20 Worst Prisons in America 2022
Prisons are one of the most common punishments for criminals globally. In almost every country, there are some forms of jails where criminals pay the price for the crimes they commit by forfeiting their freedom. Although spending time in prison is not intended as a vacation, the experiences of those who serve time in prison vary from one prison to the next, depending on the conditions, facilities, and punishments in each prison. Some prisons are significantly worse than others, so which are the worst prisons in America? Here is a look at the 20 worst prisons in America that even the most hardened criminals want to avoid.
20. Ely State Prison, Ely Nevada
Ely State Prison in Nevada is located in a rural area far away from the rest of society. It houses the state’s execution chamber, which was created in 2016. There are reports of inmate mistreatment and psychological intimidation. It was these issues that led to the inmates staging a riot in 2010. During the riot, both inmates and guards suffered serious injuries.
19. Folsom State Prison, Folsom, California
Folsom State Prison is the second-oldest prison in California, and its claim to fame is that it was the first prison in the United States to have electricity. Unfortunately, the prison is also known for its long record of brutal gang violence. Another reason Folsom State Prison is known is for its infamous inmates, who have included criminals such as Suge Knight and Charles Manson.
18. Prison with the Most Riots: Penitentiary of New Mexico, Santa Fe, New Mexico
A problem that many prisons encounter is inmate riots, ad one of the worst American prisons for riots is the Penitentiary of New Mexico in Santa Fe, New Mexico, says USA by Numbers. One of the worst riots in this prison took place in 1980 when 12 officers were held captive. The riot ended in the death of 33 inmates. Some of the inmates who died were child sex offenders, and they were killed, dissected, and burned during the riots.
17. William C. Holman Correctional Facility, Atmore, Alabama
The William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama, was ranked as the most violent prison in the United States in 2016. It is a maximum-security facility that houses the state’s only execution chamber. Overcrowding is one of the biggest problems at this prison, as it often accommodates more than 1,000 prisoners, despite being built for under 600 inmates. An investigation into abuse and violence at the facility led to the Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Corrections announcing in 2020 that the prison would be decommissioned. Although more than half the inmates have since moved to other facilities, the prison currently remains in operation.
16. Sing Sing Correctional Facility, Ossining, New York
In recent years, Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York has taken steps to improve its bad reputation, although it is still not enough to keep it off the list of the worst prisons in the United States. Conditions at the facility were at their worst around the turn of the Millennium, when the decrepit buildings had leaking roofs, and gang violence was a daily occurrence. Violence is an ongoing issue, and other problems include drugs and poor health facilities.
15. Largest Death Row Facility in the US: San Quentin State Prison, San Rafael, California
According to Bustle, San Quentin State Prison in Marin County, California, has the largest death row facility in the United States. Of the 3,000-plus prisoners serving time in the jail, more than 700 are awaiting execution on death row. Those on death row are only allowed to shower every other day, and they spend just five hours outside their cells daily. Aside from the number of prisoners facing execution, mental illness is a big issue at this prison, and the facility struggles to provide adequate health care to its prisoners.
14. Largest Maximum-Security Prison in the US: Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Louisiana
Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana, is named as one of the worst prisons in the US by WOL DC News. It is the largest maximum-security prison in the United States, as it holds 5,000 inmates, and it is known as the Alcatraz of the South. The facility covers 18,000 acres, and there are over 2,000 staff watching over the prisoners. It is considered one of the worst prisons in the country due to the nature of the crimes committed by the inmates.
13. One of the United States’ Largest Prisons: Rikers Island, New York City, New York
Rikers Island in New York City is one of the United States’ largest prisons, as it has the capacity to house 15,000 criminals, although it currently houses approximately 10,000. It also has ten separate prisons on the island, and it has one of the country’s highest solitary confinement rates. There are multiple problems at this island jail, including violence, drugs, rape, and staff brutality. Due to the extent of the problems in this prison, it is easy to assume that it is a high-security prison housing some of the country’s worst criminals, but that is not the case. It mainly houses pretrial prisoners and nonviolent offenders that have short sentences.
