1. Chillingsworth Penitentiary
Chillingsworth is the sort of prison that most people in the Cosmic Era think of when they think about going to jail. The penitentiary is located in Scotland and originally had a Scots-Gaelic name which was eventually changed to Chillingsworth during it's first renovation 80 years ago. It is a first generation arcology, and given it's location and importance, it is somewhat lacking in modern updates and innovations. The accommodations are spartan, the warden and staff are brutal but not unfair. The entire facility is done in correctional light green and asylum white, it is aseptically clean and consistently chilly. This is intentional, so that it is constantly a low level of misery for the inmates, but not inhuman treatment. The penitentiary is operated by Scotland as a state corporation, and is a level one standard security facility for the Atlantic Federation. It is typically used to house low level non-violent prisoners such as cognet fraudsters, electronic thieves and other similar offenders.
2. Steel Harbor
There are several dozen to several hundred deep sea drilling rigs and marine exploration sites remaining from the days of the Petroleum Era. The last generation were made to last, and they have. Steel Harbor is a massive facility in the Republic of Alaska that was originally built to extract oil from the seabed through no fewer than 11 bores. The facility was gutted and abandoned and later served as a base for Alaskan pirates before being seized by the Alaskan Navy. The rig was rebuilt and refitted to serve as a marine incarceration unit for high risk high profile criminals. It is remotely located, and escape is impossible without outside assistance. Conditions at Steel Harbor are constantly cold and wet, and the facility is deliberately miserable.
Blackgate is a well known and infamous prison, the black eye of the Commonwealth of New England. With several large urban centers, there is a large and well organized criminal underground. This situation is exacerbated by the high crime rates associated with geofronts and the densely populated urban rims, none more so than around the New Nuyork Arcoplex. Blackgate was formerly an entire geofront on its own, specifically the geofront under Arco 6 (Bronx Tower). The entire facility was reconfigured into a prison city. Renamed Blackgate, it functions as the largest and most densely populated prison in North America. It has its own organized crime syndicates entirely inside the structure, and has produced with frightening regularity parapsychic criminals.
Mars Redstone was one of the first non-terrestrial prisons built. Located on the Tharsis Plateau, Redstone is a normal grade prison, but unique in its position as the first prison on Mars, and first major colonial prison. It has average quality facilities and is considered an above average security facility. Redstone is less than 50 km from New Moscow, and the New Moscow Spaceport, meaning that it is easily seen by STO flights coming and going. Redstone is also known for being involved in Martian chain gang work, building terraforming stations and earthworks (or marsworks) projects. Unlike many prisons, Redstone isn't corporate owned, and is instead a public sector entity supported by New Moscow and the Russo-Martian state Krasnov Zemli. (or Krasnistan)
5. The Arcorena
The Arcorena is a public entertainment venue operated by Arcorena Entertainment and Criminal Detention Group LLC out of Chicago, GLR. Situated in the heart of the city, within easy viewing of the south face of the ChiTown Arcoplex. The Arcorena is styled after the Roman Colosseum but on a modern scale. The entire facility is geared towards media production and broadcast. The stands around the colosseum are filled with the entertainment seekers who live in the Chicagoland favelas and are often drawn into the spectacle with offers of free food and alcohol. There, they are witnesses to modern gladiator games that are holocast across the world. The worst of the criminal worst are 'purchased' from other prisons around the world to duke it out for the world's entertainment. There are prizes offered, pardons and financial prizes for the winners, benefits for their families or loved ones. So they fight. Most of the inmates are trained to fight each other, but sometimes there are celebrity gladiators who will visit the arena to fight criminals to aggrandize their own reputations. These fights are usually to the death, but at least enough are that people keep buying the datafeed to keep the facility operating, and the AECDG,LLC investors profitting.
