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The Alcatraz

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Maybe you can get out on good behavior.

"In 1988, the crime rate in the United States rises four hundred percent. The once-great city of New York becomes the one maximum security prison for the entire country. A fifty-foot containment wall is erected along the New Jersey shoreline, across the Harlem River, and down along the Brooklyn shoreline. It completely surrounds Manhattan Island. All bridges and waterways are mined. The United States Police Force, like an army, is encamped around the island. There are no guards inside the prison, only prisoners and the worlds they have made. The rules are simple: Once you go in, you don't come out."

If you're looking for the 2012 TV series, it's here. If you're looking for the 2007-2016 book series, it's here.

LISTEN UP, convicts! Welcome to The Alcatraz, the prison where you'll spend the rest of your miserable lives. You might know us by our menacing nickname, "The Rock". And I'm Warden Evil, but you WILL call me "Sir".

I'm sure you've heard of this place. We're on an island surrounded by shark-infested boiling acid. There are watchtowers every twenty feet and more Mook guards than you've had warm meals. The walls are made of titanium, and if we see something approaching by sky, a fighter jet squadron will arrive in ten minutes. The only way off this spit of land is a narrow bridge with explosives rigged so we can destroy it at a moment's notice. We've got a perfect zero-escape record here, and we're not going to lose it. So don't even think about trying to bust out, you disgusting swine, or you'll end up a blackened skull. I don't know what heinous crimes you committed... or maybe you were wrongfully convicted by some Kangaroo Court... BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER NOW! You're all filth in my eyes, and there's no hope for any of you.

Well, except for you, Mr. Protagonist and your Ragtag Bunch of Misfits. I'm sure a combination of blind luck, poorly-guarded air vents, the stupidity of my own men, and Deus Ex Machinas will be enough to let you pull off a Great Escape and continue on your quest. It's almost inevitable, whether you're escaping yourself or getting someone else out. No one's ever outsmarted us before, so of course you'll be the ones to do it. Well, enjoy your time here, you scum. God knows it won't be long, one way or the other. Now, guards! Take 'em to their cells and let 'em rot!

What? Who says we're Tempting Fate? Wha— all right, there was one guy years ago, but he became a Living Legend for escaping, and we've tripled the security since. You ain't half the man he was, and on top of that, no one ever saw him again. All he escaped into was Hell! (Evil Laugh)

Oh, and just so you know — this ain't no Cardboard Prison. Folks've been breaking out of that one for years now. Sometimes we make special precautions for an especially bad inmate: a Tailor-Made Prison for some magical freak's Achilles' Heel, or a Room 101 for when someone needs Cold-Blooded Torture in order to behave. We can be really nasty if we want to be. Ain't nobody gonna remember you now. Might as well go to a happy place, scum.

Super-Trope to Deadly Environment Prison. Compare Prison Ship and Penal Colony. Contrast "Inescapable" Prison Easily Escaped.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Hinohara and Kotoha from Arata: The Legend are sent to Gatoya for the crime that Arata was framed for. It's a bleak, rocky island nicknamed "Hell at the End of the World".
  • The Baccano! Light Novels go the extra mile and use the Alcatraz as the setting of the "Alice in Jails" arc.
  • Bleach:
    • The Nest of Maggots, a prison where Shinigami who are deemed too dangerous to be free are imprisoned. No weapons are allowed, so all personnel are required to have sufficient hand-to-hand abilities to subdue any prisoner. Most prisoners are allowed to walk freely through the main chamber, while a rare few like Kurotsuchi Mayuri are considered dangerous enough, armed or not, to warrant chaining them in private cells.
    • There's also the Central Great Underground Prison, located beneath the First Division barracks. It is comprised of eight levels, and lawbreakers can be given sentences of varying length in different levels depending on the severity of their crimes (and the mood of Central 46). Case in point, Aizen is sentenced to 18,800 years in Muken, a pitch-black void located in the lowest level that is completely sealed from the outside world and that is apparently meant for the express purpose of containing people that can't be killed or executed, after his defeat at the hands of Ichigo. After he mocks Central 46, finding the very idea of them sentencing him "comical", his sentence is raised to 20,000 years, and his entire body and all of his senses are sealed and restrained.
  • In Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo, there's Cyber City. Ruled by Giga and the 6 Cyber Knights who runs many tortures for prisoners who tried to rebel against the Bald Empire.
  • Cross Ange: Arzenal Island is this to the Mana-resistant Normas that are dragged away from their families to be conscripted into the military. The Normas can live moderately comfortable lives, but only if they fulfill their duties in piloting Paramails to fight the DRAGONs invading their world. Ange, the main character, spends a good deal at Arzenal fighting DRAGONs, getting into tiffs with her fellow Paramail pilots, and occasionally getting thrown in a cell for insubordination or other reasons.
  • The titular Deadman Wonderland is Japan's only privately-owned correctional facility. Setting aside for a moment how insane that premise is, the place is really damn hard to escape. First of all, anyone who's on death row isn't executed on a particular day. Rather, they're fitted with collars that slowly inject a poison that will kill them after 3 days if they don't get the antidote regularly. So, most convicts can't even think about escape so much as survival, and escape is still forced away by death-traps and extremely bloodthirsty guards. Things are even worse if you're found to be a Deadman. If that's the case, they lock you in a hidden cell block that most people don't know exists, and keep you under surveillance by robots and extremely bloodthirsty guards with weapons that cancel your powers. A massive escape attempt midway through the series doesn't really have any illusions about getting any more than one person out. The point is to get info about the place's insanity to be seen by the government.
  • Deca-Dence features the Solid Quake Corporation's "Bug" Rehabilitation Facility. It is a Hell Hole Prison where escape is all but impossible as it's built in the bottom of a lake where the atmospheric pressure is so great you'll be crushed instantly without a proper vehicle. And if that doesn't get you, the monsters the management are actively breeding in the water certainly will.
  • The research facility in Elfen Lied is a maximum security prison with extreme lockdown measures to ensure that the Diclonius kept there are not able to escape. Of course, the opening scene in the anime's very first episode immediately deals with one.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean has Green Dolphin Street Prison, also known as "The Aquarium" due to being built on an island off of Florida. Its offshore location keeps prisoners from escaping without aquatic transport, and many guards patrol the place to keep prisoners in their place, including head of security Miuccia Miuller, whose Stand, Jailhouse Lock, is able to prevent even other Stand Users from escaping the prison. The prison also houses the Ultra Security House Unit, where exceptionally violent prisoners are housed, being kept on one meal and one shower a day, as well as having the majority of their privileges removed.
  • Although it hasn't been shown, Big Lock from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple certainly qualifies. The description itself is not all that intimidating; "A prison for Master-level martial artists." Except that in this universe, "Master-level martial artists" are people who can run across water, move faster than the eye can see, make fissures by punching the ground, knock out Muggles with only a Death Glare, destroy tanks bare handed and punch holes in the hull of a battleship. And Big Lock can hold these people reliably enough that the good guys feel perfectly safe sending them off to there. Yowza. Then we find out that Master-level martial artists can easily break out. The only reason they don't is because they are following their code of honor that dictates that the defeated must honor the victors' wishes. That is the real reason the good guys feel safe.
  • Seventh Heaven in King of Bandit Jing. Otherwise completely normal, if very heavily guarded, part of its impregnability is unintentional: One of its inmates is a Reality Warper who has turned a part of the prison into his private sphere of influence, where anyone who enters is at his mercy.
  • Lupin III: The real life Trope Namer appears in the anime film Lupin III: Alcatraz Connection where it plays an important role in the story.
    • Lupin III: Dead or Alive has the jail for Zufu, which boasts that are only two ways out. Death by natural causes, and death by execution. To prove that, they annually select prisoners and give them a Win Your Freedom challenge, playing the prey while the guards try to kill them.
    • An episode from Lupin III: Part II featured an unusual prison that would send killer "Iron Lizards" (basically bombs with wheels) after anyone who tried to escape. The "Lizards" are practically unstoppable, so even the fastest runner will tire eventually and be blown up by them.
  • The setting of Mazinkaiser SKL is an island prison where three armies (well, really only two—Aira's Octagon faction is a peaceful Crystal Spires and Togas Amazon Brigade land implied to be the leftovers of a third, more violent faction) are kept contained by a gravity field. The Octagon, the Mad Max-esque Kiba faction and the feudal Galan faction all have a component of the field's generator. Unfortunately, the field is about to break and destroy the world...
  • The Russian prison in Mobile Fighter G Gundam was directly patterned off of a paper model that the director bought at Alcatraz's gift shop when he visited on vacation. This particular one is in the middle of a lake in Siberia, surrounded by frozen tundra and Russian soldiers, and has kept dozens of Gundam fighters caged for years. But they'd never tried to hold anyone as Hot-Blooded as Domon before.
  • My Hero Academia has Tartarus, a prison designed to contain supervillains. It has a rather impressive track record, considering that this is a world without any conveniently available Power Nullifier, but it certainly violates a long list of human rights and Geneva conventions. Its most high-profile prisoner, All For One, is kept immobilized with his brainwaves and heart rate monitored at all times. His cell is bare, except for the guns that will automatically kill him if his heart rate ever increases or he so much as considers escaping. All For One admits that even he couldn't break in or out of here on his own. So he stages a simultaneous and coordinated mass-break out and break-in thanks to his Psychic Link with Shigaraki after transferring the All for One power to him, launching the latter with Shigaraki and the Near High-Ends to distract the guards into forcing a lockdown before cutting the power and then releasing his main body and all the high-profile criminals to run amuck inside the prison to enact the former. The result is as swift as it is brutal.
  • Naruto: The titular "Blood Prison" of the eighth film is the ultimate criminal containment facility around. All prisoners are branded with a cursed seal that inflicts intense pain if they attempt to use ninjutsu, and outright incinerates them if they somehow manage to leave the building.
  • One Piece: Impel Down seen above as the page picture. It probably takes the cake as the worst prison in fiction. The only exit is also the entrance, as it is surrounded entirely by water. Even if a prisoner were to somehow escape, they would be stuck since many inmates have eaten Devil Fruits, which gives people superpowers but also robs them of the ability to swim. Even if you were able to swim, you would end up being eaten because the waters surrounding the prison are infested with Sea Monsters and Sea Kings. Even if you could somehow beat the sea creatures trying to eat you, Impel Down is in the middle of the ocean and the nearest island (if there are any nearby islands) is most likely hundreds if not thousands of miles away. The only realistic way to escape would be to steal a ship and somehow navigate past the fleet of battleships protecting the prison while also making it through the Gate of Justice before the prison staff closes it, assuming it's even open in the first place. Even if you manage to do that, the water currents past the Gate of Justice only leads to two locations, the Government Island of Enies Lobby and the Military base at Marineford. And even then, that's only if they open the respective Gate of Justice leading to the location, otherwise, you will be stuck riding the current forever. It has six levels, each progressively worse than the last to house progressively dangerous criminals and is filled with things just waiting to kill the unlucky prisoners.
    • Level 1 is mostly a normal floor, though the highlight of Level 1 is the "Crimson Hell," a forest within the prison made up entirely of bladed "saber trees" and "needle grass." Prisoners are forced into it, being cut up at every turn and every step, giving the forest its trademark red color, all the while being chased by poisonous insects and Ax-Crazy prison guards. To add to the sadism the only way out is a pit located within the Crimson Hell, which leads to Level 2. This was where Buggy was kept until the mass-escape, and it wasn't so bad for him, because he simply couldn't be hurt by the hazards here due to his Devil's Fruit power; for some reason, the guards never noticed that.
    • Level 2 is the "Wild Beast Hell", where the cells are kept unlocked but the halls are patrolled by ravenous creatures that feed off the prisoners kept within if they don't stay in their cells. Such creatures include manticores, basilisks, and a sphinx as the boss. Dozens of prisoners are packed in somewhat small cells, so their only choices are to be killed by disease or be hunted.
    • Level 3 features "Starvation Hell", a vast, dry, perpetually hot desert. The prisoners here are kept floating in-between life and death with barely any water or food. There are corpses lining some of the cells, left to turn into dust (which is probably where all the sand came from).
    • Level 4, the "Blazing Hell", is even hotter than Level 3 (in fact, it's the heat from this level that keeps the above one hot), as a gigantic "Lake of Blood" is kept boiling hot at all times, which prisoners are dropped into regularly. Other prisoners are used to keep wood on the fire at all times, where they face the risk of getting into a fight and being thrown into the "Lake" or their flesh searing off form the extreme heat.
    • Level 5, the "Freezing Hell", is the polar opposite of the previous level, with below freezing temperatures and wolves that are so vicious, they actually preyed upon Level 2's beasts when they were initially introduced there, forcing their relocation. The prisoners kept here have given up on escape and rebellion completely, as they all stay locked in their freezing cells waiting to die.
      • Level 5.5: Newkama Land: Unknown to even the Warden and his staff, there is a hidden "Paradise" level, tunneled out by a former prisoner and connected via secret passages. Prisoners lucky enough to be invited can live in relative luxury and safety, supplied by stealing from the rest of the complex. Prior to Luffy's infiltration, it is ruled by Emporio Ivankov, who has the ability to, among other things, gender bend people. As of the Time Skip, Ivankov and the bulk of the prisoners he had recruited have returned to his homeland, and Straw Hats ally Bentham, better known as former Baroque Works agent Mr. 2 Bon Kurei, has taken over.
    • The generally unknown Level 6, the "Eternal Hell". Every (non-political) prisoner within is either a Lifer or on Death Row who caused incidents so serious the World Government sought to erase them from history. Among its inmates are Shilew (mentioned below), a former Arc Villain Crocodile, and the target of Luffy's intrusion into the place: Portgas D. Ace. Aside from the perpetual abandonment from the world, nothing else actually goes on here, mainly because you can't do much to such badasses.
    • To make this even worse, criminals go through a ritual when they first arrive where they're bathed in boiling water, which disinfects them and renders them completely free of germs and other microorganisms. (This is called "baptizing" by the guys who are in charge, likely a sick idea of a joke.) Luffy is the only inmate known to escape this, as he was an intruder who had been poisoned and was not expected to survive longer than twenty-four hours. (Note that while the ritual is known to be agonizing, there are stories of incredibly tough inmates like Portgas D. Ace, Jimbei, and Crocodile, who were able to withstand it without even flinching.)
    • There's also the people running the place. There is Sadi-chan, a chick with a dominatrix feel who commands the Four Demon Guards (highly powered Zoans); Saldeath, who commands the Blugori (giant mooks who hunt sea kings); Hannyabal, The Determinator Vice-Warden strong enough to brave all of the above tortures in only a loincloth; and Magellan, the Chief Warden, and one of the most powerful people in the World Government's employ. He can cover himself in poison to block direct attacks, cover a prison level in poison strong enough to melt stone, and create poisonous gas and other attacks. There was once also the swordsman Shiryu, the former Head Jailer, Magellan's Ax-Crazy near-equal, before he himself was confined to Level 6.
    • To highlight just how bad this prison is, one need only look at the two successful attempts to escape it. The only self-escapee had to cut off his feet and use his rare power of flight to escape. Luffy's break-in and escape with 241 other prisoners was only possible because of the Head Jailer position being vacant at that particular moment, the assistance and chaos of the entire populations of Levels 5, 5.5, and 6, Buggy, Mr. 3, and the timely intervention of the Blackbeard Pirates, one of the strongest crews in the world. It would later be revealed that there was a third escapee that was never discovered. One of the Commanders of the Revolutionary Army, Morley, who has a Devil Fruit ability that allows him to push through rock like soft clay; which is what he used to burrow out under the sea floor and was how he helped create Level 5.5.
  • There was once an inescapable prison planet with high gravity in Outlaw Star. Naturally, it was only inescapable until Gene got involved. The fact that nobody had ever escaped is helped by the fact that the gravity has disastrous effects on the prisoners' health; nobody's ever served out their sentence because they all get heart attacks eventually.
  • Mega Unit, from Rave Master is said to be one of these. Unfortunately, it's never mentioned until Big Bad Lucia makes his entrance by breaking through its several yard thick solid steel walls with his bare hands and slaughtering all the guards, which gives it more of a Cardboard Prison feel.
  • Reborn! (2004) has the Vindicare Prison. A place where those who break The Mafia law, are kept in a comatose state in liquid People Jars for eternity. Only known people to escape are Mukuro and his group. However, it is shown that someone on the outside can negotiate someone out through a deal.
  • Toriko:
    • Sky Prison, the Undersea Prison and, the biggest, Honey Prison. Only Honey Prison has been shown in detail. Do not let the name fool you, Honey Prison is a nightmare, very reminiscent of the aforementioned Impel Down. Among other things, the prison lies above a forest of vicious monsters that will destroy anything that moves, "Execution Beasts" guard the inside, all of whom are controlled by the warden, and prisoners are served food with their favorite parts of them removed (See below - Note that Toriko is a series about food and gourmet hunters). That's the first level. The other levels get progressively worse, with the final few levels being execution zones.
    • The First Level is the Appetizer course. As described, the Appetizer course is all about having the parts of one's favorite foods taken from them. Not too bad, right? WRONG. The "punishment" isn't just limited to the way the food is prepared; the prisoners themselves may be physically altered so that they cannot enjoy their favorite parts. For example, a man with a sweet tooth may have his brain rewired so that he cannot taste "sweet" flavors, while a marijuana addict may have the pleasure center of his brain numbed so that, even if he ingests the drug, he cannot derive its traditional effects (in turn leading to his going through withdrawals). Even by real world standards, that's pretty hellish treatment; in fact, it would fall squarely in the area of Cruel and Unusualnote . And that's just the Appetizer.
    • The rest of the prison's "Full Course Menu" follows: the Second Level aka Soup Course involves edible, yet disgustingly smelly and bad tasting food, after that comes physical harm. With Fish, comes actual starvation, with the Meat dish, dehydration. People hardy enough to stand all that are then kept in Solitary Confinement with the Main Course, but then comes the Salads, Desserts, and Drinks. Respectively, those lead to being sliced up by knives, boiled alive, then finally seared with flame, before they drop your carcass over into the Death Season Forest, home to razor sharp trees and grass where the Shrike would feel at home. None of this is without the regular executions like quartering.
  • The moon of planet Micro in Transformers Victory. Almost the entire surface is covered in lava. On one of the few landmasses is an energy production plant, crewed by Decepticons who are given just enough energy to function, and are in constant danger of falling into a lava flow and melting.
  • The anime of Wild ARMs opens in a prison that set on a piece of rock that floats around on its own gravity above a bottomless chasm. The only way to get in or out is to either have flight transportation or wait a year till the rock passes the only bridge off it.