12. Reeves County Detention Complex, Pecos, Texas
Two of the biggest issues at Reeves County Detention Complex in Pecos, Texas, are overcrowding and understaffing. It is a private prison company that houses approximately 3,750 prisoners at any one time. Most of those detained in the complex have committed nonviolent crimes, including entering the country without the proper permission and documentation. In addition to overcrowding and understaffing, the complex has a bad reputation for inadequate medical care.
11. One of the Worst Women’s Prisons in America: Julia Tutwiler Prison, Wetumpka, Alabama
Although it is only a small prison with only 400 inmates, Julia Tutwiler Prison in Alabama is also one of the worst prisons in the United States. It is a maximum-security facility that houses a death row for female prisoners facing the death sentence. In the past, there have been incidents of abuse towards the inmates from the wardens, including sexual assault and rape. In 2011, six wardens were charged with various sex crimes. Although they all pled guilty, only two served time.
10. Prison with the Most People in Solitary Confinement: Pelican Bay State Prison, Crescent City, California
With 3,500 prisoners, Pelican Bay State Prison is one of the most-populated prisons in the United States. Furthermore, it is also the one with the highest level of inmates in solitary confinement, as there are approximately 1,500 inmates in solitary confinement at any one time. Those in either the Administrative Housing Unit or the Security Housing Unit are alone in tiny windowless cells for up to 22.5 hours each day. They spend the other hour and a half alone in concrete exercise pens.
9. United States Penitentiary Marion, Marion, Illinois
United States Penitentiary Marion opened in 1963, and within 15 years, it had become the country’s highest security prison. It is one of only two facilities in the country to have a Communication Management Unit, and episodes of violence have forced the facility into long-term lockdown. Some of the most famous inmates of this prison include Pete Rose and John Gotti.
8. Idaho Correctional Center, Kuna, Idaho
Due to the gang violence at Idaho Correctional Center in Kuna, it has been labeled a gladiator school. While the wardens are supposed to protect the inmates and prevent violence, they actively encourage fighting, according to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Idaho in 2010. The lawsuit led to demands for the prison to increase staffing and training, but the prison had still not complied two years later.
7. United States Penitentiary Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
United States Penitentiary Tucson has housed many notable prisoners. Some of these include Anthony Casso, who was sentenced to 455 years in jail and died while serving his sentence. Others include pedophile Brian David Mitchell, murderer Steven Dale Green, murderer Louis Eppolito, activist Jamil Abdullah al-Amin, drug trafficker Ross Ulbricht, racketeer Whitey Bulger, and sex trafficker Keith Raniere. Several political figures have also served time in the Tucson prison, including Timothy Villagomez, Phillip Giordano, and Randy ‘Duke’ Cunningham. The biggest problem at the prison is violent attacks between the inmates.
6. Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary: Leavenworth, Kansas
Arrest Records lists Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary in Kansas as one of the worst prisons in the US. It is an all-male prison that is home to some of America’s most dangerous criminals, including George ‘Machine Gun’ Kelly and Bugs Moran. The prison is known for its repressive conditions, which include a lack of ventilation.
5. Prisons Under Investigation: Orleans Parish Prison, New Orleans, Louisiana
There have been multiple issues with Orleans Parish Prison in New Orleans over the years, but it first came to the public’s attention following Hurricane Katrina. The prisoners were left in terrible conditions after the natural disaster, with no food, clean water, electricity, or ventilation. Many were also standing in sewage-tainted water when they were discovered. There are also reports of drugs and violence within the prison walls. Due to the high level of allegations, the prison is subject to an ongoing FBI investigation.
4. Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility, Los Angeles
The Men’s Central Jail and Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles is the largest jail system in the United States, as it houses 9,500 inmates. A report published by the American Civil Liberties Union says that around 4,500 complaints were made annually by inmates, with reports of attacks and rapes involving both inmates and staff.
3. Tent City Jail, Phoenix, Arizona
One of the most unusual prisons in the US is Tent City Jail in Phoenix, Arizona. It was opened in 1993 by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. He used Army surplus tents from the Korean War to create a makeshift prison camp to save the state money on building a new prison. Although a few permanent buildings have since been added that are used for showers and dining, prisoners still sleep in the tents. They are uncooled in the summer and unheated in the winter, so the sleeping conditions are dire. The meager food is not seasoned, the men are forced to wear pink underpants, and the prisoners work in chain gangs.
