The World’s Most Luxurious Prisons

It’s easy to complain that prisons are turning into hotels these days, but there are prisons out there that go way beyond offering recreational facilities and games consoles to prisoners. All over the world, there are prisons that allow their prisoners to live pretty comfortable lives. In fact, some of them look pretty amazing.

Let’s take a look at some the best prisoner ‘retreats’ out there. Seriously, you’ll be shocked at how luxurious they really are!

Norway’s Bastoy Prison

First off, we have Bastoy Prison. This is a prison set on its very own island, right in the middle of Oslofjord. The minimum security prison colony has over 100 inmates who don’t live in cell blocks. In fact, each prisoner gets to live in small cottages on the island, and to pay for their crimes, they’re instructed to work on the farm.

The work might be tough, but by no means is this a traditional prison. In fact, the lucky Norway prisoners get to live quite the life of luxury outside of their working hours. In their own cottages, they get to relax and enjoy reading in a warm and comfortable home – and when it’s sunny (which is a surprisingly regular occurrence for a country everyone assumes is freezing cold!), the inmates can enjoy sunbathing in their gardens and on their decks.

Inmates even get to play tennis, enjoy horseback riding and can go fishing whenever they like. It sounds crazy, but this place really exists – and it makes you wonder why anyone would want to go to work when a place like this exists!

Grim23 / Own Work

Grim23 / Own Work

Austria’s Justice Center Leoben

The Justice Center doesn’t look like a prison from the outside. The modernist architecture means this could easily be mistaken for a modern office building. Look closer, however, and you’ll notice the high walls at the back.

Take a walk around the perimeter and you’ll notice inscriptions in the building and walls. The first reads:

“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”

This quote is taken from The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The second quote then reads:

“All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.”

Now, most prisons say they make the dignity of prisoners a priority, but this is a big statement – especially when it’s engraved on the building itself! This forward-thinking prison has walls made of wood, and quirky outdoor gardens that reflect the modernist nature of the architecture. When prisoners aren’t out in the gardens enjoying the sun, they might be back in their ‘cells’ where they can enjoy the view from their window, or even their very own balcony.

That’s right – a balcony!

Each ‘pod’ in the prison contains 15 cells, which all share a kitchen and contain their own private bathroom. It’s more like student living than prison!

Daniela Ebner / Own Work

Daniela Ebner / Own Work

Switzerland’s Champ-Dollon Prison

The Champ-Dollon Prison, at first glance, looks like it was designed by the team at Ikea. The prison is most famous for its past as being disease-ridden, overcrowded and manic. Back in 2008, the prison was made to respond to an anti-torture committee from the Council of Europe that ruled the prison was in an unacceptable state.

In response, the prison went about spending over $40 million creating a brand new wing and refurbishing the rest of the building. What it created was exceptionally modern and simplistic. Cells have multiple modern beds, tables and desks which are attached to the floor, in cells that house up to three people.

These triple-occupancy cells have allowed the prison to manage its overcrowding issue, and the simplicity of each room helps them maintain a higher standard of cleanliness.

Public Domain

Public Domain

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