Image by Casa_no_7
ADX Supermax, Colorado, USA
It sounds like a video game, but the ADX Supermax is in fact one of the most secure prisons in the world, housing only the most violent and dangerous criminals in America who have been deemed too great a national security risk, to house in other maximum security prisons. All the inmates have been sentenced to at least 25 years imprisonment and believe me, those won’t be an easy 25 years.
Opened in 1994, prisoners spend 23 hours per day in solitary confinement for at least the first year, and never set eyes on the other inmates. Most of the facility is underground with the convicts only able to see the sky and roof through their windows, designed to prevent them from knowing exactly where in the prison they are.
With 1400 remote-controlled steel doors, laser beams, pressure pads, a 12ft razor wire enclosure and a multitude of motion detectors and CCTV cameras, it is hardly surprising that not one person has ever escaped this prison.
Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, Indiana, USA
Prisoners at this highly-secure prison aren’t treated too badly, with rare luxuries such as hot showers thanks to the solar panels that sit atop this eco-friendly facility. However, the electricity generated from these panels also goes towards powering a 15ft electric fence that surrounds the perimeter.
This is no ordinary electric fence – if you are brave, or stupid enough to take a shot at climbing it, this non-lethal stun fence has the ability to wrap itself around your body to form a pulsating, electrified cage that will keep you in place until the guards arrive. And I bet you thought that was only possible in science fiction movies...
Camp 1391, Israel
Until recently, few people even knew this prison existed. Israeli officials had it airbrushed out of aerial photographs and removed from modern maps. The prison was discovered by accident by a historian who came across a 70-year old map showing 62 police compounds in the country, of which one was suspiciously missing from modern maps. Inmates are kept in tiny, dark cells with heavy steel doors and neither the inmates or their families or lawyers are told where they are being held.
Leoben Justice Centre, Austria
Whilst you might have no escape if you end up at one of the above maximum-security prisons, as a poor person in Austria you might find yourself actually wanting to commit a crime just so you can end up at this swanky, five-star prison facility!
Inscribed around the perimeter is the phrase “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity”, this is the inspiration for the beautifully decorated cells that let the inmates live almost in luxury for the duration of their sentence.
The decor is almost like something out of an IKEA catalogue, the only difference being the CCTV kits installed throughout the building to monitor convicts – not that any of them would risk being caught acting suspiciously on CCTV in case they are transferred to a more standard prison set-up!