Prisons are places where people who have broken the law go to get the punishment they deserve. Dangerous prisons in Africa are prisons that violate human rights in one way or the other.
A prison is not a great place to be. Even though inmates need to be held responsible for their actions and do the time they were given, they are still people who deserve to be treated with respect.
But in most African countries, this is not the case. Many prisons are so bad that even pigs wouldn’t want to live there.
Nelson Mandela once said that if you want to know how well or badly a country is doing, you should go to its prisons. If Africa’s future looked like its prisons and other correctional facilities, it would not be a good place to live.
If you are locked up in one of the dangerous prisons in Africa, you will have a very hard time because the conditions are not good for people.
People locked up in African prisons spend years in small, dirty spaces with insufficient food, bad hygiene, and little or no clothing or other amenities. Here’s a list of the most dangerous prisons in Africa.
1. Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Zimbabwe
The Chukurubi Maximum Prison is the biggest in Zimbabwe. On the edge of the capital city of the country. It has space for about 17,000 prisoners (both men and women). Cells are usually 9 meters (30 feet) long and 4 meters (13 feet) wide, and each can hold up to 40 people.
Maximum-security prison Chikurubi Like the other jails on this list, it is known for overcrowding, guard violence, hunger, lack of health care, and poor sanitation. The inmates are locked up for most of the day and don’t have many ways to pass the time.
Chikurubi Maximum Prison is one of the most dangerous prisons in Africa. It is at the top of this list because it is overcrowded, there is a lot of violence, people don’t get enough to eat, there isn’t enough medical care, the conditions aren’t clean, there isn’t enough coordination, etc.
2. Makala Central Prison in Kinshasa, Congo
The United Nations human rights office has said that this prison is one of the most dangerous prisons in Africa. It was meant to hold only 150 prisoners, but now more than 850 people are locked up there.
Because there isn’t enough room, prisoners have to sleep in the hallway and near the septic tanks. Diseases spread every day because the health system isn’t very good.
3. Gitarama Prison, Rwanda
Gitarama Prison is where people who committed crimes related to the Rwandan genocide are kept. The prison is only supposed to hold 600 people, but over 7,000 convicted criminals are there, which causes crowding and death.
Most prisoners never find a place to sleep, so they must stand all day. The prison is also known for having many people die daily due to extremely poor living conditions.
Another sad thing is that most prisoners get into fights that end in death, and the dead are often eaten because there isn’t much food in prison.
By far, the prison is the dirtiest in Africa. So, prisoners are always at risk of getting diseases like gangrene, which kills them.
4. Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison – Nigeria
The prison is in Lagos State, which is in Nigeria. It is the most well-known prison in Nigeria. It was made for hardened criminals who had done many bad things. It’s named after a small town in New Zealand called Kirikiri.
The Nigerian Correctional Service runs it. In 1955, it started to work for real. Its official capacity is 1700 people, but more than 3000 people are in there right now.
Kirikiri is known for being crowded, just like many of the most dangerous prisons in Africa. It is also known for how badly prisoners are treated, how bad the living conditions are, how bad the medical care is, and how many people die there.
5. Mukobeko Maximum Prison, in Zambia
The fifth worst prison in Africa is the Mukobeko Maximum Prison in Zambia. When the prison was first built, it was supposed to be a place where a single prisoner would stay in a single cell.
It has, however, been badly run, and now there are about 15 prisoners in one cell, making it difficult for air to get in. Because there isn’t enough airflow, diseases like Tuberculosis tend to spread quickly in prison.
The jail is also known for its harsh guards, lack of food, rat infestations, too many people, and other serious problems.
6. Nairobi Prison, Kenya
The Nairobi Prison in Kenya is one of the most dangerous prisons in Africa. It was built in 1911 to hold 800 prisoners, but now it has more than 3,000, making it too full. There are 250 prisoners in a room that was only meant to hold 50.
Since then, the number has been getting bigger. The prison cells smell like sweat, human waste, and dirt, and trash is in the air. In general, how people live in this prison makes it hard to be in good physical and mental health.
They don’t have anything, from mattresses to clothes to good medical care.
7. South Africa’s Drakenstein Prison
The Drakenstein Correctional Centre, which used to be called Victor Verster Jail, is a low-security prison in the Dwars River valley in South Africa’s Western Cape. The prison is in the Western Cape of South Africa, between the towns of Franschhoek and Paarl.
