Here is some prison trivia I found on the internet:
Striped prison uniforms, first introduced in the early nineteenth century, made it easier to spot escapees in a crowd. But they were also intended as a psychological punishment. In the Middle Ages, striped clothes were the pattern of choice for prostitutes, clowns and other social outcasts.
In January 2002, the website Convicts Reunited was started. Here is the blurb from their website: Our Company Convicts Reunited is, to the best of our knowledge, the largest database of convicts and ex-convicts run by ex-convicts, which means we can serve you better by getting more people together. Okay, so the newspapers gave us away. We’re not ex-convicts – although we have been chased out of more than one apple orchard as kids. But what we do have here is a great opportunity to get together and provide something to this online community.
Although criminals have been found guilty for some horrendous crimes against humanity and put behind bars, there still lies a chance for ’em to show their goodness for our planet at the world’s first ecological prison. Although the idea of a eco-friendly prisons isn’t widespread, a small island tucked away in Norway has managed to bring the fresh green change at the Bastoey prison. The Bastoey Island low security prison uses solar panels for energy, produces most of its own food, recycles everything it can and tries to reduce its carbon footprint. The solar panels have cut the prison’s electricity needs by up to 70 percent. Hoping to install a sense of responsibility in their inmates, the authorities aim to instill a strong sense of responsibility towards mankind and our environment as well. If inmates at this prison do porridge, it is organic porridge. For it is not only recreational drugs that are banned, pesticides are too. Bastoey has also tapped grants from environmental bodies to help it produce high-quality food. Though most of the food is used in the kitchen there, surplus is sold to other prisons too. Touted as the island of hope, this prison has also gained international media attention for its living conditions, resembling a summer camp with activities like tennis, horse riding, and even swimming in the summer, when the North Sea waters warm up. Isn’t it inviting? Maybe this eco friendly luxuriously prison lifestyle is going to tempt many to commit a crime to gain an entry to the ‘island of hope’.
The Interior Ministry in Peru has banned chili sauce and hot spices from prison food. An edict was handed down by the Interior Minister because these items were claimed to “have aphrodisiac qualities” and would “arouse sexual desires.”
Russia’s prisons have a reputation for being the most overcrowded on earth, especially Kresty Prison inSt. Petersburg. The official capacity is set at 3,000, but the actual population is always at least 10,000. Each prisoner is also said to only be allowed 4 square meters of space each and 15 minutes a week (a week!) to shower. In summer 2006 Vladimir Putin announced that the prison would be relocated to a new facility in the Kolpinsky District on the outskirts of Saint Petersburg. After the relocation is complete the Kresty building will be sold at auction. It is anticipated that the prison building will be transferred into a hotel-entertainment complex.
Brixton prison, which was originally called the Surrey House of Correction, was originally built in 1820. Brixton become one of the first prisons to introduce treadwheels in 1821. It is the oldest active prison in London.
In January, prodded in part by outrage over a series of articles in the New York Review of Books, the Justice Department finally released an estimate of the prevalence of sexual abuse in penitentiaries. The reliance on filed complaints appeared to understate the problem. For 2008, for example, the government had previously tallied 935 confirmed instances of sexual abuse. After asking around, and performing some calculations, the Justice Department came up with a new number: 216,000. That’s 216,000 victims, not instances. These victims are often assaulted multiple times over the course of the year. The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX) is a supermax prison in Florence,Colorado,USA. This is the ultimate prison, literally. Since it opened in 1994, ADX is nothing but slow and inhumane torture. Inmates are only allowed out of their cells for 9 hours a week and barely interact with anyone. There’s hardly any sunlight and you have to do everything in your cell. Prisoners are served meals in their cells. The room is mostly poured concrete which ensures the furniture can’t be moved or even humped comfortably. The toilet will shut off if someone tries to plug it and showers work on a timer to cut back on potential flooding. ADX is a prison intended for the worst felons the country has to offer.
Charles Dickens’s father John Dickens was imprisoned in the Marshalsea debtors’ prison in Southwark London in 1824. Shortly afterwards, his wife and the youngest children joined him there. Charles, then 12 years old, was boarded with Elizabeth Roylance, a family friend, in Camden Town. Dickens later used the prison as a setting in Little Dorrit).
Sark Prison is located on the Island of Sark in Guernsey, was built in 1856 and is apparently the smallest in the world. it can house 2 prisoners at a push and is still used for overnight stays – if you continue to play up after that you’ll get shipped off to a proper grown-up jail with corridors and staff.
The land underneath 154 year old San Quentin state prison is estimated to be worth $80 to $100 million, instantly making it the most valuable prison in the world. it occupies 275 acres of oceanfront land overlooking the bay, some say the most valuable real estate in the whole country.
And finally here are some Guinness records:
Longest-serving prisoner on death row: Now 75, Iwao Hakamada (Japan) has been on death row in Japan for 42 years, convicted of murdering a family in Shizuoka in 1968.
Most life sentences: Terry Lynn Nichols (USA) is serving 161 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole for his part in the 1995 bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma,USA, in which 168 people, including 19 children, were killed.
Longest-serving political prisoner: On May 1, 2009, Nael Barghouthi, a Palestinian sentenced to life in jail, became the longest-serving political prisoner. He began his sentence on April 4, 1978 and has now served more than 32 years in an Israeli jail. Incarcerated at the age of 21, Barghouthi has now been in jail for a decade longer than he was previously free
Longest jail term: On December 23, 1994, American Charles Scott Robinson was sentenced in Oklahoma City,USA, to 30,000 years, the jury having recommended 5,000 years for each of the six counts against him.