San Pedro Prison – Bolivia’s Most Bizarre Tourist Attraction

San Pedro Prison is the largest in La Paz, Bolivia, housing  around 1,500 inmates,  but that’s not what makes it special. Unlike  most penitentiaries around the world, this place is a self-organized  community with its own market stalls, restaurants, hairdressers and even a  hotel. Oh, and no guards.

You’ve probably heard of or seen special prisons before. A few months ago we  wrote an article on Norway’s Bastoy Island, where prisoners have hotel-like accommodations,  are allowed to walk around freely and engage in a variety of relaxing  activities. Today we take you on a tour of San Pedro, in La Paz, Bolivia, a sort of jail town  where prisoners are free to live with their families and buy whatever they want  without fearing repercussions from the guards. In fact there are no guards  inside the large prison, or bars on the cell windows, so inmates have the  relative freedom of going wherever they please. The police don’t interfere with  the affairs of the inmates, who are expected to resolve their own issues with  the help of representatives elected democratically.

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