When it comes to doing the crime, it is true what they say: don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.
Criminal activity is something that is common throughout the world, no matter what country you are in there are laws that you need to abide by. Regardless of a criminal’s reasoning, doing something that is against the law can result in spending time behind bars. There are some countries that will go “easy” on you while others that will not care at all about your well-being.
Travelling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, however, if you are someone who travels a lot, it is important to know the laws in each country. Tourists sometimes feel invincible but sadly, there are a lot of tourists stuck in foreign jails waiting to get out.
At the end of the day, being in jail anywhere is not ideal, however, in some of these countries, jail looks a lot more like hell while in others, jail looks like a new studio apartment on the upper west side.
16. Benin – Worst
Benin is a tiny French-speaking West African nation in which soccer is the national sport. Benin has a very high level of poverty, which explains why the criminal justice system does not have much funding.
If you are arrested you are likely to spend years awaiting trial. The jails in the country are overpopulated. For example, the well known Cotonou Prison was built for 400 inmates, but there are over 2,400 inside. This causes a lot of diseases to spread.
With the over-population, the sickness and the long-awaited trial period, there is no way you or anyone you know would ever want to be caught in jail in Benin. For your own sake, if you ever do go there, please be careful.
15. Canada – Best
Not like being in jail is good in any country, but if you are going to get arrested, Canada is not the worst country to get arrested in.
Do not get it twisted, it is still jail so the beds are not comfortable (but at least they are there) and the food is not good (but at least there is food).
Depending on what crime you did, Canadian jails are known to go a little easier on you. For example, if your crime is “white collar” chances are you will not be sharing a cell with a convicted killer.
14. Russia – Worst
Russia is a cold country in more ways than one. Yes, the weather gets cold, but the hearts of the people can often reflect the temperature outside.
Russia is not a country you ever want to get in trouble in. The jails in Russia have an “old school” mentality. It is said that three of the world’s most violent prisons are located in Russia: Vladimir Central, Petak Island – which is in the middle of a frozen lake with no washing facilities – and Butryka.
Russians are serious people and if you try and go above the law it will not work out for you. If any of you ever get the opportunity to go, make sure you read up on the laws beforehand, because there is no way you want to get stuck in a Russian prison.
13. Austria – Best
Austria is home to one of the most luxurious and beautiful prisons on the planet. Justice Center Leoben is one of the most humane and gorgeous prisons you will ever see.
Located in Styria, the walls of the prison are made of wood and shatterproof glass, and some of the cells even have balconies (yes, they include bars). The “pods”, or groups of 15, single-person cells include private bathrooms as well as a shared kitchen.
Prisoners are allowed to wear their own clothes because the jail wants to give them a sense of normalcy while they are serving time behind bars. They feel that by doing this, it is easier for prisoners to adjust to the outside world once they are out.
12. Singapore – Worst
Singapore is one of those countries with many unique rules, something that must be researched if you are ever to travel there. Things like jaywalking, littering, and spray-painting can land you in jail for longer than you would expect.
Singapore is rated as having the seventh-worst justice system in the world and although the country is thriving, their justice system is not. Inmates are given a very thin straw mat and are expected to sleep on a concrete floor. They are jammed in a cell for twenty-three hours a day and they do not get open air for the duration of their sentence which can last for years.
11. Norway – Best
Seriously speaking, the prison facilities in Norway are nicer than some people’s apartments! Norway is notorious for having beautiful prison facilities and two institutions in the county hold the title of the worlds most humane and nicest prisons.
Take the prison island of Bastoey, south of Oslo, for example. The inmates are free to walk around in a village-style setting. They also have the chance to tend to farm animals, cook, play cards, play tennis, ski and they even have their own beach. They have very little security and there are a little over one hundred prisoners, and when criminals leave prison they tend to stay out.
10. Nigeria – Worst
It is not like any jail in West Africa would be somewhere you’d want to be, but the prisons in Nigeria are particularly brutal. The country got the world’s third-worst record for human rights and seventh worst for rule of law, which says enough in itself.
The scariest part of being put in jail in Nigeria is that you do not even need to be convicted of a crime; two-thirds of the inmates in Nigerian prisons have not been charged with anything. To make matters even worse, it can take up to a decade for a prisoner to work his way through the Nigerian legal system.
9. Spain – Best
There is a prison in Spain called Aranjuez and it is known for being the only prison in the world with cells designed for families.
Usually, if a child is born to an inmate, the child is sent to go live on the outside with family or with foster care. However, Spain allows the children to stay behind bars with the parent until they are three years of age. Allowing these kids to bond with their parents as young children.