2. Allan B. Polunsky Unit, Livingston, Texas
The Alan B. Polunsky Unit is considered the hardest place to serve time in Texas, and it has also been labeled one of the most lethal prisons in the democratic world. The prison is known as death row, as it is where those who have been given the death sentence live out the end of their days. Those serving time there spend 22 hours a day in the single cells, and they have no aces to distractions such as the television or visitors. It is not unusual for prisoners to attempt suicide rather than wait for the final day of their death sentence. There is a mandatory period of three years from sentencing to execution day, and it is longer if the prisoners fight the sentence. For many, the emotional torture they experience is too much to take.
1. The Worst Prison in America: US Penitentiary Administrative Maximum, Florence, Colorado
According to Type Investigations, US Penitentiary Administration Maximum in Florence is also known as ADX and has earned the nickname of the Alcatraz of the Rockies. It is one of the world’s most secure prisons, and it is repeatedly included in lists of the world’s worst prisons, so it is hardly surprising that it is the worst prison in America. One of the biggest problems the prisoners face is segregation from other people.
Not only are they cut off from the outside world and not allowed visitors, but they are also separated from the other prisoners and do not even see the wardens. The cells are concrete blocks with steel doors and a chute leading to a private exercise area so the prisoners do not get to mix. Most of those detained in the jail are terrorists, including shoe bomber Richard Reid, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, and Syed Fahad Hashmi, who supplied rain ponchos and socks to Al Qaeda.
10 Best Prepaid Debit Cards for Teens
The world around us is changing fast, and we struggle to keep up. Kids are growing up in a different world from previous generations. They’re taking on more responsibility than ever before. Savvy parents realize that helping their children to navigate the world around them includes teaching them about finances and how to manage money. Card companies are stepping up to the task by offering debit cards designed to be a tool for parents to teach their teens about budgeting, shopping wisely, and managing money. Which cards are the best, and what is available for teens?
What to look for in debit cards for teens?
Parents should compare the various teen debit cards to get the best deal on rates for most services. Prioritize safety and security, followed by ease of use and affordability. Avoid cards that are for adult use. Instead, choose debit cards made for teenagers and marketed to parents with a desire to give their kids a head start with this valuable life skill. There are dozens, but we’ve narrowed the list to the top ten that offer the safest and best services and safeguards for children in their teen years.
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10. Greenlight Debit Card
The Greenlight Debit Card is for parents and kids as a teaching and learning tool. Parents are in charge of setting controls. They receive real-time notifications for each purchase made by teens. The card allows instant money transfers to send funds to your teen’s accounts. Receive alerts when the card is used or declined. You set the limit on where young shoppers can use the card and how much they’re allowed to withdraw from ATMs. You set the limits. The Greenlight debit is a card that lets you track balances and view the history of account activity. It works with Apple Pay or Google Pay to make mobile payments. This option is a MasterCard with a custom Zero liability protection. You can use the app to turn the cards on or off. Unsafe spending categories are blocked. The card is FDIC insured for up to a quarter-million dollars, and 24/7 customer support is available. An additional safety feature uses logging in with touch or face ID to prevent funds theft if the card is lost or stolen.
GoHenry is a debit card that helps kids learn to manage money with games. It’s for children aged six through eighteen. The card is customizable with your choice of colors, patterns, and pictures, and it comes with interactive games dealing with money missions. Players win virtual badges. Parental controls let you set limits on how, when, and where cards get used. The card works at ATMs, in stores, or for online purchases. Parents have access to the spending history through the accompanying mobile app. You can try this card for 30-days free with recurring or with one-time use. It’s free from the risk of overdraft fees. The card helps kids and teens create savings goals for users and set weekly spending limits. On the downside, you can only load the card three times per day with a limit of $500 per day across all accounts registered to the parents.
8. The Copper Debit Card for Teens
The Copper Debit Card is free for parents and teens to use. Parents have access to controls to monitor the use of the card. It helps kids learn how to budget and manage money. The card is free from the risk of overdraft fees. There are no monthly charges or minimum balance requirements. The card works at Allpoint and Moneypass ATMs to withdraw cash without paying a fee. The Copper app comes with the card. It comes with financial quizzes and resources to teach kids about savings and spending habits. Kids also have access to help them earn extra cash by completing quizzes. Kids can set up integrated savings accounts for their long-term goals. The downside is that some businesses may charge a fee. The charges can be as high as $4.95. Find out before you make a purchase. Other than that, it’s one of the best cards for kids.
