15 Disturbing Pictures Taken From Prisons Around The World

A prison is a place where criminals are meant to go serve time as punishment for the horrible things they did. This is the true purpose of a prison, however, what actually happens behind bars is far from the true origin. Unfortunately for many prisons around the world, being locked up means much more than just serving time for a crime. Some prisons have horrible living conditions that even the worst convict might not deserve. Other places allow the guards to abuse those locked up and take advantage of the power they have over them.

When it comes to violent murderers, rapists, and pedophiles, there’s no denying that they deserve the absolute worst conditions because of the heinous crimes they committed. For some, however, horrible prison conditions can be a bit much. Think of someone who sold a drug like marijuana and now has to serve time for the illegal activity. They knew what they did was wrong and they did it anyway, however, putting them in the same place as someone who brutally murdered children does not make any sense. A prison should be a place where short-term offenders can get rehabilitation, education, therapy, and all the other help they need in order to become a more productive member of society when they finally get out.

Although prison camps during war show horrific images, for this article, we’re only focusing on prisons meant specifically for criminals. Here are 15 Most Disturbing Pictures Taken From Prisons Around The World:

Continue scrolling to keep reading

Click the button below to start this article in quick view

Start Now

15 A Prisoner Shows Off On Facebook By Using An Illegal Phone

via facebook.com

The photograph above popped up on some unexpected news feeds on Facebook after a criminal in a Tennessee prison was able to get ahold of a Blackberry smartphone. It comes as no surprise that many prisoners are still able to get ahold of illegal contraband even in maximum security facilities. However, the length that this prisoner was able to go before being caught is downright disturbing. If he didn’t have any snitches as friends on Facebook, he might’ve been able to get away with it! In the photograph, he’s also licking a shank, a terrifying truth to know that he was in possession of a deadly weapon. Sure, even criminals deserve to have a little fun behind bars to keep them motivated and sane, however, this is a bit too far. It makes us wonder who he might know that works for the prison that allows him to get away with this behavior.

14 A Haunted Handprint That Never Went Away

via flickr.com

The handprint above belongs to Alexander Campbell, a convicted rapist, burglar, and murderer who was executed in 1877 Pennsylvania. Before being executed, he placed his hand on the wall and stated that for as long as he remained innocent, his handprint would remain on the wall. He claimed his innocence up until his final moments and his handprint has remained untouchable on the wall ever since. The wall has been painted over, scrubbed, scraped, and everything else imaginable to try and get the print off the wall. However, even through layers of paint, the handprint has always come back through. Many still believe his guilt, but with an eerie story like this, it’s pretty hard to dispute! The handprint only consisted of the dirt from the floor that he rubbed his hand in to make the mark! Perhaps it’s an elaborate prank by the prison owners or a true reminder of all the innocent lives who have been murdered from conviction.

13 A Child Forced Into Solitary Confinement

via flickr.com

There is no age limit on who is allowed to commit crimes or not. Of course, depending on how old you are there’s a better chance you’ll get a lighter or worse sentence, however, even children commit crimes. The photograph above shows a child who was forced into solitary confinement after committing “family violence.” What really happened was a fight between him and an abusive older brother. The child is only 10 years old and is surely confused and lonely. Of course, when children commit crimes or do something wrong they should still be punished. Forcing them behind bars is not the solution. Children sent to prison are taught how to become a criminal and not how to become a productive member of society that won’t commit future crimes. Depending on the crime, some teens are also sent to adult prison. This only exposes them to gang violence and sets them up to have criminals as role models.

12 An Alleged Ghost Caught On Camera In A Prison

via imgur.com

The photograph above was allegedly taken in Alcatraz prison, a facility rumored to be haunted. The photographer stated that there wasn’t a woman when he snapped the photograph. Some believe it’s an elaborate hoax while others are sure it’s a ghost coming back to haunt their old cell. The section that the photograph was taken was not one for women and was instead the visitation area for the men’s cells. Some speculate perhaps she is a visitor looking for her lost lover that was locked up behind bars. Others wonder if it was an old guard who might’ve been murdered there. No one who works at the prison have any idea of who it might be, and they also state there haven’t been many other ghost sightings. The prison hasn’t been used as a prison since 1963 and is instead now a tourist attraction. Do you think the woman in the photograph is a ghost?