    Comic Books 
  • The "High Rock" from the 2000 AD serial Harry 20 on the High Rock, which added to its inescapability by being in orbit.
  • DC Universe examples:
    • The Slab in The DCU. How secure was it? It was designed by Shiloh Norman, the greatest escape artist in history, to be escape-proof. This man escaped from a black hole, but specifically designed the Slab to be too much even for him. The Joker organized a mass breakout in the Joker's Last Laugh event.
    • In The Dark Knight Strikes Again, the Atom is forcibly shrunken and kept in one of his own petri dishes, where he must constantly fight for survival against bacteria that are the relative size of dinosaurs.
    • Meanwhile in Teen Titans, they have re-opened the original Alcatraz, which is right next door to the Titans, so they can keep an eye on it. Unlike its namesake and like every other prison in The DCU, it is a Cardboard Prison.
    • Wonder Woman:
      • Wonder Woman (1942): In the Golden Age Reformation Island was almost entirely inescapable, and under warden Mala quite successful at reforming villains. The only successful escape attempt occurred when Eviless faked death while being brought in and was therefore never actually processed as a prisoner, then she got up from where her body was lain, went and freed some prisoners and formed Villainy, Inc. to try and take over Paradise Island. The other prisoners fought them for attacking Mala and the queen and drove them off.
      • Wonder Woman (1987): The Amazons are much better at holding on to their prisoners than most in the DCU. They guarded Doom's Doorway successfully for thousands of years, and later had a floating island prison in the same sub-dimension as their own island that no one escaped from until Hera destroyed the enchantments on the place and knocked it into the ocean in a fit of jealous rage at Zeus.
    • The Phantom Zone from the Superman comics keeps prisoners in a ghost-like state in another dimension. It is so secure it survived the destruction of Krypton.
    • The Source Wall, a barrier that separates the universe from the Source, may as well be this. It is theoretically possible to pass through it and into the Source, a godlike cosmic essence or being that is the "source" of all that exists, but anyone who fails to do so is absorbed into it and irrevocably trapped forever. It is possible to be rescued from it, however; Darkseid seems able to rescue a prisoner from it, and was himself rescued by an alternate version of himself due to a deal they made. Batman was once able to rescue Superman using the Highfather's staff. It is rare, however, for the Wall to be intentionally used as a prison (except maybe by the Source itself); one time it was occurred when the Teen Titans trapped Superboy-Prime there after his return as it was the only type of prison they hadn't yet tried to contain him with.
    • Belle Reve Prison is a special max security prison, with a secret purpose of being the secret headquarters for the Suicide Squad.
      • Unlike most examples, it has the reputation of a Cardboard Prison, but is usually quite secure, with staged breakouts as a cover story for Squad missions.
    • The Flash brings Iron Heights Penitentiary, which the warden tends to run as a hell on earth.
    • Peña Dura, the birthplace of Batman foe Bane.
    • In an interesting variant of The Lopsided Arm of the Law, even the flimsiest Cardboard Prison can turn into one of these if it's The Hero getting locked up. The Batman storyline "The Last Arkham", for instance, has Batman being committed as part of a sting operation and facing a litany of guards and high-tech security measures that, for once, work perfectly and bring him to his absolute limit.
  • Diabolik has Asen, a supposedly unescapable prison mentioned in the first story as part of Diabolik's records: he was the first and only person who had ever broke out from there. A later story shows how Diabolik did it: he had been arrested while wearing one of his perfect masks before people knew of them, so when two guards arrived to 'soften' him up a little Diabolik beat up and killed the guards, disfigured the one looking vaguely alike his mask, stole his uniform and walked out maskless.
    • After his second arrest and the consequent trial with him swapping place with a drugged Jerkass Victim guy masked as him one hour before being executed, every time Diabolik is arrested he's kept in cells made only to prevent him from breaking out or Eva from breaking him out. He still breaks out every time, to the point that in one occasion two guards shot him as soon as they found out their prisoner was a masked Diabolik (he had broken out five minutes earlier).
    • The series also has a women's prison that actually is unescapable: the Swamp Prison, an extremely well-staffed jail surrounded by a swamp with a railway as the only way in or out. When Eva was imprisoned there, Diabolik had to resort to cause a cholera outbreak (Eva was inoculated against it) in it to get it evacuated and take her from the train, as he couldn't find a way to break in and take her out.
  • The G.I. Joe (Devil's Due) series has the Coffin, a maximum-security prison located in Greenland. While the villains did attempt a jailbreak here, it failed, making the Coffin one of the few prisons to truly deserve this Trope.
  • Idées Noires: Three gags feature a man trying to escape from an impossibly-to-escape prison.
  • Prison Barek in Les Légendaires seems to be this.
  • Lucky Luke: The actual Alcatraz shows up in the eponymous Rantanplan story. In addition to being on an island surrounded by sharks, the high-security wing also features multiple locks, a changing password and an alligator moat. The entire thing is run by a disciplinarian known only as Herr Direktor, who describes his management style as "an iron fist in a horsehair glove". A prisoner manages to escape anyway thanks to Rantanplan being sent there.
  • Marvel Universe examples:
    • The Vault was the first superprison designed to hold super-powered inmates. It didn't exactly live up to its reputation.
    • A second superprison was created in the Negative Zone dimension by Mr. Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, though it turned out that he was tricked into doing so as part of a plan by the Mad Thinker. Later, another prison was again built in the Zone, this time to hold the arrested superheroes during the Civil War (2006) series; no reference is made to the previous one there (or the problems it faced.)
    • There was also the Big House, where villains were shrunk down to action figure size so that even if they did escape, what harm could they do? Diabolical Mastermind the Mad Thinker organized a mass breakout, but the indication is given that nobody below his nearly superhuman level of intelligence could've done the same.
    • Marvel also has the Raft, which was introduced way back in New Avengers #1... where it was the site of a mass breakout. That's got to be some kind of record.
    • The Cube is a SHIELD prison that specialises in holding dangerous alien prisoners. The Kree agent Marvel Boy was held there and eventually took the prison over and started trying to rehabilitate the other prisoners, but a Skrull computer virus ended up causing havoc with the security systems and precipitated a mass breakout. Eventually Norman Osborn took over SHIELD and decided to use the Cube as his new headquarters.
    • Maybe the best example in Marvel is The Kyln. The worst, death sentence only prisoners? Check. Inescapable location at the centre of the universe? Check. No guards because nano-bots will kill you the second you step out of line? Check. And finally, secret pods at the centre of the facility to store beings of supreme power? You bet.
    • The X-Brig is Utopia's prison for superhumans, and it's rather secure, with a pretty good record; it has successfully held both Magik and Juggernaut-powered Colossus (although both were, for the most part, willing prisoners) Legion (after he killed the Elder Gods, and during the X-Men's feud with the Avengers, many members of that team. Some reasons the place is more secure include magic combined with the their technology (provided by Doctor Strange) other technology designed by mutant genius Dr. Nemesis, and a focus on rehabilitation. The only known major escape thus far was Donald Pierce, after acquiring Techno Organic Virus powers. (Ironically despite - or perhaps because of - the Brig being built and maintained by the X-Men, it's far more secure than the any of the hate-group run places they've had to break out of.) The Brig is also pretty good at keeping folks out; Jubilee was kept here after being unwillingly converted by Xarus, and Blade - who believed the X-Men's hopes of finding a cure was pointless - couldn't get near her.
    • Frank Castle, better known as The Punisher, is a repeat customer of Riker's island, the mundane Hellhole Prison for non-powered criminals. Most of the time he goes there because there's a criminal he can't get to otherwise, to the point of simply showing up at the nearest police station and turning himself in (on one occasion doing so while Daredevil was imprisoned to prevent Matt from killing the Kingpin).
    • X-Men Noir: Mark of Cain has Genosha Bay. It's on an island, next to a military base. Prisoners aren't allowed contact with one another or the outside world, and only get out of their cells for one hour of daily exercise, weather permitting. When Thomas Halloway, the Angel, gets out of his cell and spooks the warden, Professor Xavier catches him. Thomas manages to escape after about a week of sleep deprivation torture, and at the end of the series he's about to spring his buddies Captain Logan and Eugene.
    • Combat Kelly and his Deadly Dozen #5 was a flashback issue that revealed Laurie, Shigeta and Doc had once all been imprisoned on Devil's Island.
  • Monster Allergy has the various Detention Oasis, where monsters guilty of various crimes (that aren't so bad to humans but rather serious to the monsters) are put to be reformed. As the goal is reformation the inmates are treated well... But the Oasis have those names because they are the only safe havens in areas that are so dangerous to monsters that going out without escort amounts to suicide, and the only reason they're safe havens is that the Tutor of each Oasis is just that badass.
  • The Evronians from Paperinik New Adventures have the so-called Well, a planetoid where you can't escape but could be pulled out if the Evronians have a particularly dangerous job for a prisoner (hence the name). Keeping it unescapable is the simple fact that the only two Evronian presences there are the heavily fortified and garrisoned spaceport and a facility where the most dangerous prisoner of all, Trauma, is kept under constant surveillance from thousands of elite troops ready to disintegrate him from safe distance as soon as he tries and do anything strange. The only one who has ever broke out from the Well is Xadhoom, who had broken in to kill the second most dangerous prisoner (a cyborg that the guards kept there using his remote), killed him and then flew away, as she could survive and fly in space and the guards weren't stupid enough to even try and stop her.
  • Marvel/Star Comics' Planet Terry has the prison planet named Alphatraz, which Terry and his companions are sent to so they could find Terry's parents. However, the reason that nobody escapes Alphatraz is that the convicts have taken over the prison and have forced the guards to serve them.
  • In Serenity: Leaves on the Wind, Zoe is sent to a Penal Colony on a Single-Biome Planet where the terraforming didn't take, leaving it a barren sun-baked desert. The only way in or out is by ship, and the prison camp doesn't even need walls: anybody who runs away will die of exposure because there's no other civilization. When Zoe makes a break for it, the guards don't even start chasing her until they see Mal and company coming to meet her on the Mule.
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Star Wars: Doctor Aphra has Accresker Prison, the Imperial Prison Ship that Aphra ends up imprisoned on during the "Catastrophe Con" arc. There's no cells, no bars, just no way to escape except into space and implants that'll blow you up if you get too far from your assigned hubdroid. And when Aphra does find a way to escape, she finds that that's just the cherry on top to the actual security system, a Force spirit haunting the halls sabotaging any and all escape attempts.
    • Star Wars (Marvel 2015) has Sunspot Prison, which is built and maintained by the Rebellion to keep Imperial POWs. It's a space station kept in low orbit around a sun, barely far enough out to not be disintegrated. No one actually manages to escape, since the storyline set there revolves around an insane former rebel agent who, following a personal encounter with Palpatine, figures that people who work for the Empire don't deserve to live.
  • IDW's Transformers works:
    • There's Styx, an impregnable Decepticon prisoner, where the life-expectancy of its prisoners is very short, and only two known break-ins have worked.
    • Meanwhile, the Autobots have Garrus-9, a truly massive prisoner complex that takes a small army to break in to (Or a One-Man Army), mainly because they have weapon emplacements that take up whole buildings. It houses Autobots and Decepticons alike, the absolute worst of whom have their sparks extracted and placed in little boxes, just to make sure no-one breaks out. It also houses a lot of the Autobot's dirty secrets, which certain members of Autobot High Command place a higher priority on that, say, the staff or the prisoners.
    • In a flashback in The Transformers (IDW), mention is made of Garrus-1, which is used to hold political prisoners, and anyone too visible to be sent to the Institute. Since it's on one of Cybertron's moons, it's probably a bit difficult to escape from than normal.
  • W.I.T.C.H.:
    • The Tower of Mists, Kandrakar's prison. Its inmates, some of the worst criminals in the universe, are kept inside individualized inescapable cells that are set up to invoke their prisoner's crime while punishing them (the two known cells are those created for Phobos and Cedric: Phobos, having done innumerable crimes in the pursuit of power, was tied up and drained of his magic, and Cedric, a shape shifter also known as the Prince of Lies, was locked in a cell showing a fake environment and filled with books containing nothing but lies (Cedric could appreciate the humour, and took to blatantly lying to any visitor to stay in the spirit of it).
    • All known inmates, that is Phobos, Cedric, Elyon (imprisoned there and shoved in Phobos' cell with a false accusation when Phobos managed to take over Kandrakar) and the warden himself, Endarno, managed to break out, but it took them something that should have been impossible: getting their hands on the key (the warden was neither corruptible nor a criminal). Every one of them had their method: Phobos used his last ounce of magic to switch bodies with Endarno, thus automatically getting the key; Cedric was broken out by Phobos after the above; and Elyon and Endarno were given the key from the new warden and helped by the Guardians of Kandrakar. Elyon, on the other hand, was so powerful that she could have broken out on her own, except she had expected some betrayal when she was arrested and placed all her power in the Crown of Light (and, in fact, later Cedric, after being recaptured, manages to evade imprisonment again by escaping the guards, entering in Elyon's cell and waiting for the Guardians to show up with the Crown while wearing Elyon's looks, after which he simply teleports out).
  • Wynonna Earp has Black Rock , the Black Badge facility designed to incarcerate paranormal criminals. Some specific property of the rock on which it is built damps supernatural abilities.
  • Chlorophylle has Shark Island, where, despite being Tunnel King, it took more to Anthracite to manage Great Escape, like a subversion of a Sleeping Dummy where he was hidden in the dummy.

