San Marino’s Only Prisoner Is the ‘World’s Most Pampered and Bored’

A lonely man spends his days as the only inmate in the tiny Republic of San Marino’s prison.

The man, who is serving time for domestic violence charges, has all of the prison's facilities to himself. Photo: Pepolino78/Flickr

The 30-year-old criminal eats meals brought to him from a local restaurant as the officials decided it is not economical to lay on a canteen service for him alone.

He is allowed to use a gym, library and television room and occupies one of six cells which make up San Marino’s only jail, which is tucked into a wing of a former Capuchin monastery.

“The monastery lies on the flanks of a massive limestone outcrop which, together with a few miles of flat farmland and residential areas, makes up Europe’s third smallest state, after the Vatican and Monaco,” reports The Telegraph.

“As recently as 2009 the minute facility held 14 detainees, but now it boasts just one increasingly bored and lonely prisoner.”

However, the only human contact the man has is with his guards, along with occasional visits from lawyers and relatives. He can also go out for an hour each day as a break from what is effectively solitary confinement.

The man, whose name can’t be revealed because of privacy rules, still has eight months to serve of his sentence, having been convicted on a domestic violence charge.

Still, his lonely being will be reportedly ended in as one more inmate is expected to be incarcerated in the next few days.

San Marino has a population of about 30,000 and claims to have been an independent republic for the last 1,700 years, making it the world’s oldest.

By the way, Odee published a list of the most unusual prisons in the world. The list includes San Pedro prison which has 1500 residents. Once you enter the security gates, you’ll immediately forget where you are: there are children playing, market stalls, restaurants, hairdressers and even a hotel.

Which is more, the prison has no guards, no uniforms or metal bars on the cell windows. This relative freedom comes at a price: inmates have to pay for their cells, so most of them have to work inside the jail, selling groceries or working in the food stalls.

One more unique prison is Sark Prison located on the Island of Sark in Guernsey. It was built in 1856 and is apparently the smallest in the world. It can house 2 prisoners at a push and is still used for overnight stays – if you continue to play up after that you’ll get shipped off to a proper grown-up jail with corridors and staff.

Aranjuez Prison situated in Spain is considered to be the only prison with cosy family cells. Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, a playground for toddlers. The idea is for kids to bond with their imprisoned parents while young enough to be oblivious to their surroundings, and for inmates seeking rehabilitation to learn parenting skills.

Bastoey Island low security prison in Norway is the first ecological prison. Although the idea of such prisons isn’t widespread, a small island tucked away in Norway has managed to bring the fresh green change at the Bastoey prison.

The Bastoey Island low security prison uses solar panels for energy, produces most of its own food, recycles everything it can and tries to reduce its carbon footprint. The solar panels have cut the prison’s electricity needs by up to 70 percent. Check out the rest of the list here.

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