While we don’t suppose you’ll be taking a tour around these odd prisons anytime soon, a glimpse of them makes for a fun read. Below are the seven strangest rehabilitation/prison camps you’ll find in the world.

Top 1: Bolivia’s San Pedro Prison

This prison doesn’t look like a prison at all. It’s really more of a community or a small town which keeps criminals from mingling with the rest of society, but which doesn’t isolate them in a gray concrete barren hole with bars. Here, prisoners will have to work (either selling groceries or making something useful) if they want a roof over their heads.

The point is to let prisoners learn to make their lives useful by letting them earn their own cells. At the end of their stay, they might actually miss the community. Hopefully, they don’t try to commit another felony just because they’re homesick.

Top 2: Cebu Prison

Music tames the monster, as the old adage goes. In Cebu, prison authorities thought their inmates should have some physical activities, but unlike other jails where basketball and push-ups seem to be enough, Cebu’s prison requires music and dance. Videos if these dancing inmates have been going around Youtube that they’re now pretty world-renowned. Apparently, they enjoy this too, and even make a living out of it.

Sometimes, the inmates perform for charity, and sometimes they perform for major events in Cebu, Philippines. When they have a generous donor, these inmates are compensated for their talents. Never mind that some of these dancing inmates were serial killers or bank robbers, hey, they could dance, and they sort of rocked in their orange jumpsuits. The video above involves the crew of Michael Jackson flying in to dance with the inmates for an official music video.

Top 3: Austria’s 5-star prison

There has been an influx of burglary cases in Austria, and we suspect that it’s because of theJustizzentrum. This is a 5-star prison which really looks more like an office building than a prison. If you want to stay in a hotel for free in Austria, perhaps you should just get involved in a petty crime like burglary, and you’ll be earning yourself a few days’ stay there without being penalized so much.

As a matter of fact, if you’re smart, you will try to shoplift a computer screen and walk very slowly to the store door. When they talk to you, confess, and you can be sure that you’ll be off the streets and have a roof over your head—right in that posh little building they call the prison, of course.

Top 4: Russia’s Kresty Prison

Have you ever imagined just being allowed 15 minutes to take a shower every single week? If you think that’s stringent, how about standing on only 4 small square meters of private space? Russia doesn’t do this to its inmates because the government is cruel. It’s because they have no choice but to do this. The Kresty Prison is considered the most overcrowded penitentiary in the world.

The building’s capacity is actually only 3,000, but the average population of the prison house is more than double at 10,000. If the building doesn’t collapse because of the weight, inmates will probably die of suffocation because it’s so crowded inside, oxygen’s bound to run out. Of course, the Russian government did promise to relocate the prison, after which the Kresty will be converted into a shopping mall.

Top 5: Guernsey’s Sark Prison

In a little island called Sark in Guernsey is also a little prison which can fit only two people. This prison is so small that it’s reportedly the smallest prison in the world. The longest that felons are allowed to stay here is overnight. For crimes that are more serious, the island’s felons are transported to a “big boy” jail cell where there’s more space and possibly tougher bars.

Despite its size, Sark prison continues to be in use, and the sign on top of the door says it’s been there since 1856.

Top 6: Super Maximum Security (ADX) in Colorado, U.S.A.

This prison is unusual if only because the security here is unusually tight. As the name suggest, it’s where the worst felons of the U.S.A. are detained, and just to give you an idea on how life usually goes here, each inmate is only allowed nine hours out of their cells. They are not allowed to interact with each other or anyone at all, during their stay here, and they have to do everything, even their toilet habits, inside the cells.

The toilet bowls are also programmed so that they shut down when anyone attempts to plug it. The showers in the cells are set to run for 15 minutes only so there won’t be any danger of flooding. The guards in this penitentiary are highly trained, and they take anything—from pens to toothbrushes—from the inmates if they suspect that it’s going to be used as a tool for escape.

The furnishings in the cell are made from concrete. Everything is gray, and it’s going to be close to impossible to move anything in the space even if one of the inmates tried. If you’re a milder felon, your worst fear should be interacting with inmates who have more serious crimes than you. It’s an entirely new world in here, giving the world “prison” a totally new meaning.

Top 7: Spain’s Aranjuez Prison

Spain is very worried about the children in their country whose parents have been imprisoned. With that in mind, they’ve allowed children to grow up obliviously to the realities of a real prison. Inmates who have children in Spain are lucky because they will probably be transferred to the Aranjuez Prison where they can be with their families most of the time.

At the encampment where small children and the inmate’s better half stay, you’ll see white walls lined with murals of cartoon characters. Cozy is a good word to describe the habitat. This way, children won’t have to notice that their parents are imprisoned criminals until they’re old enough to understand the consequences.

We’re guessing that Spain is trying to lower the crime rate by giving an inmate’s offspring a shot at having a normal, if not happy, childhood.



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