The Most Expensive Prisons in the World

From Norway to Guantánamo Bay, these prisons cost more to run per inmate than most people make in a year.

Following the money of global mass incarceration

*Guantanámo Bay *

The US spends $13 million per prisoner, per year, to keep 40 inmates at the high-security military prison on the coast of Cuba. There are around 1800 military troops assigned to the facility. Judges, lawyers and journalists must be flown in for hearings at the facility’s war court. Construction and other classified expenses run the cost of maintaining Gitmo over $540 million. It is the most expensive detention center in the world.

Colorado’s Supermax prison (ADX Florence)

The Supermax, also known as the “Alcatraz of the Rockies” houses around 375 prisoners, who are held in solitary confinement, often for over 22 hours a day. It costs the U.S. over $78,000 per prisoner, per year. It is home to some of the most high-risk prisoners like Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzman, “Unabomber” Ted Kaczysnki, 9/11 plotter Zacarias Moussaoui and World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef. It is the most secure prison in the United States.

HMP Frankland, UK

This high-security jail, popularly nicknamed “Monster Mansion” is home to some of the UK's most notorious criminals — like “Yorkshire Ripper” Peter Sutcliffe. It costs the UK roughly $70,000 annually to maintain each prisoner at this facility. It can hold around 800 prisoners.

Halden Prison, Norway

Norway has a different approach to prisons. The country's second largest prison costs the Nordic country about $120,000 per prisoner, every year. The facility prioritizes prisoner rehabilitation and is designed to simulate real-life spaces and decrease inmates’ sense of incarceration. Inmates have access to music and sporting facilities. Staff are often unarmed, and guards participate in activities with prisoners.

*Every year, Global Prison Trends by Penal Reform International (in collaboration with the Thailand Institute of Justice) provides us with a global view on the state of prisons. And, every year, this report is, unfortunately, hardly a surprise. *


10/16/2019 11:58 AM


  • V W.
    10/25/2019 01:03

    Just Transfer all the Islamic state Prisoners who are Locked in the AL Hol Jail of Syria towards any of this Expensive Jail for Maximum Safety because here they are just 100 Percent Psycho Barbarians who are Cursing to themselves to Destroy all their enemies into Dusts and their is more Possibility that they are going to Escape through Secret Tunnels Somehow because here all People's in Syria country are completely distracted by the Operation Peace Springs done by the Turkish Military Forces towards the Syria border area and here there is Surely a Big Terrorist Threat by the Islamic State Prisoners to many Countries because here they are not Humans but just Monsters who shows Nil Mercy for their victims and here Russia and Turkey and America must try to Focus on this important Trouble Zone which is just the AL Hol Jail and here I am frankly exhibiting my Comment through Online of Facebook because here America President Trump is Simply Boasting has we won that Islamic state Terrorists but they must be Destroyed but their is no use of Captured to Keep them in AL Hol Jail and here America is indirectly opening the Gates of Hell very Carelessly and thus here either China or North Korea Military Forces are eligible to Guard the AL Hol Jail of Syria now and here Suppose if they Escape means then they will do even worst methods of Death to their innocent victims and So here just Monitor or make Total Assessment of the AL Hol Jail of Syria that's all. By V WittySternRaj of India.

  • Evelina R.
    10/23/2019 13:48

    Yes to rehabilitation :)

  • Sawar S.
    10/19/2019 20:33

    ADX florence Colorado... You do not want to end up here

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