    Fan Works 
  • A Different Childhood: What the monster prison is largely implied to be. Dr. Cockroach, Link, and B.O.B. tried to escape multiple times, but eventually gave up. It's also outright stated by Dr. Cockroach that, even if someone managed to escape the base, the humans outside wouldn't accept them (which, unfortunately, Megamind learns the hard way).
  • In Bird part of the story takes place in a mental hospital. It was originally a prison- as it predated the Birdcage, until the Birdcage existed it filled this role. As a result, some of the patients are quite violent. The faculty can theoretically handle them.
  • In the crossover anime fic Blood and Revolution, the Japanese government has made a youkai prison surrounded by holy magic on a small uninhabited islands off the coast of Hokkaido.
  • Child of the Storm has the Raft, which holds the Avengers' most dangerous enemies, including Count Nefaria, the Juggernaut, the Abomination, the Leader, and the Absorbing Man, as well as open cells for Magneto (in case he pulls a Face–Heel Turn again) and Bruce Banner (at his own request). It's been running for a few years, and the only escape was engineered as a Batman Gambit by Fury to catch out the Red Room.
  • In Glass (Bellamy Taft) the island as a whole is this for everyone trapped there, but much of Seto's time is occupied with a truly inescapable room that he can only get out of through mutual trust.
  • The Greatest There Was or Ever Will Be has DeadHeat Prison. (Yes, in CamelCase.) The building is on an island with an active volcano in which the inmates all suffer in total darkness, utterly unable to interact with anybody else. Nobody has ever escaped, and being sentenced there is considered a Fate Worse than Death.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters: Cavigor, already an example in W.I.T.C.H. canon (see Western Animation), is made even more so here. The pit containing all the cells is still there, but now it's topped by a massive fortress filled to the brim with armed guards and siege-level weaponry to both repel attacks and intercept escape attempts, and all of this is in the middle of a massive chasm only crossable by a single drawbridge.
  • The relative merits of Facility 4028 (see Star Trek Online under Video Games, below) in this regard are discussed briefly in The Headhunt. Dul'krah remarks that "for a supposedly utterly secure prison, 4028 has had remarkable difficulties of late."
  • In the A Man of Iron universe, the dungeons of Winterfell are contained in a tower, with the cells (except for the Gilded Cages meant for highborns, which are in the upper levels) all underground. More to the point, the only way in or out of the tower is hidden at the top, and the door is barred and guarded on both sides at all times, the guards only letting people pass if they have the correct passwords (which are known only to them and whoever is serving as the Stark in Winterfell at the time).
    • Also, the dungeons of Casterly Rock. They are deep within the Rock, there are no windows in the corridors, walls are featureless and all the doors look exactly the same, including those leading outside. And the mealtimes and guard shifts are irregular to further confuse prisoners.
  • In Origin Story, the Gulag, Reed Richards prison, is specifically mentioned. One SHIELD agent hopes that they don't have to send Alex there for the rest of her life.
  • In the Pony POV Series, Celestia reveals the sun can, and has, been used as this. Why this would be extremely hard, if not impossible, to escape from should be self explanatory, but to note: it's millions of miles away in the vacuum of space with the only reliable way on or off being Celestia herself, and most of the prisoner's sentence is beneath the surface of it where gravity and pressure are part of the punishment (they're naturally made immortal for their time there). There's also an entire ecosystem on it (made of solar plasma) and taking care of it is part of the punishment. Oh, and naturally they're on fire the entire time. Of course, Celestia, being who she is, doesn't use this very often and reserves it for the absolute worst of the worst, whose sentences are equal to the years of life they've stolen from others. The most recent inmate is Professor Kabuto, a Sociopathic Changeling Mad Scientist and mass murderer so vile even his own kind loathed him even before their Heel–Race Turn.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog fanfic Prison Island Break Shadow has apparently tried to escape Prison Island and failed - and apparently he's actually gotten the furthest of any convict. He's pretty angry at Sonic for insisting that he can.
    Shadow: First the ankle cuff. Then the cell. Then the locked doors. Then the fences, the jungle, the MILES AND MILES OF FUCKING OCEAN! And all the fucking way, there's the Guard Robos, the cameras, the grasses, and that mother-fucking bastardated sonuvabitch Mephiles. You think you're the first to try?
    • In fact, Sonic talks so much about escaping this inescapable prison, that the other cons and guards think he's kidding. The "cuff" is an anklet permanently attached to both Sonic and Shadow. If either of them attempts to move beyond 30 mph, they get a debilitating shock. This is their particular anti-escape measure; each prisoner has some kind of clothing or procedure that negates their talents/powers. Cells are self-explanatory, fences are the electric variety, and the jungle presents its own problems. Guard Robos are expendable Mecha-Mooks that can restrain and electrocute prisoners. Mephiles is the utter bastard of a Head Warden who keeps the prisoners distracted with fear of each other. He is fond of severely punishing anyone who attempts to escape, which serves as a deterrent for the rest. The ocean is the final obstacle of Prison Island. There are no convenient boats to steal and it's too far to swim or fly over. Shadow's attempt was stopped by the ocean, and he survived in the jungle for three weeks afterwards.
  • This Bites! already has Impel Down as per One Piece canon, but takes things further with the reveal of the Never Day Isle of Nox Vestibule, aka "The Seventh Hell — the Hell of Darkness". Located in the North Blue "in the shadow of the Red Line", this is the World Nobles' personal jail, their dumping ground for all who have ever dared to openly challenge the iron grip the World Nobles have on the world; political prisoners, dissidents and revolutionaries of all kind. It's a massive labyrinthine fortress full of traps and monsters, overseen by the most ruthless and heartless guards the World Nobles can get. Prisoners are thrown in and left to rot, devolving into feral, cannibalistic beasts. It's a place so foul that the World Nobles didn't trust Impel Down to enact it; let that sink in. The only people who know it exists are the guards and the denizens of Mariejois, who actually broadcast the suffering and degradation of the prisoners from the island to their city as entertainment for the World Nobles. And guess where Cross ends up after the Straw Hats were split up?
  • In Troll Cops, the worst criminals are sent to the Veil Maximum Security Prison, which is on an island in Alternia City Harbor. It's surrounded by a ring of sixteen armed guard towers, the Server Islands, and while the inside has never been shown, Karkat once spent a week inside and the thought of going back scares him more than Mr. Pupa.
  • The W.I.T.C.H. fanfic Stirred has the Dungeons of Escannor, a sprawling labyrinth of tunnels, pits, cells, and torture chambers beneath the royal palace of Meridian so complex that only the long-dead original designers know the full extent of it.
  • In Zootopia: A Tail of Two , the main villain known as Ironclaw, manages to break free from a maximum security prison called Elk-atraz in the very beginning.