The 'holding pen' is located under the Arcorena and is integrated into the Chicago Geofront. There are extensive training facilities and recreational areas for the inmates, as well as high security detention areas to make sure the inmates don't escape. The Arcorena also has a good medical system. No one wants to see sickly wasted men ineptly fighting to the death, they want their gladiators built, chiseled muscles and dripping with the promise of violence and mayhem.
6. Keddington Mental Rehabilitation Center
Keddington MRC is a very sedate and unassuming section of the Keddington Demi-Arco in London. The facility is used to house and rehabilitate low level and non-violent or limited violence inmates. The facility is unique in that it was the first one to do work in Cognitive Therapy in Suspended Animation. Since their inception, Keddington has rehabilitated over 11,000 criminals with their breakthrough CTSA treatment. The inmates are placed into a suspended animation chamber and are plugged into the Keddington LAISC where the machine monitors and guides the inmate through a dream-like incarceration. Given that dreams occur much faster than actual activity, a one month term can be served in a little under a day, and the more common use is for inmates with terms in excess of 10 years are brought in, and serve their sentences in months. Mentally and spiritually they serve the time allotted and the rate of rehabilitation is quite high. A normally measurable number of inmates do go irreversibly insane through the CTSA treatment but this is considered a sustainable risk.
Called Dreamington, the facility has suppressed its rate of insanity or packs those somewhat stable inmates to real mental health facilities and listing them as rehabed and discharged. The Keddington LAISC is the culprit because through its own boredom it will randomly turn rehab programs into brain games, torture scenarios, and psycho-emotive experimentation. The administration is completely aware of this, and so long as the LAISC doesn't get carried away, they are fine with it. The facility has created a number of financially profitable therapies and treatments from the LAISC's experimentations.
7. The Zoo
The Zoo is the local name given to Mexico City's prison unit. Composed of a vertical slice of the Number 3 Demi-arco, the Zoo has a large amount of viewable space, turning the prisoners into animals on display. The prison has levels that are physically separated from, but easily viewed from common spaces inside the #3 demi-arco. The prisoners have all vestiges of privacy stripped away and are left to feel vulnerable. In some places, they are accessible to viewers, often from the top of high walls or skylights. Insults and slurs are often met with thrown drinks, spit, or other displays of disgust for the criminal lowlifes. Troublesome and messy prisoners are usually hit with high power water hoses or tasers during peak traffic hours so that the largest number of people possible get to witness their humiliation. The Zoo's admittance area is side by side (but separated by a transparent aluminum (synthetic sapphire) wall) with the #3 Arco commons area, and the new inmates, male and female, are stripped and given their ritual delousing and physical inspections in front of large numbers of people.
8. Survivor Island
A prison complex for the PRC, Survivor Island's location is a classified secret. The island is continuously monitored by a wealth of spy and surveillance devices and the feeds are taken in, edited, and then released as entertainment. The island has several primitive shelters, and in the decade since Survivor Island was built, several societies of inmates have formed. The Lord of the Flies aspect and inhuman barbarism are the main draws to the show. To keep things interesting, there are voting contests in which the viewship gets to determine things like who gets supply drops, or what will be the next epic drop item. The show is going strong, and the island has a relatively high demand for inmates as the life expectancy is between one and six months.
The demand for inmates for Survivor Island is actually much higher than the PRC can actually sustain through honest criminal inmates. The SI Group has since started supplying the island with clone prisoners, created from lesser offence inmates in regular prisons around the coalition. These clones serve as background and fodder for the real hardened criminals to intimidate, bully, lead, or murder as the situation suits them. Another fact edited out of the show is that the island dwellers (non-cloned) know that the entire thing is rigged for entertainment and that the inmates with a good cult of personality receive the goods, while the boring ones get nothing. Much of what the inmate gangs and society groups do are more theatrics and sensationalism than honest slides into barbarism.