This prison is considered a five-star prison and the hope it brings to families shows the humanity that is displayed. Going to jail is not ideal in any country, but a jail that aids families in this situation is the kind of jail we can get on board with!
8. Thailand – Worst
Thailand is not only a desired vacation place, it is also one of the most breathtakingly beautiful destinations in the world.
Although it is home to some beautiful views, it is also home to the notorious Bang Kwang prison. Located north of Bangkok, this is without a doubt one of the most inhumane prisons on the planet.
Jails in Thailand are on average very bad, but this one steals the show. Inmates are forced to wear shackles for the first three months of their stay and are forced to live in cages where they are unable to stand. The sewers barely work and prisoners are given one bowl of rice a day to eat.
7. Switzerland – Best
Switzerland is known to be a very peaceful and neutral country. It is filled with beautiful views, cool people, and a lot of history. It comes as no surprise to us that it would be home to some of the most humane and comforting prisons in the world.
In 2008, the anti-torture committee gave a prison in Geneva a bad review; it was over-crowded, diseases infested and was constantly facing riots. The country decided to devote forty million dollars to revamp the jail.
A new wing was built and each cell was given their own bathrooms. This prison, along with others in the country, can be compared to three-star hotels which, for a jail, is very luxurious.
6. Bolivia – Worst
Bolivia is a country in South America that is not known for having a high criminal justice ranking. The country is ranked fifth-worst in the world for rule of law. This means that if you get arrested there, there is not much that can be done to help you.
People who are imprisoned in Bolivia spend a lot of time awaiting sentencing and with the prisons being over 269% over-capacity, getting out may be impossible.
Bolivia is one of those countries we believe you should stay away from. Although there are beautiful aspects of the country, there are a lot of risks that come with traveling in that part of the world. If you do happen to go, make sure you know the laws and make sure not to break any!
5. Scotland – Best
Scotland is one of the most interesting countries in the world. Filled with things to see and facts to learn, Scotland is a great place to visit throughout your lifetime. Rich in history and culture, Scotland is pretty badass.
Scotland is home to many “learning prisons” which are prisons that allow their prisoners to address their wrong behavior as well as the incident which led them to prison. This aims to improve a prisoner’s chances of finding a job as well as helping their well-being. These prisons have a modern decor and are said to be clean and comfortable.
4. India – Worst
India is one of those countries with a lot of layers. The country is filled with beauty, history, and spirituality. It is a place that countless people dream of going to visit. However, India comes with many complications and allegations of human rights violations.
If you are to get arrested in India, expect unsanitary conditions when in prison. Being charged in India usually means a long sentence. Many prisoners, especially tourists, have found themselves waiting for over a decade to be acquitted.
India is already a country that is not known for their cleanliness, so you can imagine the state of the prisons. Make sure to learn about the laws before traveling to India and be sure to abide by them. A lot of people do not think it will happen to them but look up Brit Daisy Angus if you do not believe us.
3. Germany – Best
Germany is a country that has a pretty rough and hated history. This European country is known for a lot of things, including rivers, mountains, breathtaking views and some of the most beautiful prisons.
Germany has some of the most beautiful and humane prisons in the world, like JVA Fuhlsbuettel Prison, which is a newly decorated jail designed for inmates serving long sentences. Located in Hamburg, it is more reminiscent of a castle than a jail. With spacious cells which include a living room, desk, and private bathroom, it is nicer than most apartments in Manhattan. Inmates also have access to washers and dryers to do their laundry.
2. China – Worst
China is known for a lot of things, but having humane prisons is not one of them. China is one of those countries that does not mess around and when it comes to crimes of any kind, they do not lay off.
China is said to have the seventh-worst legal system on the planet and is still guilty of throwing political dissidents in prison, which is something that is now unheard of in many countries.
The country is already incredibly populated so you can imagine how over-populated their prisons are. General prison overcrowding is the major problem in the country, and jails like Stanley Prison in Hong Kong and Drapchi Prison in Tibet are said to be two of the worst in the world.
1. America – Best
Yes, we are aware that jails in America are not ideal, but the reality is that no prison is ever ideal; prison is prison, plain and simple.
Jails in America however, are not the worst out there. Inmates are given a place to stay and food to eat. Although some jails are more proactive than others, a lot of them try to provide the necessary tools to allow inmates to have a regular life once their time is served.
Although there is still a lot that can be improved, when comparing to the rest of the world, jails in America are far less horrible. The judicial system in America is good compared to the rest of the world and the standard of living in prisons is a lot higher than average.
However, there are still a lot of improvements to be done in order to provide more support for those behind bars.
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