    Films — Animation 
  • April and the Extraordinary World has Fort La-Latte, where the French Empire holds its captive scientists. It is a medieval fortress perched on a seaside cliff, updated with modern armaments. The scientists are held in a section that is not only deep underground, but below sea level.
  • The Bad Guys (2022) has a prison known only by its security level: Super Ultra Crazy Max (S.U.C.M.), where the gang is sent in the film's third act after being framed for a crime they didn't commit. It's located on an island off the coast of Los Angeles, has dedicated prisoner transport vans and ships, and is said to be impossible to escape. Diane, aka the Crimson Paw, easily breaking in, freeing the gang, and getting them out demonstrates just how skilled she is.
  • Chorh-Gom Prison, the mountain prison that holds Tai Lung in Kung Fu Panda. He's the only prisoner, chained to the floor in a deep pit, wearing a tortoise shell-shaped suit with acupuncture needles that keep him paralyzed, and covered from above by massive crossbows at all times. There are one thousand guards responsible for containing him alone. He obtains one solitary feather, picks the lock and defeats the defenses in a few minutes.
  • Area 52 in Monsters vs. Aliens, an ultra-secret facility where monsters are locked away for... well, being monsters. No one escapes, however; they're released to fight the Alien Invasion.
  • From Toy Story 3, Sunnyside Daycare takes an unusually dark turn when Lots-O-Huggin Bear refuses to let the toys escape back to Andy, and has them jailed in the daycare's storage crates.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien³: Fiorina-161, also known as "Fury", is inescapable because the entire planet is the prison - basically a place where everybody ships off their bad people to fend for themselves.
  • New Alcatraz (aka Boa) is a z-grade monster movie set in an Alcatraz-type prison built in Antarctica to make escape impossible, then sent the most notorious international criminals and terrorists there. Then they had the great idea of digging into a prehistoric Lost World so a giant killer snake gets into the place.
  • The prison camp in The Bridge on the River Kwai was allegedly inescapable due to its remote location deep in the Burmese jungle. Naturally, this was proven incorrect.
    Colonel Saito: "A word to you about escape. There is no barbed wire. No stockade. No watchtower. They are not necessary. We are an island in the jungle. Escape is impossible. You would die."
  • Westgate Penitentiary in Brute Force is surrounded by water and can only be entered with a drawbridge. It also has a guard which is evil incarnate, Captain Munsey. Joe tries to escape with his band of misfits, but they don't make it.
  • Bexhill "refugee camp" from Children of Men.
  • At least three of these are seen in The Chronicles of Riddick series. The second movie, simply called The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), has Crematoria, where the prisoners stay in their underground prison because the sunrise sets the atmosphere on fire. Riddick outruns it. Escape from Butcher Bay is set in the virtually inescapable Butcher Bay prison (see the videogame section below for more details). A flash animation on one of the official websites featured Ursa Luna Slam City, which Riddick also escaped from.
  • The Pit in The Dark Knight Rises. Like the name implies, it is a giant pit deep into the ground. There are no guards or booby traps or locked doors, just a tough climb and a jump that is just too far for 99% of people to jump.
  • Escape from Alcatraz, a 1979 Clint Eastwood movie centering around Frank Morris' and the Anglin brothers' escape from the actual Alcatraz Prison.
  • Escape from New York, where it's Manhattan itself.
    • The sequel Escape from L.A., where L.A. has broken away from the mainland and is now a prison island.
  • Escape Plan: The Tomb is designed to be completely escape-proof — the prisoners are drugged before being brought in, blindfolded when moved about, and are allowed no contact with or even visual access to the outside world; the cells are elevated and transparent, and surrounded almost completely by surveillance; the guards are masked and work in scrambled shifts so that the prisoners can't plan around their shifts; all the doors have magnetic locks in case of emergency; and to top it all off, the Tomb itself is built inside an oil tanker anchored in the middle of the ocean.
    • The sequel has Hades. Like the Tomb, it was designed to be escape-proof — the prisoners are all kidnapped and rendered unconscious, and when they wake up, they're already in Hades. The guards this time around are mostly robotic, and the whole facility is controlled by an A.I. known as Galileo. The prisoners' cells are locked with impenetrable barriers that Galileo can instantly turn on or off, prisoners can be zapped with painful electricity inside their cells, and they're forced to walk around the facility blindfolded or escorted by guards. To top this all off, it's later revealed that Hades has been built underground and can shift on its own like a Rubik's cube.
  • The Escapist is set in a very creepy, very bizarre seemingly underground prison.
  • Face/Off has the secret Erehwon Prison, located on an offshore oil rig, where every prisoner wears magnetic boots that can lock them in place on command.
    You are now the property of Erewhon Prison. A citizen of nowhere. The Geneva Convention is void here; Amnesty International doesn't know we exist. When I say your ass belongs to me, I mean exactly that.
  • Fortress (1992) is a feature-length escape from a futuristic Alcatraz, the titular "Fortress" (located in a bunker deep underground, run by a sadistic warden and an equally nasty Master Computer, with intestinal Explosive Leashes, nightly Mind Rapes, automated Sentry Guns and heavily-armed cyborg Mecha-Mooks). Fortress 2 is a feature-length escape, by the same character, from a different futuristic Alcatraz. IN SPACE!.
  • Einsargen Prison, built at the bottom of the deepest mine ever sunk in East Germany and made specifically to hold Cobra Commander and Destro, in G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
  • Check-Point 19 where Gustave is held awaiting trial in The Grand Budapest Hotel. It boasts such amenities as nearly a hundred guards, broad-gauge iron bars on every door, vent and window, and a 325-foot drop into a moat of crocodiles.
  • The prison camp in The Great Escape was specifically designed to be escape-proof and housed the most frequent troublemakers/escape-attempters among the POW populace.
  • Holes has Camp Green Lake. See the Literature section below.
  • The dungeons of Aquila from Ladyhawke: "Nobody ever escapes from the dungeons of Aquila. The people accept that as a historical fact." But Phillipe 'The Mouse' Gaston escapes anyway, during the movie's opening moments...
    • For bonus irony, that line is actually spoken after the discovery of Mouse's escape, to impress upon the captain of the guard the importance of recapturing him to maintaining the Bishop's power/reputation.
      • Or, perhaps, the importance of not telling anyone that Mouse had escaped, in hope that the incident can be covered up.
  • The titular location from Island of Fire is a government facility where convicts are stripped of their humanity, put through massive trauma and excessive suffering to the point where they forgot their past lives, and then trained into killing machines and performing covert assassination assignments for their superiors.
  • In Life (1999), after being given Life for a crime they didn't commit, Ray and Claude are told by the warden that Parchman Farm has no need for fences or walls because any inmate trying to cross the gun line will be shot by a sharpshooter.
  • Devil's Island, the notorious French penal colony, was where unjustly convicted Alfred Dreyfus was sent to suffer brutal imprisonment in The Life of Émile Zola. Truth in Television.
  • Fort-Montluc in A Man Escaped. It's a Real Life prison in Lyon, and the movie is Based on a True Story of a French Resistance man who escaped from it while it was being used by the Gestapo.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014): The Kyln is difficult to escape from by virtue of the fact that it's a space station, requiring a carefully laid plan to get a ship in order to escape. Of course Rocket, being something of an escape artist, comes up with a plan to bust out pretty quickly.
    • Captain America: Civil War introduces the Raft, an underwater prison apparently built for the sole purpose of containing the Avengers if they go rogue (or, really, any superpowered individuals, but we only ever see it used for that purpose). Following the airport fight, it's used to contain Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Falcon, and Scarlet Witch, although Steve, Natasha and Bucky break them out after defeating Iron Man at the HYDRA facility in Siberia. It's essentially the MCU's version of Prison 42 from the original Civil War (2006) storyline, which was an extra-dimensional prison used by Iron Man and his allies to hold non-registered superheroes before their trial.
  • The Matrix is a particularly ingenious example, as it's a prison that's supposed to be inescapable due to no one realizing that it's a prison to begin with (except for the resistance).
    Morpheus: The truth is that you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.
  • In Mercenaries, Ulrika's base of operations is a supposedly unassailable former Soviet prison known as the Citadel.
  • This is the premise of the film No Escape (1994): the protagonist has broken out of five Alcatraz-type prisons which are really nothing more than tombs for the living, so the Warden dumps him in his private project — a Deserted Island surrounded by automated gunboats programmed to kill anyone who tries to leave.
  • Outland. Marshall O'Neil keeps a prisoner in an airless zero-gravity cell, suspended in a spacesuit. Unfortunately the prisoner's helplessness makes it all too easy for someone to kill him by cutting his air hose.
  • Most of the film The Rock takes place on Alcatraz island. Inverted since the bad guys capture it and turn it into a fortress, so the Navy Seals get help breaking in from the one person who successfully escaped.
  • The point of the film The Shawshank Redemption is retaining hope against such an oppressive establishment and overcoming it.
  • Rura Penthe in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country combines deadly surface conditions with being an otherwise uninhabited asteroid in the middle of Klingon space. Survival by Deus Ex Vulchina.
    • Somewhat a special case; Kirk and McCoy's escape was engineered by someone farther up who hoped to kill Kirk (a big deal for Klingons) for escaping.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto is kept at a high-security, all-concrete prison right in the center of the Pentagon. Considering he was arrested shortly after the JFK assassination (1963), this jail has successfully restrained one of the most powerful mutants in the world for ten whole years.

