50 — Devil’s Island
Located over 40 meters above sea level on a remote island off the coast of French Guiana, this prison was a dumping ground for those opposing Napoleon III’s coup d’état.
Filled with a variety of various deadly tropical diseases, thanks mainly to limited sanitary systems and a prolific mosquito infestation that wiped out much of the prison population.
France was a harsh place to receive a prison sentence in the late 19th century and those with more than eight years were doomed to remain on the island for the rest of their lives, mainly due to the extreme living conditions.
While Devil’s island was mainly reserved for hardened criminals such as murderers and thieves, some women were also deported to the island in an attempt to keep the population sustainable.
Incredibly, the island was still operating in 1938, however by 1953, it was closed and any remaining prisoners were returned to mainland France, with some even electing to remain on the island.
Visitors can still view the island from boats, however it is strictly off-limits to the public.
49 — Pelican Bay State Prison
Used to house some of the most difficult and dangerous prisoners in California, Pelican Bay opened in 1989 and earned its reputation for having a system that is used to break the psychological well-being of inmates.
One of the few supermax facility’s in the state, the prison sits on 275 acres of land in Del Norte County and is named after a shallow bay on the pacific coast.
The prison is split onto two areas, one being general population and the other being nicknamed the SHU, or special housing unit for short.
Surrounded by an electric fence, this is the most degrading part of the prison with inmates confined to their cells for…