Bastøy Prison, Horten, Norway
Bastøy prison is the largest low-security prison in Norway. The prison is located at Bastøy island in the Oslo Fiord, belonging to Horten municipality. The prison uses the whole island, but the northern part with the beach Nordbukta is defined as open to the public. The prison is organized as a small local community with about 80 buildings, roads, beach zones, cultural landscape, football field, agricultural land and forest.
Aranjuez Prison, Aranjuez, Spain
Spain's Aranjuez Prison lets parents and children stay with their incarcerated family members. With Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, and a playground, the goal is to prevent kids from realizing, as long as possible, that a parent is behind bars.
Penal De Ciudad Barrios, Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel, El Salvador
These cells are just 12 feet wide and 15 feet tall, but they're usually packed with more than 30 people. They were initially constructed to serve as 72-hour holding cells, but many inmates stay for more than a year. Most of their days are spent pulling apart their clothes and using the thread to sew together hammocks, where they sleep stacked on top of one another like cords of wood.
Haiti's Civil Prison, Arcahaie, Haiti
Haiti's Civil Prison, on the coastal town of Arcahaie, is notoriously overcrowded. In 2016, 174 inmates escaped during a riot that left one guard dead and others injured.
The Maula Prison, Lilongwe, Malawi
The Maula prison in Lilongwe, Malawi, is severely overcrowded — in 2015, almost 200 people were crammed into one 60-person cell. Prisoners there, many of whom are Ethiopian migrants, must share one toilet per 120 people and one tap per 900 people. Prisoners are fed just once a day, due to the small budget of the Malawian government. One of a few highlights for the inmates is sports.
Halden Prison, Halden, Norway
Halden Prison is a maximum-security prison in Halden, Norway. It has three main units and receives prisoners from all over the world, but has no conventional security devices. The second-largest prison in Norway, it was established in 2010 with a focus on rehabilitation; its design simulates life outside the prison. Among other activities, sports and music are available to the prisoners.
Norgerhaven Prison, Veenhuizen, Netherlands
Inmates at the Norgerhaven prison in Veenhuizen, Netherlands, have a bed, furniture, a refrigerator, and a TV in their cells, as well as a private bathroom. The crime rates in the Netherlands are so low, that they faced an “undercrowding” crisis. To solve this “problem”, the country struck a deal with Norway in 2015, to take on their prison overflow. Now part of Norwegian inmates serve their sentences in Norgerhaven.
Champ-Dollon Prison, Geneva, Switzerland
Opened in 1977, the main function of Geneva’s Champ-Dollon prison is to hold prisoners before trial and sentencing. The numbers of inmates is constantly increasing, which has lead to a chronic problem of overcrowding. 115 different nationalities were represented in the prison in 2010 with just 7.2% Swiss.
San Diego Medium-Security Women’s Prison, Cartagena, Colombia
Inmates at the San Diego Women’s Prison in Cartagena get a taste of freedom every night as they morph into cooks, waitresses and dishwashers at “Interno,” a colorful restaurant now open in one of the facility’s indoor patios. 25 of the nearly 180 inmates housed here were selected as part of a program looking to help women near the end of their sentences transition back into society.
Luzira Prison, Kampala, Uganda
In Luzira, inmates are assigned more responsibility that would be in similar prisons in the United Kingdom or the USA. Inmates assume responsibility for maintenance of harmony and functionality of the units where they live, including the growing and harvesting of food, its preparation and its distribution within the prison. Learning is encouraged, with many men learning and teaching carpentry skills to others.
Oslo's Skien Prison, Oslo, Norway
Prisons in Norway are meant to mimic outside conditions as much as possible to prepare inmates to reenter society. At Oslo's Skien prison, inmates have private bathrooms, a TV, video games and access to a gym and yard. Mass murderer Anders Breivik is currently serving his 21 year sentence there.
Quezon City Jail, Quezon City, Philippines
Inside Quezon City jail in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, there is a relentless and constant battle for space, water, and food in an unhygienic facility. With 160 to 200 inmates crammed into a cell built for 20, men take turns sleeping on the cracked cement floor of an open-air basketball court, the steps of staircases, underneath beds and hammocks made out of old blankets.
Onomichi Prison, Onomichi, Japan
Elderly prisons are becoming more common in Japan as the country continues to age. Onomichi Prison hosts an all-senior population. Inmates have access to handrails, soft food, and spend their working hours knitting and sewing.
San Pedro Prison, La Paz, Bolivia
San Pedro prison is guarded by police officers rather than a hired civilian force, guards are only concerned with keeping inmates confined in the prison. The order inside prison is kept by elected leaders, commonly through stabbing. Inmates must purchase their own cells from other inmates. The wealthiest ones live in area called "La Posta", which provides inmates with private bathrooms, a kitchen, and cable television, such cells are sold.
Petak Island Prison, Vologda, Russia
Often referred to as the “Alcatraz of Russia,” Petak Island holds Russia’s most dangerous criminals. Aside from the mental torture of 22.5-hour-a-day lockdowns in two-man rooms, most prisoners are allowed just two visitors per year. And that’s all the inmates can ever hope for, as the prison itself is hopelessly inescapable, surrounded by the freezing waters of White Lake.
El Buen Pastor Women's Prison, Bogota, Colombia
The El Buen Pastor women's prison in Bogota, Colombia contains cells that were designed to house 2 inmates but now house anywhere between 10 to 20 women. Corruption and violence is prominent amongst prisoners. Despite harsh conditions, El Buen Pastor makes attempts to humanize its inmates by a holding an annual beauty pageant and parade.