  • Adventure Hunters: There is an infamous prison reserved for the worst of criminals that is located at the bottom of an ocean. The only way in or out is a ship that leaves once it delivers the newest inmate. This is the ultimate fate of Ryvas; life imprisonment for breaking the Nuclear Weapons Taboo.
  • Behind the Sandrat Hoax: The Dry Hole Correctional Training Institute has no outer walls because its desert surroundings ensure that any escapee will die of thirst. Once words gets out that eating sandrats prevents dehydration, sixteen prisoners escape within a month.
  • The Borders of Infinity: Miles has to organize an escape from the "escape-proof" Dagoola IV Top Security Prison Camp #3. The "camp" is a masterpiece of psychological warfare, quite possibly the most terrifying prison in existence while still meeting the future equivalent of the Geneva Conventions. It's just a giant dome over an open space on a remote planet, with no resources, no buildings and no guards, just ten thousand prisoners. The captors drop the legally required amount of food in a huge pile out in the open, ensuring that prisoners riot and fight to get it. Pretty soon, most of the prisoners are all in armed tribes too busy fighting each other over supplies to organize an escape, and the rest are too starved or demoralized to do anything. Miles is sent to enact a two-prisoner rescue thus proving that it was escape-proof... just not rescue-proof. Miles plans ahead. For Miles, Plan B is always Refuge in Audacity, so instead of rescuing two prisoners, he rescues all of them.
  • Codex Alera has the Grey Tower, a prison structure built to be able to hold the most powerful Furycrafters around, up to and including the First Lord if need be. Along with the many powerful Furies guarding the building, the prison's guards, the Grey Guard, are hand picked for loyalty to the Realm and have never taken a bribe in over 500 years due either to honesty or the fact that they can receive twice the amount of the bribe by turning in the person who tried it. Only two breakouts have ever been successful, both perpetrated by the main character Tavi. The first was fairly straightforward, with Tavi taking advantage of how, as with a lot of Aleran engineering, no one had even considered that someone might make an attempt without the use of furies. The second came after Tavi himself had been consulted to improve the prison's security, but that meant he could exploit his own designs to get in and out once more.
  • Cold Days, the fourteenth book of The Dresden Files, reveals that Demonreach is a prison designed to hold extremely dangerous magical beings and Eldritch Abominations. How dangerous are these beings? Well, remember the Skinwalker from Turn Coat? the thing that almost drove Harry insane just from Seeing it? Demonreach has six of them... in the minimum security wing.
  • Dis Acedia: The titular setting is the Alcatraz. Dis is an another dimension that functions as an inescapable Hell plane with even more horrible pocket dimensions and worlds inside of it and guarded by Lazarus' monstrous Divs along with countless other horrors, traps, and monsters locking in its inmates.
  • Escape from Furnace: The titular prison is a hellhole where skinless mutant dogs, a demonic warden, humongous sociopathic guards known as 'Blacksuits', and 'wheezers', humanoid things with gas masks sewn into their faces roam. The really, really, horrible part of it is that Furnace Penitentiary is for kids and kids only, for the rest of their lives. Or maybe the really horrible part is that the wheezers randomly abduct kids and take them to who-knows-where. There is nothing comedic about it. It's even worse when you learn that the abducted prisoners taken are brainwashed and mutated into new Blacksuits.
  • Forgotten Realms: Subverted in The City of Ravens, where the protagonist, despite what powerful magic and magical artifacts he possessed, really couldn't get out of the prison. It took the hiding warlord who got him imprisoned in the first place to get him out and she was able to do so because she was hiding as the city's mayor.
  • In The Four Lords of the Diamond by Jack Chalker, the Warden Diamond is a solar system with four habitable planets infested by a microrganism that kills anyone who tries to leave, making for one huge, seemingly inescapable prison colony.
  • Harry Potter: Azkaban combines the "rock in the middle of the sea" with guardian creatures called Dementors who suck all happy feelings out of you, mentally breaking the prisoners down before they can escape. It's stated that Azkaban has high iron walls but doesn't need them, since the Dementors imprison inmates in their own minds. Nonetheless, the following people managed to escape:
    • Sirius Black broke out in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, because he could transform himself into a dog which has less complicated emotions than a human (and thus couldn't be sensed by the Dementors). He kept himself (more or less) sane by reflecting on the fact that he had been betrayed and was innocent, which was not a happy thought, and therefore could not feed the Dementors. He remains the only known individual to break out without help.
    • Barty Crouch Junior also broke out of Azkaban as revealed in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In this case, his dying mother switched places with him, and the blind Dementors only sensed one person coming in, one going out.
    • The mass breakout in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, happened with the cooperation of the aforementioned guards. It's also implied that there are later breakouts, but that the government tries to cover them up.
  • Holes: Camp Green Lake, a prison in the middle of a desert. There are no towers, fences, or barbed wire. The kids are free to run off anytime they want, but they would die either from thirst or the hostile fauna. Even the guns the staff carry aren't for keeping the kids in line, they're for killing any stray scorpions or venomous lizards that enter the camp.
  • Honor Harrington: The prison planet Hades. Honor escapes. With 500,000 other prisoners. Although to be fair, the guards thought she was dead, and she "smuggled in" two spaceships plus enough weaponry for a small army.
  • I Want To Go Home! by Gordon Korman: Camp Algonkian Island is nicknamed Alcatraz, and the two protagonists spend the entire summer trying to get off the island.
  • Incarceron has only two possible exits, and will kill you itself before you get anywhere near either.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • Barad-dûr, Sauron's trope-making Evil Tower of Ominousness. Tolkien states that those who enter as prisoners do not leave. Ever. Gollum claimed to have escaped, but Gandalf implies it was part of Sauron's plan to get the Ring and therefore he was released.
    • Cirith-Ungol. It's at the top of a virtually impassable mountain pass, one direction leads to Mordor, the other leads through a labyrinth guarded by a giant spider. When Frodo is imprisoned there, he only gets out because Sam takes up Sting and the Ring in order to rescue him.
  • Matador Series: The eponymous prison in The Omega Cage by Steve Perry and Michael Reaves. It's on a deathworld, and many hundreds of kilometers from any way to get off the planet.
  • Myst: The Book of D'ni: Veovis escapes not once, but TWICE from the inescapable Prison Ages, the second of which was written explicitly as a Tailor-Made Prison, by four different writers, checked and altered by the highest of the high council, and the book burned after he was linked through.
  • Papillon takes place in the French Guiana Penal Colony and after many escape attempts he is eventually shipped off to inescapable Devil's Island. One of the "Islands of Salvation", Devil's Island is notorious for not having any bars or cells—you're welcome to throw yourself into the water since the rocky cliffs and powerful currents make escape all but impossible. Eventually Papillon and his friend Sylvain create rafts out of sacks of coconuts, find a place where the fall is safest, and learn to identify the brief window of opportunity when the tide surge will take them away from the island rather than slamming them into rocks. They successfully escape.
  • Parker: Stoneveldt Breakout has this reputation. Parker is told multiple times that no one has ever escaped from there. The title of the novel may tell you what Parker proceeds to start planning.
  • The Six Sacred Stones: Xintan Prison is situated atop twin mountain peaks, where the only way out is a single train line. The main prison is on one peak, with a torture wing on the other peak, and the only way out is a train line into the main prison. Naturally, the mountains are too steep to ski down and they have helicopters ready to chase down anyone stupid enough to parachute. Naturally, it's inescapable until the heroes try it.
    • In Seven Ancient Wonders, the heroes break a guy out of Guantanamo Bay in a surprisingly straightforward plan. Notably, it involves landing a 747 on the facility's golf course as a diversion.
  • Our Last Crusadeorthe Riseofa New World: Province 13 where Rin takes Iska after kidnapping him is called Alkatroz. It is also where Salinger the Demon is incarcerated.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • The prison cells in the Eyrie are actually ridiculously easy to leave: this is because they are lacking an outside wall, meaning that prisoners can just step outside. Since the Eyrie is several miles up, however, doing this would result in a gruesome death. To make matters worse, the wind howls day and night and the floor is in a slight downwards incline, meaning that prisoners often can't sleep due to the noise and the fear that they will roll off the edge. Unsurprisingly, most of them go mad and end up jumping off.
      Gods save me, the blue is calling.
    • Ghaston Grey, an island prison off the coast of Dorne. In A Feast for Crows, Arianne Martell's co-conspirators in her plan to install Myrcella Baratheon as queen of the Seven Kingdoms are imprisoned there (Arianne herself is put under house arrest in the mainland).
  • Ananke Alpha in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch is a spherical prison built in a remote star system with no planets. It was originally designed to hold the most dangerous criminals in The Federation. By 2381 it has just one prisoner - the Female Changeling that led the Dominion.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Maul: Lockdown, no one has ever escaped from the prison space station Cog Hive Seven. Those smart enough to beat the security system are stopped by enforcers of Iram Radique, who doesn't want them spreading stories about his prison operations.
    • Oovo IV is a supermax-style prison built into a barren, airless asteroid that's constantly pelted by meteor showers; if you somehow get out, chances are you'll want back in. It's shown up in several prequel-era stories, but first debuted in Star Wars Episode I: Racer of all places.
    • Han Solo at Star's End has the titular interstellar prison. Han Solo blasts it into a high-arc trajectory. Does it even count as a prison escape when you take the whole prison with you?
    • The early X-Wing Series features the Lusankya facility, an inescapable Imperial prison with a sinister reputation and an unknown location. Several times Rebels have escaped from lesser prisons and returned to service, only to subsequently be revealed as Manchurian Agents — and only afterward are they able to remember their time in Lusankya that led to their programming. At the start of the novels, veteran Rogue Squadron pilot Tycho Celchu is in legal purgatory after escaping from another Imperial prison but also remembering his time in Lusankya, breaking the mold and leaving everyone unsure whether or not he's an unwitting Imperial asset. Later on, another Rogue is captured and sent to Lusankya, and during his escape uncovers its great secret: it's actually the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya, buried beneath the cityscape of Coruscant, with a prison block disguised as a cave system where the use of artificial gravity means that any prisoners trying to escape "up" towards the surface are actually headed deeper into the bowels of starship. After Corran Horn escapes, the Lusankya violently breaks free of Coruscant and enters service as a proper warship, but its prisoners are scattered to other facilities — the director of Imperial Intelligence later admits that Corran's escape "defiled" it in her eyes.
  • Gouffre Martel in Alfred Bester's The Stars My Destination isn't a rock in the middle of the ocean but instead an underground labyrinth in the Pyrenees always in darkness. Still, Gully Foyle and Jisbella McQueen manage to escape.
  • The remote Swedish asylum in The Stars' Tennis Balls by Stephen Fry which, in keeping with the book's nature, is a modernised Chateau d'If.
  • The narrator in Adam Roberts' novel Stone must escape from a prison (which, judging by its description, bears a disturbing resemblance to Teletubby Land) in the core of a star, and can only do so with the aid of a conspiracy of the Nanomachines that keep the society's technology running.
  • Technomancer by MK Gibson: Flotsam Prison in the second novel is the worst prison in a world full of them. It is built in the middle of an island out of garbage, populated with the worst criminals demonkind has to offer, and is run by a nightmarish sadist.
  • The Thinking Machine: In "The Problem of Cell 13", Van Dusen accepts a challenge to escape from a death row cell in an 'inescapable' prison within a week. He does so in a truly spectacular fashion.
  • Vampire Academy: Tarasov prison for Moroi and dhampir criminals and mental patients. Prisoners are held in an exhausted state to prevent escape. The prison moves from Alaska in the summer to other places with abundant sunlight in the winter, so that potential vampire escapees would be exposed to sunlight. Nobody ever escaped until Rose, Lissa, and Eddie Castile broke Victor Dashkov out.
  • Void Domain: The unnamed prison within Hell. A massive structure built out of magic-resistant material, guards that aren't afraid to kill, cells where prisoners are chained to the wall and never let loose. The prisoners aren't even fed, though as they're demons, feeding isn't strictly necessary.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • The Red and Black Sections of ARC (the Arkham Research Consortium) are used as uncrackable prisons to hold people and things too dangerous to ever let loose. When Fey, Carmilla, and Bladedancer go to ARC (knowing from a seer that the day will be a good day to try to help Carmilla's friend Merry break out), they find out why: a villain has set timers so that a horrific supervillain will be able to escape on that day. So the horrific supervillain doesn't actually escape, and Merry only gets away with the help of the head of Red Section!
    • Plus Roxbury C, the Massachusetts facility for supervillains, set 70 feet underground in solid bedrock and magically warded. It had never been cracked at the start of "Ayla and the Boston Brawl". Roxbury C's "inescapable" status was, naturally, a lead-up to the inevitable — there were a million ways to keep prisoners from escaping, but one too few protections against an unauthorized party getting in, as they found out in "Ayla and the Birthday Brawl".
  • Woken Furies has Rila Crags, an infamous prison used by the Harlan family to inter political enemies. According to legend, only one person ever succeeded in breaking in and getting out again. The protagonists end up having to plan their own break-in in order to rescue a prisoner.
  • Worm: The Baumann Parahuman Containment Center is known as "The Birdcage" because it's a prison fitted into a hollowed-out mountain. One of the prisoners also speculates that Tinkertech is used to miniaturize the inmates as they enter. Between the walls and the mountain is an airless vacuum patrolled by drones, where any hole in an exterior wall receives an immediate response. It was designed for parahumans to go in and never come out. Since there are no guards inside the Birdcage, it's basically self-governed entirely by fiefdoms of the supervillains contained within. Surprisingly, the Birdcage remains unbroken throughout the story... while some villains do get out, that's only because they were let out in order to get their help against a world-ending threat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The TV-side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe actually has several.
    • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: There are repeated mentions of the Fridge, SHIELD's maximum security prison/storage facility, which is implied to be one of these. Eventually, it's revealed that it's a massive tower with no ground-level exits, only one entrance/exit on the roof accessible by helipad, and the door is reinforced to such an extent that the machine gun on a gunship fails to penetrate.
    • Both Jessica Jones (2015) and Luke Cage (2016) make discuss The Raft, as mentioned in the film section above. It's never seen, but Luke mentions that he sent his brother, the Big Bad season 1 of his show, there. Jessica also considers sending her mother there. It's treated very seriously.
    • Ms. Marvel (2022) and She-Hulk: Attorney at Law gives us the Damage Control Supermax Prison, also designed to house enhanced individuals. There are implications that a few of SHIELD's detainees have been transferred there since SHIELD officially collapsed. It does not have a stellar track record.
  • Andor: In "Narkina 5", the factory prison complex on the titular moon that Cassian is sent to. Prisoners are worked to the bone and pitted against each other to stay on top of the productivity food chain, and conductive floors are used to keep the population in line. It's set on a floating complex in the middle of a large lake or inland sea, with several others like this also nearby.
  • Supposedly, in Andromeda, "no one escapes from a High Guard prison". It's shown to be a small cell with a bench, with sophisticated technology like 24/7 monitoring, pressure sensitive walls, isolation, and walls, floors, and ceilings that can't even be scratched without expensive tools. However, in that same episode, Dylan and Harper escape because someone paid off the jailer, and an assassin escapes with the help of her brother. So, it would be more accurate to say "no one escapes a High Guard prison without help".
  • In Arrow, Purgatory — the island Oliver was stranded on — used to be a secret prison where the Chinese military kept its most dangerous prisoners. There were no cells or guards, the prisoners were just abandoned on this island in the middle of nowhere and left to fend for themselves. The Season 2 finale reveals that A.R.G.U.S. has at some point taken control of the island and built actual underground cells.
  • Bring 'Em Back Alive: In "Escape from Kampoon", Buck and H.H. help an American agent free her secret contact from Kampoon prison—-an Asian version of Devil's Island.
  • The prison in the episode "Angels in Chains" of the 2011 series of Charlie's Angels. Oddly for this trope, the Angels don't actually manage to escape and are instead caught during their escape attempt.
  • The Pandorica in Doctor Who. A cube a few metres across, stated by the Doctor to contain the most dangerous being in the Universe and to have multiple locks. When the Doctor comes across it it is being unlocked apparently from within, while many powerful species are gathered around it. When it finally opens, the Pandorica is empty, as it is revealed that the most dangerous being in the Universe is the Doctor himself, who is then imprisoned in it. Rory breaks him out with help from the Doctor's future self. Interestingly, despite the claimed security of its locks, they are easily opened by a sonic screwdriver. It's actually a set up by all of the Doctor's greatest enemies, working together to trap him forever.
    • It's so impenetrable that it can survive the very end of the universe.
    • Obviously, the only safety measure they forgot was a deadlock seal.
    • Another supposedly "perfect prison" is brought in later by Canton Delaware III to trap the Doctor. It is made of over a hundred bricks of the densest material in the universe, while its prisoners are left inside with no food or water. It would've been perfect, had Delaware not been merely pretending to work for the Silence.
  • Inverted with Stalag 13 from Hogan's Heroes. It's the only German POW camp with a perfect record, but specifically because the prisoners keep it that way. If anyone escaped, their kommandant would be replaced with someone who was actually competent and they wouldn't be able to run their underground organization from inside it.
  • Killjoys: In Season 5 Dutch, Johnny and D'avin were put into a supermax prison by the Lady. Escape is made even more difficult as it's a space station, rather than on a planet or moon.
  • Leverage: The prison Nate is in "The Jailhouse Job". Eliot repeatedly describes it as state-of-the-art and escape-proof. Naturally, Nate immediately starts planning a Great Escape from the inside.
  • The Alcatraz featured in MythBusters. In a first season episode Adam and Jamie tested whether or not the prisoners who executed the famous 1962 Escape from Alcatraz might have reached land. They built the same kind of rubber boat the prisoners did, using authentic materials, and launching from the same place the prisoners did at the same time of night. They did not bother attempting the escape plan, paddling north to Angel Island—apparently nobody thinks the convicts had a chance of getting there—but they did successfully reach the shore of the Marin Headlands, at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • The New Adventures of Robin Hood: In "The Prison", Sheriff Bickerton invites Robin and Marion to tour his high-security Penishaw prison. Robin declines, but Marion decides to go. But the prison has been taken over by the inmates, and Marion and Bickerton are captured by them. Robin learns what has happened and comes to help. He finds out that Maddox, the leader of the revolt, has vials of a deadly plague, which he threatens to use to contaminate London's water supply, unless some of his men are released by the regional high lord, the Duke of Vortigern. Robin realizes that the only way to prevent catastrophe is to break into the prison and destroy the plague vials. His best chance of getting into the escape-proof facility is with the help of Billy, the only person to ever escape from it. Billy is a beautiful but tough woman, now incarcerated in Vortigern's castle.
  • For season 3 of Prison Break, hero Scofield is manipulated by the recurring shadowy conspiracy to break a man out of Sona, a fictional Panamanian prison with a perfect record, surrounded by brutal military forces, and that's run by the convicts. Fox River in season 1 is not this trope, since it is more of a standard maximum security prison, even though it took the protagonists the entire season to break out.
  • The Prison Luff in Space Cases, where troublesome prisoners are punished by a Mind Wipe, erasing their memory.
  • Stargate SG-1
    • SG-1 had to break into and then break out of Sokar's prison moon that was designed to be a literal hell on earth <insert random planet>.
    • Another episode featured a Race-Of-The-Week whose Hat was a ridiculously harsh justice system, and who created their prison by removing the DHD on a planet and sending prisoners on a one-way trip through the gate. It goes without saying that SG-1 annoy the locals and are sentenced to go there. Aiding the release of a fellow prisoner was shown to be a very bad thing when she turned out to be insane and evil, making it a prime example of why you should be careful when freeing people from a super prison.
  • One Job of the Week for the crew of the Tulip in Starhunter involves transporting the first two lifers to a newly built jail-on-wheels that stays on the sunny side of Mercury at all times. The prison is tended entirely by robots, and getting there involves landing at prearranged coordinates on the dark side and taking a robot-driven car the rest of the way.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "In Purgatory's Shadow" showed us a Jem'Hadar interment camp. It's a hollowed out asteroid. Break out, and only the cold vacuum of space is there to greet you.
  • Similarly the Star Trek: Voyager episode "The Chute" has a prison in a hollowed out asteroid. The prisoners think they're underground.
  • The Tandaran Detention Centre for the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Detained" could also qualify. Amusingly enough, it's run by Dean Stockwell, Scott Bakula's old co-star from Quantum Leap.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Crimestrikers: The Quarry is an underground maximum security facility built to hold Creaturia's worst criminals. Of course, even the toughest prison on the planet isn't perfect, and the story begins with the Big Bad engineering a mass escape.
  • Eberron has Dreadhold, a politically-independent island prison run by the dwarves of House Kundarak. The island has a connection to Lamannia, the plane of primal nature, which massively increases the durability of wood and stone while also negating most magic used against it (including magic used to teleport or phase through it). The same effect also keeps food and drink eternally fresh and destroys all poisons. A small village exists on the island to reduce dependence on imports, and most communication with the outside world is conducted through magic. Before a person can even visit the island they must consent to having their mind read and being placed under curses which limit their combat ability; shapeshifters must also wear distinctive clothing at all times to prevent impersonation.
    The prison itself is surrounded by a pitch-black cloud which prevents anyone from seeing inside by physical or magical means, and is patrolled from the air by manticores. The only way in or out is through an Anti-Magic corridor filled with heavy gates and armed guards. The hallways are filled with boobytraps which variously attack, cage, knock out or mind control anyone who passes through without authorisation, and are constantly moved around to prevent prisoners from mapping them.
    The guards are all members of House Kundarak, meaning they have the power to create magical wards and locks, and many have been given the ability to communicate telepathically (both with each other and with their associates on the mainland). The equipment at the guard stations includes a modified scrying device that can see invisible creatures and analyse magic, as well as alarms that sound if any of the wards on the island have been activated, and controls for a set of invisible forcefields that run throughout the prison; all of these function only for members of the Kundarak bloodline. Due to the prison incorporating a Kundarak research facility, a number of powerful wizards are usually nearby and can be called on for backup. Finally, in addition to the living guards the prison is also patrolled by a number of constructs known as Slaughterstone Eviscerators.
    Extra-dangerous prisoners are sent to the Stone Ward, where they are petrified for the duration of their stay. Incredibly dangerous prisoners get sent to the Deep Ward, which lies at the bottom of a frictionless pit accessed through a single cableless elevator, and is kept in complete darkness at all times (relying on the dwarf guards' ability to see in the dark). Each cell in the Deep Ward is a Tailor-Made Prison with features such as magic negation, sound negation or indestructible walls... and some of the inhabitants are petrified too, just for good measure.
  • Forgotten Realms: Revel's End, the prison where the Lord's Alliance keeps any prisoners that would be inconvenient to keep in their own prisons. Strangely, despite the highly magical nature of the Forgotten Realms setting, it's one of the most normal prisons on this list. The warden is a mage with the ghost of an old companion in her head, and it is located at the northernmost end of the Sword Coast, but other than that, it's simply a normal prison where they keep prisoners for a few years until they have served their sentence, and then they are shipped back to civilization.
  • Mutants & Masterminds: The Buckner Ridge Correctional Facility in the Lockdown supplement serves this role with a combination of powered guards and power nullification technology.
  • Pathfinder: The Black Whale is a high-security prison complex used by the city-state of Absalom to hold its most dangerous prisoners — usually treacherous nobles and government officials, would-be invaders and powerful magic users, up to and including dragons. It consists of five ships, gutted and refurbished to hold blocks of prison cells, kept permanently anchored out at sea. The only connection to shore is a small and highly guarded ferry; prisoners can try to swim, but waters around the ships are treacherous, filled with razor-sharp coral reefs and infested with sharks that the guards deliberately attract by dumping food scraps overboard. May cells also contain magically inert binding circles in order to neutralize spellcasters. The newest warden has upped security, hiring gillman hydrokineticists to strengthen the guards, luring in a trio of luscas — giant sea monsters resembling an octopus crossed with a three-headed shark — to make an escape by water even more suicidal, and allying with a coven of night hags who have taken to feeding on the dreams of inmates, keeping them drained and weak. The hags have also overlaid the prison with a maritime Super-Sargasso Sea that they rule, so that unless you use magic or the ferry, leaving the ships by any means leaves you stranded in an extradimensional ocean with no way to leave.
  • Planebreaker: The Prison of Eternal Torment was designed to be perfect. In all the time it's operated, it's never lost a single prisoner, not even through the natural release of death.
  • Planescape:
    • Sigil's prison is simply called the Prison, and it's very secure. (It was also where the Mercykillers, the group in charge of corrections, made their headquarters in the city.) The Mercykillers have an even more secure prison for the worst criminals called The Vault in Carceri. (How secure is it? Let me put it this way, Carceri is what planar beings call the place that mortals from the Prime Material Plane call Tartarus. Yep, the very same place where the Titans are locked up). And if a criminal does something where the Lady of Pain herself has to intervene (which is rare; she only does so if someone does something that catches her attention, like trying to let the gods into Sigil, trying to worship her, or causing so much unrest and chaos that people no longer feel safe) there are the Mazes, dimensional labyrinths that she imprisons transgressors in. Essentially, this is a life sentence of solitary confinement, but there is a way out; it's just very difficult to fine. (Note that this is considered the lenient sentence. Offenders who catch her in a bad mood are flayed alive by her shadow, an act which leaves the target Deader than Dead.)
    • The Splat book Fiendish Codex II: Hordes of the Abyss mentions the 73rd layer of the Abyss, the Wells of Darkness. This place contains many inky, black pools of thick liquid, each one a Tailor-Made Prison for a very powerful and destructive demon or Eldritch Abomination that was sealed here by a Demon Lord, god, or group of gods. The most dangerous prisoner here is Apep, the King of Serpents who once daily challenged the Egyptian god Ra on his journey through the Twelve Hours of Night. Security is maintained by demonic zombies called bodaks, and some of the wells have additional guards. (In Apep's case, it's a bigger than average blackstone gigant, one of the most powerful golems known.) Escape is possible from this place, either through intervention from the gods or the Lords of Woe, but it's only happened four times in the eons-long history of the place. Surprisingly, the bodaks do not bother mortals or normal residents of the Abyss who only make brief visits (after one to four hours, you've overstayed your welcome, and they try to kill you) and some people do come here, though they can only leave if they drop off a prisoner ("leave behind incapacitated" counts as dropping off, thankfully for any less-than-godly entities). Either they're servants of a prisoner who are foolish enough to think escape is possible or who try to ease his suffering with sacrifices, or they're a group who try to perform a ritual to communicate with a prisoner. Many of them are incredibly ancient, and know dark secrets which they are willing to share — for a price.
    • As described in the Book of Exalted Deeds, Mt. Celestia has a place like this for the most vile of mortals (usually those who try to strike against the Upper Planar gods themselves) and escape is truly impossible without conquering Celestia itself. (Whether this is an actual building or not is unknown.) Only sword archons (the closest thing archons have to bounty hunters) have the power to send a mortal there, and only then when approved by a member of the Hebdomad. When this order is given and the target is found, the sword archon uses a lethal attack called discorporating dive which kills the victim and eradicates the body, transporting its soul to the prison. Release is only possible via a pardon from the member of the Hebdomad who approved the soul's capture, and approval is only given once the soul repents. (More is often required too, often a great deal of penance from him and his allies afterwards.)
    • Among the Lower Planes, the prison plane of Carceri is this. Located between the Chaotic Evil Abyss and the Neutral Evil Hades on the planar wheel, Carceri is the model for every other prison in existence according to the 5th Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. Few ways out of Carceri exist, and those who don't want to seek one of the plane's secret exits or traverse the treacherous waters of the Styx need the 9th level magic wish to escape the plane.
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse has The Block, a special prison operated by F.I.L.T.E.R. that is located in its own pocket dimension and filled with superpowered criminals.

  • BIONICLE has the Pit, where those who had broken the law of Mata Nui were sent by a being named Botar (and following his death, a Suspiciously Similar Substitute) after being defeated in battle. Hundreds of years ago, it filled up with mutagenic water and the interns escaped, and more recently, the entire establishment was destroyed, however by that time, most of the escapees had been recaptured and recruited to fight the Brotherhood of Makuta.

    Video Games 
  • Arknights has Mansfield State Prison, a prison facility and a private business venture — for the right price, anyone could throw someone into Mansfield to let them be tortured and killed, or use it as protection from one's enemies. The latter turns out to be why Mountain has been incarcerated, though it was his father (unbeknownst to him) that arranged it. What makes Mansfield an Alcatraz is the fact that it's mobile, much like many other cities in Arknights, and travels through Columbia's most inhospitable regions which makes the prospects of survival for anyone who happens to escape quite low. While it does have to dock at other cities for supplies, security tightens dramatically while the prison is docked.
  • Baldur's Gate III has the Iron Throne, a prison owned and operated by Enver Gortash for keeping his political prisoners and other people he needs locked up to serve his interests, situated in the most secure location one can find: in the deep sea. It is where Duke Ravengard is held, and Gortash is ready and willing to have the entire facility scuttled if needs must.
  • Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Batman: Arkham City: The titular prison is an interesting example: inmates are dumped into the Gotham Slums that were converted into a massive prison, and allowed to do anything they want as long as they don't try to escape. If they do, the guards are authorized to kill them. While most Batman media usually uses Cardboard Prison for the Arkham Asylum and Blackgate Penitentiary, Arkham City averts this. The only person to escape it was Black Mask, and he was recaptured and the security was reinforced. Since the criminals are free to do whatever they want, it becomes a hellhole where villains, especially the Joker, Two-Face and the Penguin are fighting each other for territory, and it seems that some villains don't even want to leave.
    • Batman: Arkham Knight has Iron Heights, which was meant to combine this with Hell Hole Prison. Basically the idea of it being escape-proof was due to the fact it was an airship, a zeppelin to be more precise. Least in theory it would have been escape-proof had Killer Croc not gotten loose and caused it to crash in Gotham Bay.
  • The first level of Bomberman 64: The Second Attack! is called "Lost Planet Alcatraz". It's about what you'd expect from a name like that.
  • The Rubber Prison in Bug Fables is a prison maintained by the Ant Kingdom inside an old tire in Bugaria's Metal Lake. On top of only being accessible by boat, many of the halls are blocked off by multiple locked doors that require elaborate steps to open. When the Wasps take over the Rubber Prison, they release many of the inmates to impede Team Snakemouth.
  • Call of Duty:
    • The Gulag in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The player character has to go there at one point to break out one specific prisoner.
    • An actual map in the Call of Duty: Black Ops II "Uprising" map pack. You play as four Prohibition gangsters who planned to fly out of Alcatraz itself with a makeshift plane. They actually could do it, except that this is a zombies map, and of course, zombies are rampaging everywhere. The main protagonists were actually already dead, because they killed one of their own before they started the plan outright, and the other three were sent to the electric chair as a result. They're not in the real world in fact, but in a purgatory of some sort. Unless Albert, one of the gangsters, kills the other three at the climax of the Easter egg, they will continue the cycle of death and rebirth, over and over again.
  • Minera Prison Island from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia was once a prison populated by petty thieves and criminals long forgotten by society. Now it's just a breeding ground for demons and other horrors, as well as the Wake-Up Call Boss that can easily dispatch Shanoa in a few hits.
  • Chip's Challenge: Level 124 (The Prisoner) uses this as the main concept. Chip is trapped within a prison-like chamber and has to use the surrounding elements to lure the patrolling monsters into the buttons that will free him. But that's only the beginning, as he then has to evade the monsters guarding the external area of the level so he can reach the exit safely. This level has inspired the creation of similar, fan-made levels that were eventually included in the Fan Sequels, such as Escape from Chipkatraz and Zartacla in CCLP2.
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2, the expy of San Francisco level has an expy of Alcatraz just off the shore called The Rock. At the time it is used as the secret base for the KGB.
  • It's never actually seen in Dragon Age, but the Mage PC Origin and a codex entry reference The Aeonar, a prison run by the Chantry. Apostate mages and maleficars and their conspirators are sent here. This trope doesn't apply to any prisons actually seen in the game, as the ease at which you escape or free others from them suggest they're somewhat more fragile.
    • "The Gallows" from the second game swings between being one of these and a Cardboard Prison. For the first half of the game, the Mage Underground performs numerous prison breaks, with sympathetic Templars either aiding or choosing to turn a blind eye. By Act III however it becomes a full on Alcatraz as the Templars crack down on sympathisers, the Mage Underground is completely obliterated and the Right of Tranquility performed on Mages for the slightest infractions.
  • Duke Nukem II begins with aliens capturing Duke and sending him to a dungeon. When he escapes, he even remarks, "This is too easy!"
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The Imperial City prison is treated as one in-universe, but it is subverted when you consider that two games (Arena and Oblivion) force you to break out of it at the start of the game. (You do get some help in Oblivion, but you can return later during the Dark Brotherhood questline to break in and it's still quite easy.)
    • Morrowind features the Ministry of Truth, a small moon floating over the Temple Canton of Vivec City (meaning you have to have some means of levitation just to reach the prison). The Temple uses it to imprison dissident priests and religious criminals (the interpretation of this is deliberately vague, and in fact one of the Dissident Priests' charges against the mainstream Temple). You never have to escape from imprisonment in it, but main quest mission has you break an ally out of it. Fortunately, this only requires getting in — you aren't expected to actually lead your ally out, just hand her a scroll allowing her to teleport away (prisoners have their magic drained and aren't allowed to keep scrolls, and the guards are religious fanatics, thus why this method doesn't work for prisoners without outside aid) and then use another copy of the scroll to follow her. This can turn the prison into something of a Cardboard Prison if you have become the Patriarch of the Temple, as you can simply walk in and ask for keys and directions. There are a few guards that are still hostile, but you are warned about them when you get the keys.
    • Skyrim:
      • Cidhna Mine. You can escape from every other prison in the game, but not from this one, without outside help. The only possible escape route becomes available when you act as outside help to the local Rebel Leader imprisoned within (or by killing him and looting his body for the key), and it works only once, so you can't use it yourself if you land in Cidhna Mine later. The only way out is to do force labor for the Silver-Blood Family. "You'll never see the sun again, you hear me? No one escapes Cidhna Mine. No one."
      • The Chill, Winterhold's prison, is no slouch either. It is obviously inspired by Azkaban, which is natural, given that Winterhold is a mage city; it's an unmarked mine out in the middle of nowhere guarded by Frost Atronachs and infested by animals, Having a "Realistic Hypothermia" mod makes to no less than another Cidna Mine. The benefit of this prison is the guards leave you with all your gear.
  • The main setting of Indie game Escape Goat is the Prison of Augus, where the goat protagonist is sent to for the crime of witchcraft.
  • Butcher Bay from Escape from Butcher Bay is a triple-max security prison facility built on a barren desert planet. The point of this place is that you don't leave. Its highest security level is especially bad; the prisoners are kept in cryogenic sleep inside vats (prolonged contact to which seems to have damaging effects on one's psyche and/or mental abilities), and are only awakened for exercise five minutes per day. Riddick finds an exploitable flaw in the system and gets out.
  • Bargate Prison in the Fable games, which you have to escape from after being captured in the first. Then there's the Spire in the second game, where you've been as a guard for ten years trying to rescue a character. You then fight your way past legions of guards and sail a ship out of the Spire back to the mainland.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Corel Prison in Final Fantasy VII can be escaped... the problem is, it's in the middle of an endless desert and you'd probably die of thirst before you made it out. The desert has quicksand too.
    • The D-District Prison in Final Fantasy VIII is pretty hard to escape from, given that it sics guards with Sleep spell training on you, lots of monsters and mechs of varying types, has powerful anti magic barriers, and requires heavy machinery to even reach certain parts of the place. (The main body of the prison is actually three giant vertical screws, allowing it to dig into and out of the sand.) Like Corel prison, it is also in the middle of a desert - so even if the prisoner escapes, without any way of getting back safely, they're not going to be surviving.
    • Final Fantasy X has Via Purifico, an underground labyrinth that even requires swimming to get anywhere. It can be escaped...but there's only one exit, so it's not exactly tough to guard and kill any survivors that make it out.
    • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, there is the Aerial Prison. a giant prison compound filled with deadly guard robots, laser defenses, etc. But the worst part is the fact that it is floating in the sky, at such a height that jumping off would kill you. if you do manage to escape your cell, dodge the guard 'bots, make it outside, and somehow get to the ground without dying (our heroes ended up crashing the entire prison to get to the ground), all you've managed to do is land yourself in the Prison Sands, another desert-based prison located directly beneath.
  • Genshin Impact has the Fortress of Meropide, an underwater prison fortress that also happens to be an autonomous Penal Colony outside the legal jurisdiction of Fontaine. In contrast to other examples, it's actually not an utterly miserable place to live due to the efforts of the warden Wriothesley, who was a former inmate himself and a fair amount of prisoners actually prefer life in the fortress to life outside.
  • The Gothic game series features one in the first game mixed with Penal Colony. The prison is the magic barrier that surrounds the penal colony, but inside the colony you can do whatever you want. However, in keeping with the trope, the barrier makes escape impossible, and the whole point of the game is try and find a way past the magic walls.
  • Granblue Fantasy has the Pandemonium, a tower created by the Astrals to contain the Origin Beasts that would otherwise destroy the world if they were unleashed.
  • Nova Prospekt in Half-Life 2. Before the Seven Hour War, an Eastern European prison. Once the Combine took over, it became a much worse place.
  • The Wall in Fleeing the Complex from the Henry Stickmin Series is a prison that is said to contain the most notorious criminals ever. Their guards are equipped with Boom Sticks, there are tanks patrolling the yard, sick (or 'sick') inmates are all thrown in a room together with anything from radioactivity to a mild cough, dead (or 'dead') inmates get thrown off the cliff, and Freddy Fazbear is in a shed outside. In the final scene for the Convict Allies ending, the warden states that there has never been a single incident in the last 50 years, and in the final choice for the Presumed Dead ending, he says that he is truly impressed by how far Henry managed to get.
  • In Infinite Space, the planet Skantzoura in the SMC and Lari and Belgirate in the LMC are used to imprison dangerous criminals and the politically inconvenient.
  • Tixa from Jagged Alliance 2 makes "Alcatraz look like Disneyland".
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, the final Disney world of the game, Space Paranoids, starts off as a prison. While the world's pit cells are escapable for Keyblade welders and their allies, there is still the matter of being trapped inside the world itself whenever the computer is turned off. It only took turning it back on from the inside that the world loses it's prison status.
  • Hellana Prison in The Legend of Dragoon, which the main characters visits twice to save two characters. And both times, the boss of the area doesn't get a chance to chop your head off.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Gerudo Fortress in Ocarina of Time, Forsaken Fortress in The Wind Waker, and the catacombs of Hyrule Castle and the Arbiter's Grounds in Twilight Princess. The latter's inmates on death row couldn't be killed by normal means, so they were instead banished to another dimension. Its only known "escapee" is Ganondorf himself, though he actually escaped as he was being sent there and needed the Triforce of Power to do so.
  • Mass Effect 2 has Purgatory, a prison-ship run by mercenaries that is half legitimate business and half protection racket. Prisoners who governments are unable to house but unwilling to execute are housed in self-contained cells which can be vented into space; in case of a riot entire cell blocks can be vented. The warden charges exorbitant amounts to house the prisoners with the understanding that missed payments may see the prisoner released at an undisclosed location on their homeworld. The threat of releasing prisoners in ports when resupplying also nets them discounts. Alternatively, the Warden is more than happy to sell prisoners to anyone who can pay more than he makes from the maintenance fees.
  • Might and Magic X features Fort Laegaire in the The Falcon & the Unicorn DLC. Named for Laegaire the Mad, the Emperor of the Holy Falcon Empire who commissioned the prison, Fort Laegaire is located on a small island far out at sea (too far for any non-amphibious being to swim to shore from), has its wall enchanted so that magic can't pass out of them (stopping magical calls for help. The fort has a balcony which is open enough to not be subject to that, but the only entrance to it is from the commandant's office), and features an extensive aerial defence system, stopping anyone from approaching or leaving via air. The prison function was supposedly abandoned after Laegaire's death, with the fort later re-purposed as a base for anti-piracy operations by the Unicorn Duchy, but in actually the Duke of Unicorn has maintained it as a prison, using it to dump any people he wants or needs to 'disappear' without such pesky things as trials. It would still be a proper Alcatraz, but is compromised by the guards being corrupt and/or dissatisfied with what is going on. Combine that with your characters being imprisoned after beating the main game.
  • No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle: The Rank 23 stage is set within a high-security prison. Travis has to avoid being spotted while he's sneaking around the outdoor yards, or else he'll have to fight all guards earlier than necessary. Once inside the facility, he reaches a jail room where he has to dispatch all enemies under a time limit. The boss at the end is Cloe Walsh, a woman with a poisonous breath.
  • Octopath Traveler II has Frigit Isle, a prison on an island in the far north of Solistia. If the extreme cold wasn't enough of an escape deterrent, Frigit Isle is so remote that it takes several days by boat to reach from the continent, and the one boat that does arrive regularly is for government inspections — anyone bold enough to try and sneak out onboard it would be found and kicked off or, failing that, tracked down once they make it to shore. Unless someone were to destroy said ship after sneaking on to cover for other escapees...
  • "Supermax" prisons come up every once in a while in Poptropica. Most of the time though, they have a fatal flaw.
    • Ghost Story Island has a large unnamed prison on an island, although its abandoned. The warden haunts the prison because of the cause of said abandonment: a prisoner, thanks to the help of Henry Flatbottom (whom he previously hired to forge a letter) was thought to have escaped. And when you investigate the cell yourself, the ghost warden locks you up as replacement.
    • Erewhon Prison from Super Villain Island was established to be "the world's most advanced supermax facility". It contains its prisoners, some of your previous enemies, on an island off the coast of Manhattan and four more villains, Black Widow, Dr. Hare, Binary Bard, and Captain Crawfish, in a science experiment on retrieving their sources of evil. This would've been all fine and well if it weren't for the fact that the scientist is in fact Zeus in disguise, and plans to use the totems to take over the world.
    • Pelican Rock Prison is an expy of the Trope Namer, so, its inevitable to have this identity. Its home island, Escape from Pelican Rock, follows the jailbreak storyline as your player character gets framed and jailed. The goal of the island is to...well...escape. Besides its flaws that leads to your escape, it is actually a more stable and efficient prison than the two examples above.
  • An old Xbox game called Prisoner of War has the character escape from five German prison camps from WWII, including Stalag Luft and Colditz Castle (see Real Life below). While foiling a Nazi rocket program at the same time. In fact, he escapes from the fourth prison camp, just so he can go to the fifth! Guy is a damn Houdini.
  • Rainbow Islands, a sequel to Bubble Bobble features a mountaintop prison on an island that is fully underwater. Bub finds out that eleven victims have been transformed into bubble dragons and locked in small individual cells in the prison, and proceeds to make its island rise to the surface. Here's hoping Bub can reach them and not suffer that fate himself.
  • Ratchet & Clank: Zordoom Prison in Tools of Destruction where anyone who defied Emperor Tachyon or had anything against him was sent for life, even a visitor could end up in imprisonment just for the wrong circumstances. The prison would be revisited in Rift Apart for a Great Escape attempt.
  • Robopon 2 has Gust Prison. Cody only escapes with the help of time travel.
  • The protagonist must escape from one of these in the first mission of Saints Row 2.
  • The San Francisco Rush series of Driving Games has, in every single installment barring the original arcade version, a course that is set on Alcatraz. Alcatraz in-game looks much bigger than its real-life counterpart.
  • Shadow Hearts: From The New World actually has the party break into Alcatraz.
  • During the events of Silent Hill 2, James gets to visit the remains of the Toluca Prison located beneath the Silent Hill Historial Society.
  • Skies of Arcadia has the Valuan Grand Fortress. It consists of a mountain high stone wall (that is at least 30 yards thick) that has hundred of canons mounted on one side. The stone wall can revolve so it can shoot at either side and there are multiple ports on the inside that can allow an armada of airships to pour out and attack. How do the protagonists respond to such a threat? Escape. For good measure they do it twice.
  • Sly 2: Band of Thieves has Sly and Murray thrown into one of these in the 4th episode at the hands of The Contessa. The only way for them to break out is for Bentley to break in.
  • Prison Island from Sonic Adventure 2 is based off of Alcatraz. No fewer than three characters are trapped there over the course of the story.
  • New Folsom in Starcraft II is this. Siege tanks, Ravens, ghosts, and more marines and marauders than you'll ever need guarding the Terran Dominion's political prisoners and an assortment of other galactic plagues, and it only took fifty years since its founding for Raynor's Raiders, with help from rogue Spectre Gabriel Tosh, to thwart its security measures, by mounting a full scale invasion.
    Raynor: Damn, Nova must've tipped them off. We'll need an army to break inside.
    Tosh: Even an army can't break through. But one man - one Spectre in the right place - can find a way in.
  • Star Trek Online has Facility 4028, a prison for the most dangerous criminals in the entire Federation. The prison is built into an airless planetoid and staffed almost entirely by holographic personnel, with individualized security approaches for every inmate. Inmates include a Cardassian True Way terrorist convicted of war crimes, an Undine who had impersonated a Starfleet captain in the backstory, and the female Changeling. During the mission "Facility 4028" the prison is attacked by time-traveling Jem'Hadar and a mass jailbreak ensues from damage to the central computer. The player helps recapture most of the inmates but Taris, the former Romulan praetor who was partially responsible for the Hobus supernova, escapes with Iconian help in the chaos.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic: The Republic has the secret planet prison of Belsavis, which was used to contain Mandalorions, Sith, and others who were too dangerous and/or too important to execute. Even the innocent descendants of these prisoners were kept imprisoned and treated no better than their criminal forefathersnote . Want to know how bad it is? When an imperial scientist finds out about some of the methods used on the prisoners by the Republic, he's actually impressed, claiming that he had a similar idea in the past that he pitched to his superiors, but it turns out that Even The Empire Has Standards.
  • Sunless Sea: Wisdom Prison. An enormous prison complex in the middle of the eponymous Sunless Sea, atop a huge conglomeration of irregular giant lily pads. Not only does it have regular old prison guards, but it's also surrounded completely by enormous, carnivorous toads with way too many eyes called Knot-Oracles. And for anyone who escapes those, they'll have to face the zee itself as well, which is already full of nasty monsters no matter where the place. And the nation that owns the prison has some of the best spies in the entire Neath, so chances are if you escape you'll be watched. If you want to get someone out of there, you'll have to either pass an impossibly difficult Veils challenge (AKA you're such a master of stealth you can sneak up on a sea monster with a gigantic dreadnought), trade it for one of the rarest secrets you could ever hope to find, or pay a bribe big enough to buy another ship.
  • Sunless Skies: Piranesi is a culmination, in that it had to be built in a region where the laws of reality had come loose in order to be made utterly inescapable. The cells and doors barely even do anything, because the real thing keeping everyone in is the utterly strange Alien Geometries. You simply cannot make progress physically, because you'll quickly loop right to where you started. Only by advancing as a person can you make any sort of movement at all around the place. Only the wardens can move around freely (and escort visitors), but even they cannot get you out right off even if they wanted to once you're imprisoned; the best they can do is counsel you, to help you move on and finally leave as a reformed individual. Though physical change works too, and some of your stronger traits might follow you home. And no one said becoming a much worse individual didn't count as change, either.
  • Ultima V takes place after Lord British has been captured by the Shadowlords. So let's see, they trapped Lord British inside of a mirror inside of a room that's on a ridiculously secure floor at the bottom of a very dangerous dungeon filled with monsters and puzzles, which is filled with barriers that can only be brought down with one of the crown jewels that was taken from him, you can't even set foot in the dungeon without the very last Word of Power which you don't get until all eight Sacred Quests are completed, the Shadowlords themselves show up to defeat the Avatar if he manages to set foot in that dungeon before defeating all three of them, the dungeon entrance itself is cloaked in darkness that can't be penetrated without another of Lord British's crown jewels, the darkness itself is hidden behind lava and mountains that can't be crossed without losing hit points, in a section of an underworld that lies beneath yet another dungeon which is less dangerous, but is also sealed up with yet another Word of Power, and everything that could have gotten Lord British out of there was either taken from him and hidden, or left in his private chambers? Yeah, I think it's safe to say the Shadowlords really, really didn't want Lord British to escape.
  • The Illsveil Prison in Wild ARMs 2. It makes a reappearance in Wild ARMs 4, though in that case, it was The Very Definitely Final Dungeon that the heroes need to break into.
  • World of Warcraft has quite a few of these.
    • The first of these is the Instanced dungeon known as The Arcatraz. It requires a fairly lengthy quest just to get the key to open the place. However, once inside you find out that the warden was enslaved by the monster from the deepest cells and has unleashed everything. The final encounter said warden unleashing five Sealed Evil in a Can on the party, the fifth one being the monster that kills him right away. Well, he calls down four technically. He builds up the Second to be a Sealed Evil in a Can , but he turns out to be an Innocent Bystander Gnome Mage who'll help you fight after a minute or so. The guy later reappears to be fully evil too.
    • The second one which was introduced in the Wrath of the Lich King is known as the Violet Hold in the Magocracy of Dalaran. Its where the most dangerous magical prisoners, demons or worse are imprisoned, partly as containment, and partly for study. The foolishness of this is remarked upon by even the Prison wardens, who are all Mages themselves. Who builds a magical prison in the heart of a magical city capable of destroying half the planet anyway?
    • The third one was introduced in Cataclysm - Tol Barad. A rather large facility (it makes up three instances) it was the original Extranormal Prison built on an island with the same name, and used to contain the most violent prisoners in the Eastern Kingdoms, as well as Demons and Mages. It was attacked by the Old Horde in the First and Second Wars, and the resulting breakout turned the island into a living nightmare. Only the northern island is even remotely habitable, with what's left of the original prison guard contingent (Baradin's Wardens) maintaining a tenuous perimeter while fending off attacks from a vanguard of the New Horde (Hellscream's Reach). The southern island, which had all the cell-blocks, is a death trap. Which the players have to clear out. The most dangerous cell-block is a 25-man raid known as Baradin Hold, with three of the most powerful lesser demons in known existence trapped within, and whom the players have to stop from breaking out. One is a demonic dog-like creature, one is a Shivarra with serious anger-management issues, and the third is an Omnicidal Maniac of a Pitlord.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has the aptly-named Prison Island, though it's an inversion as the heroes are trying to get into it, rather than out of it. In fact, getting to Prison Island is arguably the driving force of the first stretch of the game or so, as Shulk sees it in a vision and wants to find out the meaning of it. It isn't until the climax of the game that the prison's true purpose is revealed.

