The BEST Episodes of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2021

Network: Netflix

Paul Connolly goes behind the bars of some of the World's most notorious prisons (the first season ran on Channel 5 UK originally before Netflix has bought up the format).

Paraguay: The Most  Dangerous Prison on Earth

#1 - Paraguay: The Most Dangerous Prison on Earth

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 29, 2020

Raphael Rowe spends a week behind bars at Tacumbu prison in Paraguay, where inmates scrounge in the trash in order to pay their own way.

star 7.70
33 votes
Lesotho: Confronting Sexual Violence

#2 - Lesotho: Confronting Sexual Violence

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Jul 29, 2020

An unnerved Rowe contends with aggressive cellmates at Maseru prison, where a high number of inmates are behind bars for rape.

star 7.67
24 votes
Norway: The Perfect Prison?

#3 - Norway: The Perfect Prison?

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Dec 14, 2018

Many prisons aim to punish and demean inmates. Norway's Halden Prison -- as Raphael Rowe is about to see for himself -- does things differently.

star 7.58
26 votes
Mauritius: The Extreme Punishment Prison

#4 - Mauritius: The Extreme Punishment Prison

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 29, 2020

The tropical Island of Mauritius is home to Melrose maximum security prison, where even the smallest infraction is met with extreme punishment.

star 7.46
26 votes
South Africa: The Number Gangs Prison

#5 - South Africa: The Number Gangs Prison

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 8, 2021

At Brandvlei Correctional Centre in South Africa, nearly all the convicts belong to dangerous gangs known for lethal stabbings.

star 7.41
22 votes
Colombia: Narco Prison

#6 - Colombia: Narco Prison

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 14, 2018

While spending a week inside Bogotá's fortress-like prison, Raphael Rowe must negotiate the oppressive atmosphere and deal with an ominous threat.

star 7.29
24 votes
Costa Rica: Prison on a Knife-Edge

#7 - Costa Rica: Prison on a Knife-Edge

Season 3 - Episode 1 - Aired Dec 14, 2018

Though he's no stranger to life behind bars, Raphael Rowe concedes that Costa Rica's La Reforma Prison is certainly among the most intimidating.

star 7.29
21 votes
Romania: Gypsy Prison

#8 - Romania: Gypsy Prison

Season 3 - Episode 3 - Aired Dec 14, 2018

Raphael Rowe spends a week at a maximum security prison in Craiova, Romania, where the inmates include rapists, murderers and contract killers.

star 7.26
23 votes
Greenland: Prison in the Ice

#9 - Greenland: Prison in the Ice

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 8, 2021

Greenland’s Nuuk maximum security prison houses extremely dangerous prisoners, many of whom grew up alongside the guards now watching over them.

star 7.21
19 votes
Papua New Guinea: The Breakout Prison

#10 - Papua New Guinea: The Breakout Prison

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jul 6, 2018

Raphael Rowe visits the short-staffed Bomana Prison in Papua New Guinea, where near-constant food shortages keep the facility on the brink of chaos.

star 7.15
27 votes

#11 - Philippines

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Feb 18, 2016

Paul spends time in the Rizal City Jail, known for being both overcrowded and housing impoverished prisoners. Here he shares a cell with a murderer and a rapist. He also explores how the Bahala Na gang rules a prison in the country.

star 7.12
43 votes
Germany: The Therapy  Prison

#12 - Germany: The Therapy Prison

Season 4 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 29, 2020

Schwalmstadt, a 12th-century fortress surrounded by a moat, houses some of Germany's worst offenders, many of whom attend intense therapy sessions.

star 7.08
25 votes

#13 - Mexico

Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Feb 25, 2016

In a television first, crime journalist Paul Connolly is granted access to El Hongo maximum security prison, one of Mexico's toughest jails from where no-one has ever escaped. Isolated in the barren Baja desert of northern Mexico, El Hongo is a concrete fortress of discipline and punishment designed to contain and control over a thousand inmates including hardened cartel gangsters.

star 7.05
38 votes
Philippines: The War on Drugs Prison

#14 - Philippines: The War on Drugs Prison

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 8, 2021

Once again, Raphael Rowe volunteers to go behind bars, this time in the Philippines at Manila City Jail, one of the world’s most overcrowded prisons.

star 7.05
20 votes
Brazil: The Gang Prison

#15 - Brazil: The Gang Prison

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 6, 2018

Investigative journalist Raphael Rowe spends a few days -- both as a guard and a prisoner -- inside Brazil's gang-filled Porto Velho Penitentiary.

star 7.00
42 votes

#16 - Poland

Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Feb 11, 2016

Paul serves time in the purpose-built prison in Poland, that was built to hold the worst criminals of the worst. Here he meets a notorious gangland killer and learns how a zero tolerance regime wiped out a prison gang.

star 6.96
49 votes
Ukraine: The Prison in a War Zone

#17 - Ukraine: The Prison in a War Zone

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jul 6, 2018

Ukraine's Zhytomyr Prison is operated with a skeleton crew that allows prisoners to freely roam the grounds -- often with potentially dangerous weapons.

star 6.91
34 votes
Belize: The Prison That Found God

#18 - Belize: The Prison That Found God

Season 2 - Episode 4 - Aired Jul 6, 2018

In Belize Central Prison, the inmates are told that rehabilitation comes through God. Raphael Rowe investigates if this evangelical approach works.

star 6.76
25 votes

#19 - Honduras

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 4, 2016

Paul Connolly heads to Honduras, the murder capital of the world, to spend a week living as a prisoner inside one of the most dangerous prisons - Danli Prison.

star 6.72
57 votes