7. The BusyKid Debit Card
The BusyKid Debit Card is a prepaid Visa debit card that is good for kids in advanced financial learning modes. Teens can purchase real stocks with the card for a minimum of $10 per investment. It’s an investment card that costs $3.99 a month flat. It also lets kids receive automated allowance loads. It comes with chore assignments. The drawback to this card is that parents cannot limit which retailers kids use. ATM fees are $1.50 from the BusyKid provider plus the fees charged by the ATMs.
6. The FamZoo Debit Card
FamZoo is another popular debit card for kids. The card comes with an app that allows parents to pay a weekly allowance or pay kids as they complete a setlist of chores. It also comes with parental tracking to let you know where your kid is shopping. You can use it to buy mock stocks to help your child learn about investing. Your teen can use the app to request funding from you in real-time. They can get extra cash instantly. Each account gets split into three buckets for giving, spending, and saving to help them learn solid money management habits. The cost of the Famzoo debit card is $5.99 per month. You can try it for 30-days free.
5. Brinks Prepaid Mastercard
The Brinks Mastercard is a prepaid card associated with Republic Bank & Trust Company. Te debit card issues text message and email alerts when a payment or purchase occurs. The card is t’s accepted wherever Mastercard Debit cards are accepted. There is no credit needed and no risk of overdrafts or overdraft charges. You can customize the card with your teen’s name as an authorized user on your account.
4. PayPal Prepaid Mastercard
The PayPal Prepaid Mastercard allows your teen to earn cashback and take advantage of personalized offers for using the card. The card is through Bankcorp. It provides fast movement from your PayPal account to the prepaid card instantly. You can monitor the use of the card and view the spending history of older teens. No credit is needed because it’s a debit card. PayPal is one of the leading payment services providers. You can access the account via a mobile app or the internet.
3. NetSpend Prepaid Visa Card
Netspend is by MetaBank and is FDIC insured. You can use the card wherever Visa is accepted. There are no late fees, interest charges, or overdraft fees. The NetSpend Mobile app helps your teen to manage finances. You can receive email alerts and text messages to know what your teen is spending and where they’re making purchases. It’s a safe and secure debit card that charges monthly fees based on the account balance.
2. ServeAmerican Express Prepaid Debit Account
Older teens will appreciate learning about the American Express debit card management through the Serve debit card. You can check the balance and view recent transactions on the account as your child learns how to use the card to manage money, pay for purchases, and budget money. You can send money to the card to preload set amounts. The card gives you free cash withdrawals at MoneyPass ATMs, but it charges fees for other ATMs. There are no hidden fees and no credit needed. Your teen avoids monthly charges for the account when they arrange direct deposits from their jobs of $500 or more per statement period to help them learn responsible financial practices. The card is a full0service savings account that works ideally for teens via the mobile application to help set and meet spending and savings goals. The card is reloadable to add money to the account for a small fee.
1. Mango Prepaid Mastercard
The Mango card is one of the best debit cards for teens because it comes with a Mango Savings Account with a competitive interest yield. The card helps your teen understand the importance of maintaining a spending limit and improving financial literacy. It comes with a mobile application that links the card and savings account, giving your teen the tools to send and receive money. Funds instantly load to the card with no activation, monthly, or annual fees for use.
The Best Credit Cards for Priority Pass Lounge Access
Spending time at the airport terminus has never been pleasant. With the new (and ever-changing) health and safety requirements that have come into force since the pandemic, it’s become even more stressful than ever. If the thought of escaping the madness for a few minutes sound like bliss, there’s some good news. The resumption in travel has meant that airport lounges are back in business. The even better news is that providing you have the right piece of plastic in your wallet, you won’t have to pay to get in. With a Priority Pass credit card, you’ll enjoy access to over 1200 airport lounges worldwide with Priority Pass Select Membership. Here’s our pick of the 10 best credit cards for Priority Pass Lounge Access on the market.
