The World's Largest Floating Prison Is In NYC

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.

The barge was built as a result of overcrowding prisons in 1980s New York City. It has evolved throughout the decades to house different types of inmates, and in many respects, it's no different than a conventional prison. The top left section of the barge has a caged in recreational area made up of basketball courts.

In an odd way, this prison could become a model for other developments. Bain has been in operation since 1992—but if New York's skyrocketing land values continue unabated, floating buildings could eventually become more common.

Image: Nick Stango.