Top 10 Most Dangerous And Feared Prisons In China

Some of the worlds toughest and most feared prisons lie within the country of China and this is most definitely one place you do not want to end up incarcerated, welcome to the Top 10 Most Dangerous And Feared Prisons In China.

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10 – Beijing Municipal No. 1 Prison

Located in Eastern Beijing, this prison is operated by the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau.

Being in close proximity to Beijing Capital International Airport, this prison often holds western inmates either facing deportation or those who are shortly due for release.

The prison holds or has held several notable inmates including Zang Tianshuo, convicted of aggravating with a sentence of 6 years.

Another notable inmate inside this prison is former inspector of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Ministry of Commerce, Guo Jingyi, jailed on suspicion of accepting bribes.

Known as the Qinghe Knitting Mill, the prison produces nylon socks for domestic and foreign markets and includes a construction plant, sewing factory and plastic manufacturing centre.

Don’t let the upgraded work facilities fool you, as this is one of the City’s worst prisons with inmates often held 12-to-a-cell and most are made to chant communist slogans on a daily basis.

Prisoners have alleged that forced confessions often take place at the prison and those not conforming to the rules are regularly placed in solitary confinement, sometimes for months on end.


9 – Dongguan Prison

Located in the Shilong area of Dongguan, Guangdong, China, Dongguan Prison opened in November 1988 as Shilong Prison and the name change was announced in 1995.

Expanded in size over the subsequent decades, the prison now occupies most of Xinzhou Island in the East River.

With a current population of around 5,000 inmates, reports state that nearly 500 of the prisoners were foreigners from various countries.

Prisoners held here are forced into a work regime with alleged beatings routinely taking place.

Inmates are reportedly beaten, tasered, or put in solitary confinement for failing to achieve production targets on items such as disposable headwear for several major airlines.

Overcrowded living conditions and sweltering heat in the summertime join forces to make this one of the most unpleasant places to spend time in China.

Notable prisoners of this facility include Musician Chen Meng, Australian businessman James Peng Jiandong and Lau Chun-hin, a Hong Kong Internet personality.


8 – Municipal No. 2 Prison

There is only one place worse than Beijing’s Municipal No. 1 Prison and that is the feared Municipal No. 2 Prison that was established in 1950.

Brit national Ian Stones was convicted of espionage by China in 2022 in a secret trial and is was held at this facility for several months before being moved to another facility.

Designated as a pre-trial detention centre, the No. 2 Prison appears to be the hole that China throws the majority of its foreign inmates into that have been accused or convicted of spying.

Nicknamed the sunshine detention centre, former detainees have revealed that No. 2 Prison is a horror show.

Inmates are often forced to take part in education programs for newcomers and inmates undergoes regular brainwashing days.

Some cells reportedly have no beds with inmates forced to sleep on floorboards and holes in the ground act as solitary confinement cells.

Beijing’s feared Ministry of State Security often interrogate prisoners at the facility and its tight security mean that only a handful of condition reports have ever made it out.


7 – Beijing Women’s Prison

Sitting in the Daxing District, of Beijing, this prison houses nearly 1,000 female prisoners and is currently the only prison in the city for female inmates.

Sitting on 4 acres of land, the prison runs a manufacturing centre where over 24,000 prison uniforms are made each year.

The prison became known for its violent history over the years with many inmates imprisoned and tortured, simply for their religious beliefs.


6 – Stanley Prison

One of six maximum security facilities located in Hong Kong, Stanley Prison is the oldest facility still in operation, having been built in 1937.

Administered by the Correctional Services Department, the prison sits behind an 18-foot wall and was constructed into 6-cell blocks with a capacity for 1,500 prisoners.

Stanley Prison was once the site of executions Before Hong Kong officially abolished the death penalty, yet this may now have been revoked with China’s acquisition of the territory.

At the time of its construction, the prison was considered to be one of the finest prisons in the British Empire and had over 800 staff and officers.

Conditions have deteriorated over recent years and hundreds of prisoners are reportedly kept in tiny cells with many only allowed out briefly for one shower per day.

Heatwaves cause the cells to turn into small ovens and inmates are often forced to pour water on their beds just to sleep and heat-torture has been used to make some prisoners confess to crimes they may not have committed.


5 – Lai Chi Reception Centre

Another infamous correctional facility located in Hong Kong, Lai Chi was established in 1977 and sits on Butterfly Valley Road.

Having a prisoner capacity of 1,484, it is one of the biggest on-remand centres in the city and overcrowding has been described as a major problem.

Hundreds of prisoners have been added into the population over recent years, mainly due to the 2019 protests against the Chinese government.


4 – Pik Uk Correctional Institution

Located at 399 Clearwater Bay Road, Hong Kong, Pik Uk Correctional Institution was constructed in 1975 and houses both young male prisoners on remand and those serving full sentences.

This prison has some of the tightest security measures in the city with underfloor cameras checking vehicles and an array of metal detectors and secure doors.

Once home to Umbrella Movement leader Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the prison is known for its control of inmates and man have told tales of its terror.


3 – Urumqi No. 3

Currently the Largest Detention Centre in Xinjiang, Urumqi No. 3 cold also be the largest in the world, sitting on over 220 acres.

Considered to have an inmate capacity of around 10,000, the complex is twice as large as Vatican City and houses mainly religious prisoners in pre-trial detention.

Surrounded by brutal barbed wire fences and armed guards, behind the walls of this imposing facility, you will find training camps designed to brainwash the minorities in vocational education centres.

Often thrown in detention for things like going abroad or attending religious gatherings, many detainees at this prison have not even committed any crimes.

Officials deny anyone is being held at the facility on false charges and the recent inclusion of an electric fence has only added to security at the site.


2 – Qincheng Prison

Home to many political prisoners within the country, Qincheng Prison is also home to many of the Chinese democracy movement and Tiananmen Square protests from 1989.

Famous former inmates include Li Rui, Jiang Qing, Yuan Geng, Bao Tong, Dai Qing, as well as Tibetan figures such as the 10th Panchen Lama.

More recently, many officials, some high-ranking, that have been accused of corruption, have been held at this facility.

Located at the eastern foothill of Yanshan, facing the North China Plain, the prison was known as project #156 when it was built and forced labour is the main form of work.

All visitors to the prison must pass through three layers of security, including three heavily guarded gates, and many prisoners died as result of abuse and torture during the cultural revolution.

The prison is thought to be currently the most secure in the country.


1 – Tilanqiao Prison

Formerly known as the Ward Road Gaol, was originally built in the foreign-controlled Shanghai International Settlement, following the Chinese Communist Revolution it was run by the Ministry of Public Security.

Throughout the first years of its life, it was recognised as the largest prison in the world and earned the nickname as the “Alcatraz of the Orient”.

Built to hold those convicted of crimes in Shanghai’s International Settlement, the prison comprises 450 cells across two four-storey blocks and was expanded in 1911.

Allegations of torture and ill-treatment toward high-profile prisoners were rife while it was named as the Shanghai People’s Prison.

The prison became so infamous in the city that mothers in Shanghai threatened to send their children if they misbehave.

High walls, imposing guard towers and a double electric fence all prevented inmates, all of whom were serving sentences of 10-years or more and some even on death row.

Overcrowding, forced labour and extremely small cells were the norm, with forced confessions often taking place within its walls.

Today the prison is closed and has become a tourist attraction for locals and visitors to the country.



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