10. Hilton Honors American Express Business Card
For a very reasonable annual fee of $95, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Card offers some very solid benefits. Cardholders receive complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide. Visits are capped at 10 per year, with each visit after that charged at $32. New cardholders will receive a welcome bonus of up to 130,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when they spend a minimum of $2,000 on purchases in the first three months of card membership, and a further 50,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points if they spend $10,000 in purchases in the first 6 months of card membership.
9. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card offers numerous perks, not least a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide. Cardholders are entitled to four free visits per year along with four free guest passes. On top of that, the card also offers a very generous $325 annual credit for eligible travel purchases. The only flipside is that you’ll already need to have an account with U.S. Bank to apply.
8. The Business Platinum Card from American Express
An annual fee of $595 isn’t to be taken lightly, but fortunately, the Business Platinum Card from American Express comes with enough perks to offset the cost. In addition to gaining complimentary Priority Pass Select membership with access to over 1,200 lounges worldwide for themselves and 2 guests, cardholders can also access Amex’s own Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs, Escape, Airspace, Plaza Premium, and certain Lufthansa lounges. Other perks include a very generous welcome bonus of 120,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee refund once every four years, Gold status with Hilton Honors and Gold Elite status with Marriott Bonvoy, along with numerous other benefits.
7. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
If you’re a frequent guest at Marriott Bonvoy who wants to combine hotel perks with travel benefits, you might want to consider the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card. In addition to receiving unlimited access Priority Pass Select membership for themselves and up to two guests, cardholders can also claim up to $300 in statement credits for all eligible purchases made on the card at participating hotels, along with up to $200 statement credits for eligible purchases at restaurants within the first 6 months of account opening.
6. Citi Prestige
Citi Prestige might not come with the travel protections it used to, but it’s still got a very healthy list of perks. In addition to offering cardholders unlimited Priority Pass lounge access for themselves and up to 2 guests, the card also comes with access to Priority Pass restaurants, along with a generous rewards program that offers 5x earnings on eligible restaurant purchases.
5. Mastercard Black Card
Frequent flyers are unlikely to find much to fault with the Mastercard Black Card. As well as offering access to over 1200 airport lounges worldwide, it also includes credits at select airport restaurants for the cardholder and one guest. Other benefits include an annual airline credit of up to $100 in statement credits that can be used towards flight-related purchases, up to $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre or Global entry, complimentary concierge service, and cell phone protection.
4. Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card
According to The Points Guy, the Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card is the best all-around Hilton card. In addition to receiving complimentary lounge access for themselves and up to 2 guests, cardholders will also qualify for automatic top-tier Diamond status, along with an annual free weekend night, up to $250 in statement credits for purchases at participating Hilton Resorts, and up to $250 in annual statement credits for airline incidentals. On top of that, they’ll receive up to $100 in credits for bookings made via HiltonHonors.com/aspirecard for a two-night-minimum stay at participating Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.
3. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card
As Forbes notes, the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card offers ten complimentary visits to lounges in the Priority Pass network each year. In addition, cardholders benefit from a complimentary Hilton Honors Gold status and a generous points program that rewards them with 12 Hilton Honors Bonus Points per dollar on eligible purchases at participating properties within the Hilton portfolio, 6 points per dollar on eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations, and 3 points per dollar for all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is a very reasonable $95.
2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
As theglobetrottingteacher.com says, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the most popular premium travel rewards credit cards on the market. The annual fee may be a hefty $550, but the benefits (which include Priority Pass lounge access at over 1200 airport lounges for the cardholder and 2 guests along with a $28 credit towards food and beverage purchases at airport terminal restaurants) are significant enough to offset the cost.
1. The Platinum Card from American Express
A $695 annual fee may sound daunting, but for frequent flyers at least, the fee pales in comparison to the plethora of benefits provided by the Platinum Card from American Express. Once enrolled, cardholders will gain access to lounges in 140 countries through the Global Lounge Collection and the Priority Pass network, along with American Express Centurion lounges. Cardholders flying Delta same-day can also access Delta SkyClub lounges. In addition, cardholders will receive a generous welcome bonus of 100,000 Membership Rewards Points if they spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first 6 months of card membership. After that, they’ll receive 10x points on eligible purchases made at restaurants worldwide and at Shop Small locations in the U.S., along with 5x points per dollar on flights, 5x points on hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases.