When most people think of jail or prison, they think of a small cell with less than desirable living conditions. The TV’s may be stuck on the same televangelist channel for 24 hours per day, the food may be a little too ripe, and of course there are the conditions where people are in their cell for 23 hours a day. That’s definitely not the case at the Justice Center Leoben, which may just be the most luxurious jail in the world. Not that I want to visit anytime soon.
Located in Leoben, Austria this jailhouse was designed by world-renowned architect, Jospeh Hohensinn. The building was completed in 2004. One of the nice things about this jail is that it doesn’t allow for overcrowding. It is able to fit 205 inmates at the absolute maximum.
This looks more like a convention center, than a jail from the outside. On the outside of the building, along the jail’s perimeter are two quotes. They are, “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” The other says, “All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.” The first quote is from The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Most jails and prison look like cement eyesores from the outside, but this one is seriously beautiful. Granted they do boast they have floor to ceiling windows allowing inmates to see the outdoors. The windows also open up to balconies on some of the floors.
There are three courtyards and outdoor communal areas that are enclosed by bars.
If you’re going to be in jail, this doesn’t seem like a bad place to be.
This place is much nicer than any public school I ever attended. And it has more amenities it seems!
The prisoners can play ping pong in the courtyard.
Inmates are allowed to move around as they please through their cells, and also shared spaces. Each inmate has their own bathroom and kitchen area.
In America, this jail has received a lot of negative attention, more along the lines of get-a-load-of-this. But in Europe, this jail design has become more of a model. There are plans to build a prison similar to this on the outskirts of Berlin as well.
Inmates are also allowed more free time at the Justice Center Leoben where they can exercise, cook dinner using metal utensils, and also wear their own clothes. This does help cut down on the dollars being used to support the jail and the inmates inside.
A lot of people think this is more of a white-collar prison, but it houses inmates that are simply waiting for trial all the way up to extreme violent offenders.
The jail wasn’t designed just to look nice from the outside and to provide luxury for criminals. They consider it a rehabilitation center that aims to make inmates feel comfortable while they are in a nurturing environment where they have time to think about the crimes committed. They hope it will inspire the them to live better lives once they are released back into the general public of society.
Watch the video below for an in-depth tour of this luxurious jail:
What do you think of this prison? Is it giving inmates too much luxury, or do you think the idea of it being a rehabilitation center is believable?
Let us know in the comments below.