Nelson Mandela worked to end apartheid during his last years in this prison. The facility is known for keeping gang members in prison and encouraging gang violence. It is one of South Africa’s most dangerous prisons.
The facility has malnutrition problems, insufficient health care, and bad sanitation.
8. Jimeta Prison – Nigeria
People think the Jimeta prison in Damaturu, Yobe State, is one of the most dangerous prisons because it is often home to religious extremists and terrorists with ties to Boko Haram.
This makes it more likely that violent attacks will happen there. In 2012, 40 people who were thought to be members of Boko Haram broke into the prison.
The security at this facility is so bad that inmates don’t know if they will live to see the next day. Men are accused of molesting other men and forcing new prisoners to join gangs to protect themselves.
9. Black Beach Prison, in Equatorial Guinea
In the 1940s, the Black Beach Prison was built. At first, only common criminals were locked up there. But after the country gained independence in 1968 and Francisco Macias Nguema became dictator, many political opponents were locked up and killed there.
People like Bonifacio Ondó Edu and Edmundo Bossio were put to death in this prison. Due to its history of human rights violations, this prison has become associated with violent guards, hunger, overcrowding, rat infestations, overpopulation, poor health care, and insufficient food.
10. Pollsmoor Prison in South Africa
Pollsmoor is not only the worst prison in South Africa but also one of the most dangerous prisons in the world. The prisons seem to be run by gangs from Cape Town and are too crowded.
Because there were too many people in prison, diseases spread quickly, and some prisoners had been waiting for trial for years with no results.
Inmates often fight with each other and use simple weapons. Even worse, a prison that was only meant to hold 3900 people now has more than 8900 people.
See also: 10 Most Dangerous Prisons In The World
11. Luzira Maximum Security Prison in Uganda
This is a prison in Uganda with the highest level of security for both men and women. It is where the people on death row are kept. It is in the Nakawa Division of southeastern Kampala, in the Luzira neighborhood.
The prison was built to hold 1,700 people, but there are now more than 8,000 people there. More than 40 people are crammed into empty cells that are only 8m x 8m.
International standards are broken when wards are so full that there is little airflow. Because there isn’t enough space to sleep, the prisoners have to sleep in lines or close together. Some diseases, like Tuberculosis, are thought to spread because of a buildup of waste in the cells.
12. Chichiri Prison in Malawi
Chichiri is one of Malawi’s toughest prisons. It is in the city of Blantyre and is one of the country’s biggest prisons. The prison was built to hold 800 people, but there are now 2000 people there. Tuberculosis and other diseases can spread more easily in prison because of how it is run.
Due to the small budget that the government gives to the prison system, prisoners are only fed once a day. The food is terrible. Because of this, malnutrition is very common. During the night, prisoners sit in a cell that is too small, making it hard for them to sleep.
13. Maula Prison in Malawi
The building is in Lilongwe, which is in Malawi. The original plan for Maula Prison was to hold 800 people, but now more than 1800 people are there. Overcrowding is a really bad problem. There are almost 200 people in a cell built for only 60 people.
The facility is very crowded, which makes it easy for diseases like HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis to spread quickly. Because there are too many people in prison, one toilet is shared by 120 people and one tap by 900. The food that prisoners get is not enough.
14. Kamiti Maximum Prison in Kenya
This prison is known for the terrible conditions that the prisoners have to live in. It is in the agricultural district of Kiambu. It is considered the safest prison, and some dangerous criminals are locked up there.
The prison has a bad name because of sodomy, beatings that killed inmates, and diseases that spread through the prison.
The Kamiti prison was supposed to hold 1,400 prisoners, but it now holds more than three times that many. This means that the prison is very congested. People often get malnutrition, cholera, and ulcers.
15. Kinshasa Penitentiary Rehabilitation Center in Congo
The United Nations human rights office has said that this prison is one of the worst. It was meant to hold only 150 prisoners, but now more than 850 people are locked up there. Because there isn’t enough room, prisoners have to sleep in the hallway and near the septic tanks. Diseases spread every day because the health system isn’t very good.
Getting locked up in one of Africa’s worst prisons is every criminal’s worst nightmare. Many of these places are not in good shape, and some of what they do is against human rights laws.
Many prisons in Africa have too many people in them. Cells that were only meant to hold ten people have been said to hold over 100 people at once.
Prisons should be places where people who have done wrong can learn how to be better versions of themselves. But in some African prisons, this is not the case.
Reforms need to be made right away in these prisons so that people can serve their time in a safe and clean place.