11 This Turkey Prison Tortures Its Inmates Constantly

via imgur.com

The photograph above was taken in Turkey in one of the worst prisons in the country home to the most violent of criminals. As you can see, the cells don’t look the least bit comfortable for the prisoners. Although these are the most violent offenders, the specifications aren’t clear on what exactly their crimes were. There is also a chance that some of these men might’ve been wrongly accused. Either way, many would think that they don’t deserve the both mental and physical torture they are rumored to receive multiple times a day. Some believe that they deserve every single moment of pain they get, others might disagree. If someone were a drug dealer, surely they’ve harmed people and ruined lives in the past, but is constant torture and humiliation the answer to a problem that has yet to be solved? There are many reasons why someone might commit a crime and we cannot continue to treat all prisoners as if they’re the same.

10 The Most Dangerous Prison In California

via flickr.com

The photograph above was taken in one of California’s largest homes for violent criminals. The men who are pictured above are sometimes forced into those small cages for hours and hours daily. Imagine being such a violent criminal that the only way the guards felt safe around you is if you were locked up inside a cage. Although this is definitely necessary to keep people from harming others, it still seems a bit much. These are violent criminals, which means they’re probably convicted of murder and are likely in prison for life. Just because someone doesn’t have any hope for ever being a free man again doesn’t necessarily mean they should be chained up like dogs. These men could be educated and taught about why their crimes were wrong and how they can still be productive members of society even when in maximum security. Instead, they are forced into cages, only growing their anger and resentment, likely leading them to commit more violent crimes on other criminals.

9 The Aftermath Of A Prison Riot In Attica

via nypost.com

The photograph above was taken in 1977 at the Attica prison in New York. It displays the aftermath of a prison revolt in which over 2,000 members rioted against just 33 staff members. Luckily, the riot ended and no prisoners escaped. Unfortunately, some of them did lose their lives. It seems a little worrisome that the number of officers was less than 1 percent of the total numbers of prisoners. Sure, we can’t always afford to have hundreds of staff, but such a little number is likely to lead to more violent crimes such as this one. If there had been more prisoners or even just a smaller ratio, imagine the level of damage that actually could have been done. Many prisons all around the world are severely overpopulated, so an image of a post-riot like this one is not unordinary.

8 Some Are So Starved In This Rwandan Prison That They Eat The Flesh Of The Recently Deceased

via pinterest.com

The photograph above displays one of the smallest prisons in Rwanda yet at the same time one that holds the most prisoners. After the Rwandan genocide, many people were sent to prison for taking part in such a bruise on history. This lead to severe overpopulation which has unfortunately led to severe starvation. If a prisoner dies behind bars, it is said that these prisoners are so hungry that they scavenged on the recently deceased and resorted to cannibalism and eating their flesh. Some would probably say that anyone who participated in genocide is surely guilty enough to deserve such a horrific punishment. Unfortunately, there were many people brainwashed, tricked, and even forced into working for the enemy, yet they’re still being punished. The prisoners in the photograph look very young as well, so some of them were probably handed a weapon and told to kill as just a child.

7 North Korean Prisons Are So Private We Only Have Terrifying Sketches

via pinterest.com

North Korea is one of the most secretive yet disturbing countries in our world today. They claim to be powerful and almighty, yet some smuggled and banned photographs show that they are clearly the opposite. Although we do have a few rare photographs that show life inside the hermit country, even fewer exist of the prison. Instead, we are only given a look into the horrifying reality of a North Korean prison by an escaped inmate’s drawings. When you are sent to a North Korean prison, there’s a good chance your family is sent to you, even if they never committed a crime. This prison is much like a concentration camp with people constantly dying from starvation. The photograph above shows how once someone dies, the rats begin to eat the body, starting at their eyes and giving them a ghastly appearance. Rats then become food for the starving members that are left alive.

