What Prison Cells Look Like Around The World

Prison Cells

More and more people are behind bars. According to the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, over 10.35 million individuals are being held in penal institutions throughout the world, either as pre-trial detainees/remand prisoners or having been convicted and sentenced.

In comparison to the year 2000, the total number of women serving time has increased about 50% while the male prison population has grown by about 18%. But prison population rates vary considerably all around the globe. For instance, the United States have 698 inmates for every 100,000 citizens while Denmark has 61. And there are more differences, too. A prisoner in one place might have access to musical instruments and video games but might be fighting over a roll of toilet paper in another.

Apegeo has collected photos of cells from all over to show how different countries treat their criminals, and the contrast is eye-opening. The prison cells in this list vary from low security to max security, and while they can’t be all compared directly, it gives us a pretty good sense how different countries deal with criminals. It might be due to economic reasons or the way societies value life, but if you found the information above a bit grey, the images below will definitely grab everyone’s attention.

#1 Aranjuez Prison, Aranjuez, Spain

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

Associated Press

, usatoday30

#2 Luzira Prison, Kampala, Uganda

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. The guard to prisoner ration in Luzira… Read More

NTVUganda , Wikipedia

#3 San Diego Medium-Security Women’s Prison, Cartagena, Colombia

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. Women at this low-security… Read More

Jan Banning , foxnews

#4 Bastøy Prison, Horten, Norway

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. In addition to… Read More

Marco Di Lauro , Bastøy prison

#5 Norgerhaven Prison, Veenhuizen, Netherlands

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.

ANP , Norwegian Correctional Service

#6 Halden Prison, Halden‎, Norway

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, who interact with the unarmed staff to create a… Read More

Knut Egil Wang , The New York Times

#7 Black Dolphin Prison, Sol-Iletsk, Russia

Black Dolphin Prison, Sol-Iletsk, Russia

At Russia’s notorious Black Dolphin Prison on the border of Kazakhstan, inmates share small 50-square-foot cells that are set back behind three sets of steel doors. Inmates live in a “cell within a cell”, with 24-hour surveillance. Black Dolphin houses the most brutal criminals, including serial killers, cannibals, and terrorists. A prison lieutenant told National Geographic, which did a documentary on the facility, that the only way to escape is… Read More

The Sun , Business Insider

#8 Penal De Ciudad Barrios, Ciudad Barrios, San Miguel, El Salvador

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.

Giles Clarke

#9 Onomichi Prison, Onomichi, Japan

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

Prison Photography , Washington Post

#10 HMP Addiewell, Lothian, Scotland

HMP Addiewell, Lothian, Scotland

HMP Addiewell is a learning prison, where residents can address their offending behaviour and the circumstances which led to their imprisonment through Purposeful Activity. Purposeful activities include education, counseling and work. Nature and family contact whilst in prison is also a fundamental element of the rehabilitation process.

Lorenzo Dalberto , hmpaddiewell

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