La Sante Prison is home to international terrorist Carlos the Jackal and previously housed felled Panamanian Dictator Manuel Noriega before he was extradited to Panama to stand trial for human rights violations. A study by France’s National Institute of Demographics and Prison Administration found that France had the highest prison suicide rate in the EU. The 23-hour-a-day lockdown and 100 degree in cell heat may contribute to why so many prisoners opt to end their lives at La Sante.
Click through the gallery to see the rest of the worst prisons in tht world.
(Photo: Pierre-Frank Colombier/Getty Images)
Gldani Prison, Georgia
Gldani Prison in the former Soviet republic of Georgia came under scrutiny when a video that surfaced on September 18, 2012, appeared to show the prison warden and a slew of guards repeatedly torturing and sexual assaulting multiple inmates (this link is NOT graphic).
The guard responsible for leaking the videos, Vladimir Bedukadze, said he had witnessed similar atrocities occurring daily since 2005. Interior Minister Bacho Akhalaia has resigned amid the abuse scandal. The issue has become extremely political as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili is up for re-election on October 1 against the Georgian Dream party backed by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili.
(Photo: Vano Shlamov/Getty Images)
Louisiana State Penitentiary, Louisiana, United States
Formerly known as Angola Prison, Louisiana State Penitentiary is the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, housing 5,108 prisoners. Angola is a farm prison where inmates work all year round and participate in an annual rodeo. The prison has been accused of imposing cruel and unusal degrees of punishment upon (among others) prisoners Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox, who have been in solitary confinement for 40 years (a world record) after being convicted of murdering a prison guard in 1972, despite meager evidence.
Photo: msppmoore/Creative Commons via Flickr
San Quentin State Prison, Marin, California
San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California, is a hotbed of prison gang activity and the sunshine state’s only death row for men. The Black Guerrilla Family was founded there in 1966 and the Aryan Brotherhood in 1967. Gangs are subdivided by race and region. Not being affiliated with a gang is dangerous, according to an MSNBC look inside the prison.
Photo: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Maricopa County Jail, Phoenix, Arizona
Maricopa County Jail is spread out over a number of locations in the Phoenix area and run by famous Arizona Sheriff Joe Arapiao. In 2008 and 2010, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake ruled that the conditions of the jail were unconstitutional. An extension of the jail, Tent City, is outdoors. The heat index has been measured as high as 165 degrees. All inmates are required to wear pink undergarments.
In 1980, after a failed attempt on his life, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad had 500 to 800 inmates of Tadmor Prison massacred (clean up took two weeks). The prison was closed after Hafez al-Assad’s death in 2001. His son, current President Basshir al-Assad, re-opened Tadmor Prison on June 15, 2011. Syrian expatriate Doctor Bara Sarraj, an immunologist at Chicago’s Northwestern University, wrote From Tadmor to Harvard detailing his nine years in the prison, describing it as “constant humiliation, horrible beatings and hangings.” Currently, Syria is in a state of civil war, and Tadmor is open for undisclosed business.
Photo: Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images
Petak Island Prison, Russia
In 2004 the Telegraph interviewed Valery and Oleg, cellmates at Petak Island Prison (number OE-256/5), located in the middle of a lake deep in remotest Russia. Petak is the most isolated prison in Russia. Both men had been convicted of brutal murders and, instead of life sentences, were sent to Petak Island to see if they would survive 25-year sentences. Prisoners spend 22 hours a day in cells with their cell mate and pace in an outdoor cage during their yard time. Parcels and visitors are allowed twice a year.
Photo: Maxim Marmur/Getty Images
ADX Florence, Colorado
United States Penitentiary, Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, is the federal government’s premier super-max prison. Inmates are held in their cells for 23 hours a day. They have no interaction with other prisoners and limited interaction with guards. Inmates never spend more than one hour of every 24 outdoors, and no natural light ever reaches their cells. The light deprivation is meant to mentally break inmates. In a 60 Minutes interview, former Warden Robert Hood described ADX Florence as, “A clean version of hell.”
Photo: AFP/ Stringer
Pelican Bay State Prison, California
Pelican Bay State Prison is located at the Northwesternmost point of California in Crescent City. It is under fire for isolating prisoners in secure housing units (solitary confinement for misbehavers) giving them no more than a pinky sized hole of contact with the outside world for 23 hours a day. The lone hour in the exercise yard, a cement box with 20-foot tall walls, offers a view of the sky—through the bars. Prisoners have gone on hunger strikes to protest the conditions in the prisons.
Andrew Freeman is a California native with a degree in history from UCLA. He’s covered a wide range of topics for TakePart, but is particularly interested in politics and policy. Email Andrew |@natureofdabeast | TakePart.com