6 Abandoned Prisons Sit All Over Our Country

via pinterest.com

As some attempt to privatize prisons and make them profitable, many prisons are abandoned and left behind. Like old orphanages and mental hospitals, old prisons become a hotspot for paranormal fanatics to explore and scavenge. The photograph above is just one of many pictures taken inside a terrifying abandoned prison. If you believe in ghosts, you surely have to believe that prisons are a big hotspot for the afterlife. Being able to actually step inside an old prison and imagine the horror that occurs inside those walls is absolutely terrifying. Who knows what kind of torture and misery went on in such a decrepit and spooky place. It’s terrifying to imagine what kind of monsters these concrete walls used to be home to. Each cell used to hold a different potentially violent criminal, and each part of an abandoned prison tells a horrifying story.

5 This Is Not Abandoned And Still Houses Many Prisoners

via tumblr.com

Unlike the last picture we say, the photograph above was not taken inside an abandoned prison and instead shows a cell that is still used to inhabit criminals. The prison is in South Africa and is known as one of the worst prisons in the country. It’s known for having very little food to offer with inmates constantly fighting over what little resources are provided to them. Countries like these do not have the same justice system as we do either. Some are sent to prison without a trial or a chance to tell their side of the story. Others are wrongly accused and never given a chance to prove otherwise. And even those who are guilty of crimes aren’t always deserving of having to use the closest thing around them as a weapon just so they can eat for the first time in a week.

4 A Drunk Tank In 1950's California

via tumblr.com

This photograph is definitely one of the least disturbing on the list and actually a bit on the funnier side. It shows a 1950’s drunk tank, where people who had a little bit too much to drink were sent. It is a bit disturbing in that it shows just how many grown men have trouble controlling their alcohol intake! Luckily, the men here are only sent overnight so they can sober up and stay out of harm’s way. The conditions don’t look the greatest, but it’s not like they’re going to be living there. It is actually good that they were picked up and locked up when they were so as to prevent them from potentially committing a dangerous or violent crime. Out of all the places on the list we’ve seen so far, this by far looks like the most desirable and least disturbing prison.

3 Solitary Confinement At Guantanamo Bay

via youtube.com

Guantanamo Bay is definitely one of the worst prisons in the world. It’s located in Cuba and is known for the brutal torture of the inmates. In the photograph above, you can see that the prisoners are forced into cages like dogs. Sure, if someone acts like a dog and commit stupid crimes, you might argue that they deserve to be treated like dogs. However, even nonviolent criminals are forced to endure some of the most torturous methods in prison history. Many of the men are forced into sexual degradation and humiliation as well. The United States actually had a say in whether or not this prison should stay open, but unfortunately, we chose not to close it. It’s hard to say how to punish a criminal and what the severity of the punishment should be. But it’s clear that constant torture is not creating a better society and is only making things worse.

2 A Syrian Prison Is Very Similar To A Concentration Camp

via youtube.com

The photograph above was taken at a Syrian prison. Many people who know the prison state that it is like a concentration camp with many of the members being tortured and murdered on a regular basis. Even harmless criminals or those who committed minor crimes are still subjected to the same brutal and vicious punishment that the evilest of men are. If you are not one of the prisoners who is hogtied and tortured like the men above, you are exposed to extreme starvation much like many of the other prisons we’ve seen on the list. Everyone knows how grumpy some people can be when they get hungry. Imagine putting a bunch of violent people together and taking away all their food. Surely no one can actually believe this is the best solution for criminals. Instead of trying to create a better and less violent society, those in charge of the prisons become just as bad as the criminals.

1 This Brazilian Prison Experiences Overpopulation

via youtube.com

The photograph above was taken in one of Brazil’s worst prisons. This prison recently had a horrifying AIDS epidemic that took the lives of many of the criminals locked up behind bars. They are often subjected to horrific conditions and brutal punishment. The prison also experienced one of the worst riots in prison history with over 100 inmates being murdered after the revolt. Many of the prisoners experienced the worst sides of overpopulation as well compared to the other prisons on the list. Since the AIDS outbreak and prison riot, the facility has shut down and the prisoners were either released or sent somewhere else. After looking at the photographs on the list, hopefully, your desire to ever commit a crime has dramatically decreased. Surely, many of these pictures in international prisons also make our cells look like a hotel trip. Which prison do you think looks like the most brutal of them all?

Sources: Wikipedia.org, History.com

More in Shocking