Top 10 Largest Prisons in the World: Capacity and Population

Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

6. LA County Jail 🇺🇸

LA County Jail, situated in Los Angeles, California, is one of the largest jails in the United States. With a capacity of approximately 17,000 inmates, it is known for its size and complex structure. LA County Jail houses both male and female inmates.

7. São Paulo Penitentiary 🇧🇷

Located in São Paulo, Brazil, São Paulo Penitentiary is one of the largest prisons in South America. It has a capacity of around 7,000 prisoners. The prison has faced issues with overcrowding, leading to concerns about the well-being and safety of the inmates.

8. Metropolitan Detention Center 🇺🇸

The Metropolitan Detention Center, located in Brooklyn, New York, is a federal jail operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It has a capacity of approximately 1,600 inmates and houses individuals awaiting trial or serving short-term sentences. The facility has faced criticism for its conditions and treatment of inmates.

9. Alcatraz Island 🇺🇸

Although no longer in operation, Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California, is one of the most famous prisons in the world. It had a capacity of around 300 inmates and was known for holding some of the most dangerous criminals. Alcatraz is now a popular tourist attraction.

10. San Quentin State Prison 🇺🇸

San Quentin State Prison, located in California, is the oldest prison in the state. With a capacity of over 3,000 inmates, it houses male offenders and serves as California’s only death row for male inmates. San Quentin State Prison offers various rehabilitation programs for its inmates.


These top 10 largest prisons in the world highlight the significant role that correctional facilities play in society. While some focus on rehabilitation and vocational programs, others have faced controversies regarding human rights and overcrowding. Each prison has its own unique characteristics and challenges, making them important institutions within the criminal justice system.

Abu Sayed

Abu Sayed

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