One of the more esoteric habitats in earth orbit is Skysea. This station, built by the Pacific Rim Coalition is a massive enclosed sea in space. The actual size of the facility is classified, but it is known that the original purpose was for creating sentient dolphins for use in PRC space craft as pilots and navigators. The project has since moved planetside and Skysea was reconfigured for farming kelp and krill in space for making space food without shooting it into orbit. The facility is managed and maintained by a workforce of PRC inmates supervised by a modest security detail.
30 feet under the Gulf of Mexico, the Lashley-Asher Marine Farming Collective is a prison built by and for the seacologies of the Caribbean League. The facility is large, and has the main purpose of producing kelp to be processed into nutrition supplements and food stuffs. Lashley-Asher is a major name in synthesized vegetable products and their veggie sticks, veggie nuggets, and veggie patties are a staple across the Caribbean League and are popular in the ethnic cuisine of the region, as well as parts of the USSA and the Republic of Texas. There are few things considered more authentic Texican cuisine than veggie sticks with hot sauce and cheeze. The prison is used to house seacology criminals, as they are more adapted to living underwater, and many are uncomfortable living in 'dry' prisons and become agitated. Lashley-Asher is a fairly high quality prison, and inmate safety and rehab are both good.
11. Azores Benthic Facility 05
The Azores islands are an important location in the Atlantic Federation. The islands house a number of large CogNet relays and hardline transoceanic cables. The main use of these cables are highly secure encrypted datafeeds, state department and military information. Benthic Productions, a Caribbean League data and power production megacorp maintains a large number of such facilities and Facility 5 is a dual purpose cable and data hub and civilian detention center. The facility is heavily industrial, and a deepwater location, so transversing the pressure difference takes a good deal of time. Security is high, and most prisoners are short duration, two years or less.
12. Galapagos Island Double-Max Prison
Situated off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, the GIDMP, is a highly secure prison facility operated by the United States of South America. The prison is a seacology that was originally constructed to study sealife and the underwater seismic activity in the area. After scientific funding ran out, the facility was gutted, and expanded to house up to 6000 prisoners in an underwater environment. Escape from the prison is nigh impossible and between supply runs from USSA submersibles, the prison is locked down completely. The warden and the staff are as much prisoners in the facility as the inmates are. GIDMP is mainly used for housing political prisoners and dissidents as well as high profile and high flight risk Federation criminals. Often, the staff of the facility are present because they have offended a higher up, or are being given a stern reminder of their place in the USSA.
The must well known of the multi-max level prisons is the infamous and feared Terramax prison. Sitting in a high polar orbit over the North Pole, Terramax is a first generation mined out asteroid that was repurposed to a space habitat, then to a space observatory, and then finally into a space penal colony. Conditions are austere and spartan in the extreme. Violence is endemic and the only thing more dangerous than the prison gangs and brutal guards is the fact that with a push of a button, the warden of the facility can 'void' any section of the prison. The pressure doors shut and the atmosphere can vent in a matter of seconds. This has been done half a dozen times, each time coinciding with either a prisoner riot/mutiny or major threat to the facility. Rather than the typical hardened criminal, Terramax is used to detain military prisoners, rogue supersoldiers, and the like.
Hrafngeist is locked in ice. The facility, operated by the Kingdom of Scandinavia is a double duty structure. Half buried in ice and permafrost, Hrafngeist is a biological creche, where large amounts of biological data, seeds, and embryos are held in a permanent cold storage. When attempts were made in the ACPS to clone the extinct Sumatran and Siberian tigers, they purchased preserved embryos from Hrafngeist. The prisoners at the facility are considered low risk, as the more dangerous prisoners are instead sent to the Niffleheim Detention Facility, a classified prison located in Finland.
15. Terrance Triple Max
While Terramax might be the worst prison in the Atlantic Federation, Terrance Triple Max (TTM or T3M) is literally Hell on Earth. Situated in the heart of the Confederation of Southern States, T3M is a cognitive rehabilitation facility that has a basic program of literally incarcerating prisoners in their own private Hells. These detention programs are tailored to each prisoner where they are treated to both moralizing and religious conversion as well as emotional and perceived physical abuse. Once released from T3M prisoners are shells of their former selves or are zealous religious converts. T3M is owned by Creative Incarcerations Corp (CIC) and has sister facilities in Austria (Ludovico Triple Max/recreates Holocaust on inmates) and France (Bastile Nero Triple Max/recreates Black Plague and Reign of Terror)
After spending years as a tourist attraction, and then a long period of being abandoned, Alcatraz was rebuilt by the Republic of California to function as a double max prison. Built during the second dark age, Alcatraz is primitive and built to be self reliant. The island produces its own food, and is off the grid. Power is generated by solar paneling, and tide generators, and it is now a popular prison to send CogNet criminals to. Completely cut off from technology and the wireless realm of the 'Net many of these tech wizard inmates are quickly broken and become accepting of rehabilitation efforts. Security isn't what is used to be, but in many instances, the current generation of inmates at Alcatraz are often afflicted by agoraphobia and consider the thought of swimming in real water to be absolutely terrifying.
17. The Pitt
The Pitt is a geofront prison complex in Pennsylvania. Originally a mining facility, the Pitt was repurposed as a conventional prison with a carefully manicured reputation as a tough and nasty prison that inmates didn't want to be sent to. Between high security and boredom, the Pitt is a very mundane prison, and not much happens there. Outside of the Pitt, it has a large and well known reputation for being full of violent criminals where riots and shankings are a daily occurrence and after lights out, things get even worse for the new inmates.
18. Ursa Majoris
Ursa Majoris is a Resource Wars era space habitat, and after it was abandoned through the Second Dark Age it languished unused and almost forgotten. With the Second Renaissance, the Eurasian Alliance reclaimed the station mere months before it re-entered the atmosphere and were able to restore it to a stable orbit. Formerly a space defense station, it served as a STO hub until it was replaced by newer and more advanced stations. The former Russian satellite was reconditioned to serve as a penitentiary. Ursa Majoris houses a large number of inmates in tight quarters and often under regular sedation. It is the sort of prison that the Alliance sends prisoners to forget about them.
19. Mariposa Station
The Atlantic Federation doesn't have a strong foothold on Mars, so its planetside facilities are minimal. It does have a deathgrip on the Martian moons, and several asteroids that have been towed into stable orbits. Mariposa Station is one such mined out asteroid habitat. The station houses a moderate population of inmates, mostly those dropped off by ships. These officer convicted criminals typically serve short sentences before being packed off to another station near Earth. This reduces the amount of dead weight a ship has to carry and feed, and limits the need for the more distant Federation colonies to maintain large detention facilities. Mariposa is a short term facility and has minimal security. Real criminals require sedation, or being in confined containers.
20. Vonnegut Relay
Planets move, and that makes trips across the Solar System difficult. Reaching points in the asteroid belt or the Jovian moons typically involves stopping at a Martian habitat or station to resupply and top off reactant tanks. That works fine when Mars is in line for Jupiter or the appropriate asteroid belt zone, not so much when Mars is on the other side of the system. The Vonnegut Relay is one of several stations situated in stable positions in the vicinity of Mars' orbit. Vonnegut is a larger relay and has not only a large communications relay, it also has an impressive ability to hold cargo and supplies for ships coming and going. One unfortunate commodity is prisoners and convicted criminals from the colonies and Vonnegut has the ability to hold them. The relay has an on and off season, usually corresponding to its linear proximity to Earth and Jupiter. When it is on the off season, minimal staff is present and criminals and non-vital personnel are kept in cryosleep, and during the on season, ships can be passing through both directions on a weekly basis.
21. The Victor Verster (Prison Ship)
The South African United Republics don't have the resources to maintain a full time detention center in space to go with their collection of stations and habitats. Rather than attempting to repurpose part of an existing station or build one from scratch, they took a novel but historical approach. The SAS Victor Verster is a prison ship that was originally the AFS Andromeda, a civilian Lunar cruise ship. Configured to hold prisoners instead of passengers, it now can hold up to 900 inmates in crowded and somewhat unsanitary conditions. The ship has not been targeted by prison break attempts in over a decade. The last attempt at jail break revealed that the Verster spends most of its time tethered to the SAUR military station Ryneveld. The attempt ended with the criminal boarding ship being shot down by a mercenary ship under contract to the station.
22. O'Neil Women's Correctional Facility
The O'Neil Women's Correctional Facility is a voluntary genetic testing and breeding facility where female inmates from the Atlantic Federation and a few from the PRC are incarcerated and regularly impregnated. Their offspring are considered property of GeneTech Pharmatechnologies. These children are clone prototypes and experimental genetic augmentations, or test 'vehicles' for new genetic screening tests and technology. The facility is fairly low security, and has strong medical support. It also has a almost machine like indifference to the human condition and sickeningly jaded perspective on the value of life.
23. Gong Han
Gong Han is a cold and frightening prison operated by the ACPS. Inmates detained at the facility, called the Morgue, are technically killed when they are admitted. Once 'killed' their bodies are put into cryostorage for the duration of their term. Once time is served, the inmate is pulled and 'reanimated' by the staff. This is a mixture of thawing the body and reversing the inmate's cause of death. There is not one specific method, and unless the admittance notes are available, countering the chemical cocktail used to induce death is nearly impossible.
24. MegaConAgra Farming Station 191
MegaConAgra is one of the larger and influential food production companies in North America, only overshadowed by giants like Monsanto Organics and KraftCorp. The corporation operates a large number of farming stations where fast growing bulk use plants are grown. Station 191 is manned by inmates and provides raw plant material to the VeggieTech processing facility in New St. Louis. The farm is hard manual labor and a moderate degree of security. MegaConAgra reimburses the Atlantic Federation for the labor the inmates generate, making profit for both the corp and the state. 191 houses just over 1000 individuals and is invested in growing low volume high value spices and seasonings used in gourmet and gold star food products.
25. Tarn-Voss Correctional Facility
The Tarn-Voss Correctional Facility was built to contain Seibertronians inmates. The living machines have different requirements than human prisoners, and unlike their human counterparts Seibertronians by virtue of their small numbers are much more loyal and likely to attempt a rescue of a captured and detained ally. Tarn-Voss is located in Sub-saharan Africa, and has very primitive technological conditions. Aside from solar collectors the Seibertronian inmates have to maintain, the only other tech is the EMP generator that can render every Seibertronian in several miles black out, and the anti-mecha and armor buster weapons the guards carry. As a machine prison located in the desert, Tarn-Voss is austere and unpleasant for the human guards, often moreso than it is for the seibertronians detained there.
Polyhex is a unique prison in that it doesn't physically exist. Polyhex is a massive construct that only exists in the CogNet. It is an electronic prison for the incorporeal but sentient computer programs, self aware constructs, and synthetic intelligences that have crossed the line into criminal activity but not warranting deletion. Another unique aspect about Polyhex is that it is nearly constantly under cyberassault by rogue programs, hackers, and cybernauts wanting to crack it's armored coding and release the criminal programs contained inside of it.
27. New Arkham
One of the early efforts to understand and control parapsychics was the New Arkham Sanitarium. The facility housed dozens of parapsychics and was useful in testing power suppressing drugs, and potential therapies and treatments to contain, control or extinguish parapsychic abilities. The facility remains involved in parapsychic research, but now works with criminals and deviants rather than individuals detained simply for demonstrating the abilities. It is an older building and physically remote from major cities. The food supply is laced with parapsychic suppressing drugs and the experiments are much more low key than previous generations. The facility has been demonstrated to be haunted.
28. Kamino Royal
The New Venice Raft City was abandoned halfway through it's construction. The hard expensive part had already been done, the massive pontoons and control systems were installed, and only the top had to be built up and 'colonized' by the residents of Old Venice. The facility was abandoned and salvaged by a New Monaco (Cypress) land baron and it was rebuilt into a floating luxury resort. A minimal amount of time and effort was spent to make it secure to hold prisoners. The new floating prison was completed and started hosting the ultra-wealthy moguls and barons who broke various banking and fraud laws. They spend their sentences basically vacationing and continuing to 'advise' their companies albeit in a non-compensated role. It is startling how many guards at Kamino Royal are skilled companions.
29. The Vault
The Vault, the only difference between death and the Vault is that you have a better chance escaping death. The Vault is a geofront dug deep into the hostile soil of Venus. Buried under insulating rock, the facility started as a research station, and then ventured into metal exploration. The prisoners sent to the Vault are given one way tickets, and instead of being incarcerated, they are left to run the mining facility on the planet. No ore means no supplies. Inside the Vault, conditions are sedate as sedatives and psychoactive depressants are commonly abused drugs, and it is often dispensed in the water supply. Rather than vile and violent criminals, the majority of residents of the Vault are political dissidents, intellectual rebels and so forth. According to the Atlantic Federation, this facility doesn't exist.
30. Jianyu Cheng
The entire city of Jianyu Cheng is nothing but a giant prison complex. The city looks like and acts like any other city in China, minus any modern buildings or conveniences. It is walled in, and regularly monitored for sedition and escape attempts. A new feudal model society has sprung up, and there are new artisan castes developing. This has created a high end export market for the handmade finished goods from the city. Furniture, paper goods, paintings and other artistic expressions are popular and command a high price on the ACPS markets. Security is high, but population issues are largely ignored, but there are children being born in the city, as there has been no effort to segregate men from women in the experimental city. It is only a matter of time before these children, born and raised in a prison decide to leave.
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? Responses (11)
'There are few things considered more authentic Texican cuisine than veggie sticks with hot sauce and cheeze.' It is a bleak future you paint...
Gong Han stood out to me; On the one hand, if you freeze down a murderer, he's gonna unthaw the same way, so what would be the point?
On the other hand, no expenses for food or other commodities, and their sentences could be so long that the families of their victims would be long dead. And maybe they would be better people in a different era. Plus, it really makes a lasting comment about how meaningless it is to simply incarcerate people without re-educating them.
Obviously these are all serious and gritty prisons, but I had been hoping for some more different takes on imprisonment, like maybe dress everyone up in pink bunny suits and cutsey, pastel colored, fluffy enviroments, to make the prisoners lose all cred of going to prison. Still, this is well enough unique material and well written enough to deserve a full score from me.
5/5, but I am slightly curious about the frozen prison. Barring the mortality rate, it will be as if they never went to prison. The prisoners would not be able to tell the difference between 5 minutes and 500 years, and in fact may prefer to be frozen as long as possible to see better technology.
A possibility is that there is a traditional prison, and when they fill up they create a 'queue' of frozen inmates waiting for an opening, so they still have to serve there 20 years and may also have to have 100 years pass before they do it.
Some excellent questions to Gong Han, and I will level with you it was a quick idea I just went with.
Possible answer: intimidation. If you are sentenced to Gong Han you are going away for a long time so family and friends will be aged or dead. Plus there is the ritualistic killing of the prisoner that while reversible isn't 100% foolproof. Then I would toss rumors of frozen inmates beibg discarded like garbage or being shipped to the brutal iron mines on Mercury or to the mythical frozen gulags in space
An excellent, expansive sub which brings to light(?) many corners of your world. There are several movie settings here :)
30 pretty hellish prisons.
These types of documents are always useful, well done!
High five! These are good!
Just had to cruise by and grab one of the prisons here for my novel in progress, good on Gong Han. Don't cross the Chinese, they will turn you into a popsicle
What Val said. Movie settings...
Can I write a 30 More prisons sub please? :)