The Most Popular Prison, Ranked

Choose the prison you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Jun 20, 2024 07:08
Interest in the quality and conditions of prisons has grown as communities increasingly focus on the aspects of justice and rehabilitation. Understanding which institutions are viewed favorably can help inform public opinion and potentially guide improvements in the penal system. People often seek to know which facilities provide better environments or programs, aiming to support reform and enhance the conditions under which individuals serve their sentences. Through a dynamic and interactive process, this site allows individuals to cast votes on prisons based on their perceptions or experiences. The collected votes contribute to a live ranking that reflects current opinions and perceptions. This feedback mechanism offers a nuanced view of public sentiment that can influence stakeholders and policymakers interested in criminal justice reform.

What Is the Most Popular Prison?

  1. 1

    San Quentin State Prison

    California's oldest and best-known correctional institution, which houses the state's only gas chamber.
    • Location: San Quentin, California, USA
    • Opened: 1852
  2. 2

    Sing Sing Correctional Facility

    Maximum-security prison in New York known for its harsh conditions and the large number of executions carried out.
    • Location: Ossining, New York, USA
    • Opened: 1826
  3. 3

    Rikers Island

    New York City's main jail complex, notorious for its poor conditions and allegations of abuse.
    • Location: New York City, New York, USA
    • Opened: 1932
  4. 4

    ADX Florence

    A supermax prison in Colorado designed to house the most dangerous inmates in the U.S. federal prison system.
    • Location: Florence, Colorado, USA
    • Opened: 1994
  5. 5

    La Santé Prison

    Infamous French prison known for its harsh conditions and famous inmates.
    • Location: Paris, France
    • Opened: 1867
  6. 6

    Robben Island

    Site of the prison where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years in captivity, now a museum.
    • Location: Cape Town, South Africa
    • Opened: 1961
  7. 7


    Medieval fortress, armory, and political prison in Paris known for its storming on July 14, 1789, which marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
    • Location: Paris, France
    • Stormed: July 14, 1789
  8. 8

    Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

    Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the federal prison on Alcatraz Island is now a national historic landmark.
    • Location: San Francisco Bay, California, USA
    • Operational Years: 1934–1963
  9. 9

    Tower of London

    Historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London, which has served variously as a royal residence, treasury, menagerie, armory, and prison.
    • Location: London, England
    • Founding: 1066
  10. 10

    Tadmor Military Prison

    One of the most notorious prisons in the world, located in Syria, known for the massacre in 1980 and harsh conditions.
    • Location: Palmyra, Syria
    • Closed: 2015

Missing your favorite prison?

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About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular prison. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or prison is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 129 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each prison once every 24 hours. The rank of each prison is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


Additional Information

More about the Most Popular Prison

San Quentin State Prison
Rank #1 for the most popular prison: San Quentin State Prison (Source)
Prisons have been part of society for centuries. They serve as places where individuals serve sentences for crimes. Among the many prisons in the world, some stand out due to their history, size, or the notoriety of their inmates. These prisons often become well-known in popular culture.

One of the most famous prisons has a long history. It was built many years ago and has housed many inmates. The structure is large and imposing, with high walls and watchtowers. It has been the subject of many books, movies, and documentaries.

The prison is known for its strict security measures. Guards monitor the inmates closely, and the facility is equipped with advanced surveillance systems. These measures ensure that the prison remains secure and that inmates cannot escape.

The prison has housed many notorious criminals. These individuals have often committed serious crimes, and their presence in the prison has added to its fame. The stories of these inmates have been told and retold, adding to the prison's mystique.

Life inside the prison is tough. Inmates follow a strict routine, with limited freedom. They spend most of their time in their cells, with only a few hours each day for recreation. The food is basic, and the living conditions are harsh.

Despite these conditions, some inmates find ways to cope. They form friendships with other inmates, participate in educational programs, or engage in creative activities. These efforts help them pass the time and maintain their mental health.

The prison has also been the site of many escape attempts. Some of these attempts have been successful, while others have failed. The stories of these escapes have become part of the prison's lore, adding to its reputation.

Over the years, the prison has undergone many changes. New buildings have been added, and old ones have been renovated. The security measures have been updated to keep pace with new technologies and methods.

The prison is also a place of rehabilitation. Many programs aim to help inmates reintegrate into society after their release. These programs include education, job training, and counseling. The goal is to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and help inmates lead productive lives after their sentences.

The prison's history and reputation have made it a subject of fascination for many people. It attracts visitors who want to learn more about its past and present. Tours of the prison are popular, offering a glimpse into the lives of the inmates and the workings of the facility.

In conclusion, the most popular prison is known for its history, strict security, and notorious inmates. Life inside is tough, but some inmates find ways to cope. The prison has seen many changes over the years and offers programs to help inmates reintegrate into society. Its reputation and stories continue to captivate people around the world.

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