If you thought prison life is all about breaking rocks and bread, you are right. But, in the case of the following listed prisons, your opinion of the life behind the bars may change significantly.
1. Bastoy Prison, Norway: Prisoners can go horseback riding here
And that’s just one of the many striking features of this prison. The strength of inmates here is roughly 100, and they…
- Live on small cottages and work on the prison farms.
- Tennis, fishing, cross-country skiing and sunbathing are some of their free-time activities.
What’s interesting however is that such gooood treatment offered to prisoners seems to be working in the facility’s favour mainly because, in 2014, the prison was awarded Blanche Major Reconciliation Prize for “promoting human values and tolerance.”
Also, it was noted that re-offending rate of the inmates post their prison life was a mere 16%, which is much less in comparison to the European average of 70%.
2. Halden Prison, Norway: Inmates have TV sets installed in their rooms
Another one from the Land of the Midnight Sun, Halden Prison is a maximum-security prison also famous for providing humane conditions to the inmates and for its impressive design and architecture.
- The cells are fully furnished, with TV sets and refrigerators.
- The staff members eat meals and play with inmates and most times, are typically unarmed!
- Rock climbing walls
3. Suomenlinna Prison (Helsinki, Finland): One of the “open prisons”
Set up in a very idyllic spot, the prison is more like a holiday home for the law-breakers. Inmates live in well-made shared wooden huts with private rooms and go to work every day to what they call “the greenhouse”.
- The prisoners here get $8 an hour.
- They are allowed to keep cell phones.
- They can go grocery shopping in the town.
- They are allowed 3 days of vacation (although, I don’t get the need) every 2 months.
- And yes, it is one of those prisons that don’t literally lock in the prisoners. In addition to the unlocked doors, other striking perks include no uniforms!
4. Otago Corrections Facility (Milton, New Zealand): They call it the “Milton Hotel”
- The rooms are well-equipped and furnished.
- Inmates get fresh towels here.
- Underfloor heating is provided during winters.
- Prisoners are taught job skills in the fields of light-engineering, cooking and dairy farming.
5. Aranjuez Prison (Aranjuez, Spain): They provide family cells
For convicted parents with children, this is like the best prison to stay locked up in. The “five-star cells” in the prison have cribs and are decorated with Disney characters. There’s also a playground outside the prison where children can have their own gala time.
Although, it doesn’t make for the perfect childhood memories for the toddlers, it kills the pain of distance for the convicted parents.
6. Pondok Bambu Prison (Jakarta, Indonesia): Inmates enjoy the luxury of in-cell refrigerators, air conditioners, and karaoke machines.
Garden sculptures and a salon offering haircuts and spa treatments contribute to the uniqueness of the prison.
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7. Champ-Dollon Prison (Puplinge, Switzerland): Once overcrowded and disease-ridden, it can now allegedly pass for a classy dorm room
The prison has seen its share of bad days in the form of Europe’s most overcrowded and disease-ridden detention centre. In 2011, with a help of a $40 million, it was refurbished. It now sports spacious triple-occupancy rooms, with each including a bathroom.
8. JVA Fuhlsbuettel Prison, Germany: Recreation rooms have telephone corners for prisoners serving long sentences
Moreover, the perks also include swanky cells and amenities such as washing machines and spotlessly clean floors. However, the European Court of Human Rights doesn’t approve of the jail conditions for offenders of the crime of serious nature.
9. Leoben Justice Center, Austria: A building that looks like that of an MNC, it offers all the amenities a prisoner can ask for
- Rooms with TVs, private bathrooms, and kitchenettes – Check
- Basketball court- Check
- Fitness room- Check
- Outdoor recreation centre- Check
10. Her Majesty’s Prison Forest Bank (Manchester, England): The prisoners are bound to become fat here, thanks to all the yummy food
It was recently exposed that the prison was feeding up to five luxury meals a day to the inmates, offering them a variety of over 100s of meats, drinks, desserts, etc. Unsurprisingly, the public was outraged at such usage of their tax money.
11. San Pedro Prison (La Paz, Bolivia): Houses a society within itself
A significantly unconventional kind of prison, it is a community of inmates where they not only have jobs, but also accommodation facilities that they can buy or rent. They also live with their families on a frequent basis. Some of them even make a substantial amount of money by selling cocaine base to the visitors!