What if “life in prison” could mean 100 or 200 or 400 years? Does that change the way that sentences are doled out? What happens when a person gets out of prison?
This is a fascinating — and super-topical — idea for a TV show. When the U.S. prison population gets too huge, we buy Greenland and turn it into a ginormous co-ed prison where people can supposedly win their freedom. That's the premise of 51st State, a show in development now for Syfy.
Exactly 80 years ago today, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary officially opened its gates to some of America's most violently incorrigible criminals—after all, it was the most escape-proof prison ever built. Escape-proof, that is, for everyone except three prisoners in 1962 and their trusty arsenal of brilliant,…
Docked off the Bronx in Long Island Sound, the Vernon C. Bain Correctional Center prison barge is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest operational prison ship in the world. Yet many New Yorkers might be surprised to find out it exists.
Just a few years ago, the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility housed a thousand or so inmates. But in a few months, this Staten Island prison will be home to one of the largest movie studio in the country outside of the West Coast.
There is perhaps nothing more poignant than an abandoned prison. When you see these haunting images, it's hard not to imagine what once went on in these now-crumbling rooms.
As the prison population spirals out of control in the United States, Sweden finds itself with an interesting and opposite predicament: it has too many prisons and not enough prisoners. For this reason, the Scandinavian country recently decided to shutter four prisons and a remand center.
Long before prison guards started carrying tasers, tear gas, and other non-lethal deterrents, they apparently relied on these cell door keys that also functioned as tiny one-shot pistols. They probably weren't lethal, but there's no doubt they packed enough of a punch to make an inmate very uncomfortable if they tried…
To virtually no one's surprise, scientists are increasingly finding that solitary confinement induces a host of psychological and physiological problems in prisoners. The time has come, say a growing number of concerned citizens, to call it for what it really is: Torture.
During the Victorian era, kids as young as eleven received adult sentences for minor crimes. Here's an assortment of children's mugshots taken in Newcastle, England during the early 1870s. If some of them weren't labeled "PHOTOGRAPH OF PRISONER," you might mistake these portraits for yearbook photos.
The State of New York is hoping to sell its old prisons. "One property, in the Hudson Valley, includes a 16-car garage, a piggery and hundreds of yards of lake frontage," the New York Times explains. "Another offers 69 acres of waterfront land on the west shore of Staten Island, complete with a two-story gymnasium, a…
To round out their drug-sniffing clone dog army, South Korean authorities are now experimenting with robotic prison guards. Lest you think these cyber-wardens will be equipped with gatling guns in the style of Robocop's ED-209, know that this alarm-equipped bot has more in common with the Death Star's delivery droids.
Space prisons are a huge part of science fiction, because eventually we'll run out of places on Earth to put our worst criminals. Mass Effect 2 features a prison ship. And this Friday sees the release of Lockout, in which a snarky hero goes inside a maximum-security satellite to rescue the President's daughter.
Now that J.J. Abrams' time-traveling prisoner series Alcatraz is locked in for Fridays next fall, let's take a look at the show's abandoned penitentiary setting, which has since been turned into a tourist attraction after closing in 1963.
The recent Taliban prison escape was undeniably crafty. But especially noteworthy was the creation of the 320+ meter tunnel without power tools, which would have been too noisy. Here are six other great escapes, and the gear that made them possible.
Over at The Innocent Flower, a prison librarian named Emily is talking about how important the library at her prison is for prisoners. And she says the male prisoners especially love science fiction and fantasy books:
You just can't help yourself, can you? After a night of ruinous drinking, you come home and dial that ex, wailing for them to take you back. Or maybe you need to kick the Angry Birds addiction. Lock 'er up!
This is no ordinary padded room — it's 1,600 cotton candy cones strung together to form a prison of pleasure.
Moscow's notorious Butyrka prison has housed everyone from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Hitler's nephew. And before the end of the year, its inmates will be able to go tanning. That's great, actually.