Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Notable Residents: n/a
Amenities: The irregular AIDS outbreak
During its peak, Carandiru was South America's largest prison, holding over 8,000 prisoners. It opened in 1920 in response to the demands of the 1890 criminal code, and was considered to be a model prison at the time. The São Paulo prison is, unfortunately, best remembered for the 1992 Carandiru massacre. The incident was sparked by inmate revolt, and police made little to no effort to negotiate with prisoners. Military police were eventually sent to the facility, as prison guards were unable to control the situation. One-hundred-and-eleven prisoners died that day, 102 of whom were shot by police, with the remaining nine victims succumbing to stab wounds presumably inflicted by other prisoners prior to police arriving. Surviving inmates claim that police opened fire on inmates who had surrendered, or were hiding inside of their cells. The incident is considered one of the worst civil rights violations in the history of Brazil, and the operation's commanding officer was sentenced to 632 years in jail for his horrendous mishandling of the situation, though his sentence was voided. He was assassinated in September of 2006.
The massacre led to the formation of Primeiro Comando da Capital (First Command of the Capital), a criminal organization that is assumed to be responsible for the death of the prison director at the time, José Ismael Pedrosa. The massacre inspired the 2003 films Carandiru, and the prison itself was used as the model for the prison where Prison Break protagonist Michael Scofield was incarcerated during the show's third season.
Carandiru was demolished in December of 2002.