can't get a hotel like this for free. Down on your luck and need a luxurious place to hang for a you cell now.

Indoor soccer, anyone?

 A gym, without the monthly fee...ah, but I bet they get you with the lengthy contract. It could be for years.

Inmate's cell. Nicer than my first apartment. Hell, nicer than many of the places I've lived.

and...of course, the romantic, honeymoon suite, a/k/a prisoner's conjugal quarters. It comes with fresh flowers and all. I wonder if they serve champagne & strawberries?

1. Family Friendly Prison- Aranjuez, Spain.

Toddlers Behind Bars: This Spanish Prison, offers family cells for couples with children

I didn't cover many of the well know, famous prisons such as Alcatraz, because I figured that most of you are already familiar with them. I tried to hit some of the most extraordinary.


Melissa Sugar said...

I'm wondering if the one from #8 is the one where the guy from Catch Me If You can stayed for a while.

Melissa Sugar said...

This is an amazing list. I still can't get over #10.

Melissa Sugar said...

The last few are unbelievable. Isn't prison supposed to be a punishment?

Melissa Sugar said...

Extraordinary is the right word! Goodness.

Melissa Sugar said...

Those really are some of the strangest prisons ever!

Deeply Shallow

Melissa Sugar said...

Those cells in San Quentin remind me of animal cages in a laboratory! These are insane, although I do think No 3 is a very cool idea. :-)

Melissa Sugar said...

That's quite an interesting list. I suppose one man's prison is another man's man cave.
Is #2 Austrian or Australian?
Thanks for sharing.

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