    Web Comics 
  • In Antihero for Hire, there's one of these in orbit, a "Valkyrie" class satellite called "The Afterlife" (or sometimes "The Rock" because "every escape-proof prison gets called The Rock", to which people get disappeared.
  • Bob and George: Mini Rick says the Author's prison is this.
  • In Captain Ufo, the Hole is considered the most secure prison space station in the USC.
  • Girl Genius: Castle Heterodyne is a sentient (if badly damaged) psychopath's funhouse filled with deathtraps and run by an insane and fragmented AI. It's also the titular heroine's ancestral home. The ever-pragmatic Baron Wulfenbach deals with troublemakers by sentencing them to join the repair crew, thus killing two birds with one stone. Even after 14 years, people rarely live long enough to finish their sentences. And with the Castle thoroughly enjoying tormenting its "guests" for no reason other than sheer amusement, being sent there is considered worse than a death sentence.
  • Table Titans has the Karcelok, a prison built by an unknown civilization that has remained a sign of terror for centuries, and its current warden is the most dangerous yet. To get to the entrance, you have to cross a large, open field. The cells themselves are set into a large pit, can only be opened by a specific key held by the guards, and are overlooked by the guards' tower. If you get that far, congratulations, you get to face the Warden, a pillar priest of the house of stone with tremendous Dishing Out Dirt abilities. If things look bad, he'll also activate his Obsidian Guard, Golems made of obsidian and virtually invulnerable.

    Web Original 
  • Dream SMP: A demonstration of how one can make a nigh-inescapable prison in Minecraft is given through Pandora's Vault, a practically inescapable facility Awesamdude made for Dream to imprison the latter's enemies. A list of the (known) layers of security:
    • The prison is composed of explosion-resistant materials such as obsidian and netherite blocks, with water in between to limit the effectiveness of wither explosions.
    • Anyone entering the prison must put all of their items in a chest in exchange for a keycard used to retrieve the items after a visit. The guests are also subject to several stages of searching and frisking to ensure they are not hiding any items, and splashed with potions to weaken them in case of misbehavior.
    • The prison is an island in the middle of elder guardian-infested waters, which give prisoners mining fatigue. It takes prisoners nine hours to mine a single block with their fists.
    • Any blocks that are broken will immediately alert the prison guards via a text message to their real-life phones, which means even the most determined of players cannot escape on their own.
    • The maximum security cell is an obsidian box in the middle of a massive lava pool. Visitors must cross the pool via a redstone flying machine bridge to the other side, after which the entrance is blocked with lava and the bridge is retracted.
    • If any guards are killed in battle and respawn far away, they can immediately be brought back with ender pearl stasis chambers and are automatically decked out with full netherite weapons and gear as well as potion buffs, in order to subdue escapees.
    • Any prisoners must set their spawn with a bed so they cannot escape via suicide. They can't break the bed either, as they will immediately be pushed into their cell with a piston.
  • Ivorycello: Every place where Ivorycello is imprisoned is considered inescapable, and yet she manages an escape every time. Many of the prisons take inspiration from Pandora's Vaultnote , and expand upon its ideas even further:
    • Flooded cells to make mining the walls even slower, with a conduit to prevent drowning.
    • Regenerating walls made of cobblestone or basalt to reappear as soon as they're destroyed, which also trigger a total lockdown of the prison.
    • Chunk ban perimeters and togglable inner chunk bans, which kick players off the server in a way that they can't ever rejoin unless the chunk ban is turned off.
    • Even more obsidian walls now with added water and lava, and even more elder guardians (although this often tends to shoot itself in the foot, with the elder guardians dying from the sheer amount of them, syncing up their mining fatigue effect, or both).
  • SCP Foundation: Several Foundation facilities function as prisons designed to protect the world from the dangers of supernatural and hide it from the public to protect the Masquerade, prisoners can be monsters, humans with powers or curses, Eldritch Abominations, Reality Warpers and abstract paranormal events, those places are also laboratories where the supernatural is studied with many unethical experiments.
    • While they have vast amounts of resources and high-tech technology, and they made surprising feats of containing dangerous anomalies that can destroy the world, they still have many containment breaches where their prisoners tried to escape but were recaptured, and they have cases where anomalies escaped their facilities and went back to the wild, or were stolen by other groups.
    • The SCP Foundation is also responsible for storing dangerous items that are magical/supernatural but not sentient, these items are often classified "Safe", they may be still dangerous but can be just stored in a box and are harmless if untouched, they avoid using those items for their goals, but sometimes they weaponize them or even use them to contain other SCPs, giving them the "Thaumiel" class, research sometimes reveals these items were in fact sentient.
    • When an anomaly cannot be carried away and stored in a prison cell, usually when it's a big, scary and weird place, they build walls around it and establish a facility there.
    • The Foundation also has prisoners called D-Class, normal humans that are used in experiments with the SCPs, most of them die or worse, or even get straight-up sacrificed because dying for science is part of their job, most of the D-Class personnel are criminals that were sentenced to death anyway. Traitors to the Foundation or people from groups who use or create anomalies for their own selfish goals can also be arrested and used as D-Class.
    • Although the Foundation actually has ethics and an Ethics Committee, to make sure the Foundation maintains their goal of protecting the world instead of taking over it, and to prevent unnecessary cruelty, anomalies that are harmless or friendly and are there just for being a threat to normalcy, or didn't do bad stuff on purpose, can still have a decent life in prison, have comfort, make requests and sometimes even freedom to leave their cells and roam the facilities, and there are anomalies that work for the Foundation.
  • Tech Infantry has the Federation (and later Imperial) Prison in the R45 system is a Death World and prison planet from which escape (or even survival) is almost impossible. Orbital forts and warships in orbit to prevent rescue, powerful magical incantations and a natural anti-magic field to prevent magical teleportation escapes, and a toxic ecosystem overrun by insane stranded Bugs make it a not at all nice place to be sentenced.
  • The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing: The town to which the hero is sent to is not an adorable land of fuzzy morons. It is in fact an inescapable prison that slowly turns humans into animals, who are then used as replacement parts for the insane warden. And it's awesome!

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane: Stillwater Prison is a prison fort off the coast holding criminals captured throughout Piltover and Zaun. The prison goes up to at least 40 floors, and has cells acting as solitary confinement for prisoners.
  • Avatar:
    • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
      • The Fire Nation keeps captive Earthbenders on a giant steel platform way out to sea. The lack of any earth to bend keeps prisoners down, even when Katara makes a Rousing Speech, until the others grab a huge load of coal, which the Earthbenders can work with. One of the reasons the movie was so disliked was that they dropped the "out to sea" part, keeping the Earthbenders in a quarry.
      • The Boiling Rock is one of the most over-the-top examples that isn't for humor: It's a maximum security prison, on a tiny island, in a lake heated to boiling by hydrothermal vents, in the caldera of a remote volcanic island, so that the only way in or out is an aerial tram to the docks. Sokka and Zuko break out Suki, Hakoda, and a random inmate named Chit Sang who overheard their escape plans ("Hey, I'm new").
    • Early in Book 3 of The Legend of Korra, the four members of the Red Lotus get one of these each. Each one is tailor made to restrict their abilities. The cells held them for 13 years and even then they only failed because their leader gained Air Bending, through what was basically a miracle.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • There's the Vault, the Big House, and the Raft mentioned in the Comic Books section, while also using the Cube, a prison specifically designed to deal with gamma-powered supervillains. The series is kicked off by a simultaneous jailbreak from all four prisons.
    • Then there's prison 42: a prison designed by Ant-Man, Reed Richards, and Iron Man later in the series. This prison is based off the Negative Zone prison mentioned in the Comic Books section, and much more like a more traditional Alcatraz. The only entrance is through the Baxter Building, and that entrance is key card and hand scanner protected. Each cell is protected by a transparent forcefield, and since the prison is in the negative zone, they can lock the door if anyone tries to break out (nobody has yet). It used to be patrolled by hundreds of Ultron robots, but after their destruction in the war against Kang, it currently is under SHIELD control with hundreds of armed agents patrolling at all times. 42 was ultimately retired when the Annihilus revealed himself and nearly destroyed the prison, endangering prisoners, guards, and the outside world.
  • Ben 10 has the prison satellite of Incarceron as a traditional example, while the Null Void is used by the Plumbers as a prison dimension with an actual prison complex shown in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. Several characters do escape from it (Vilgax, Kevin Levin and Alpha from Ben 10/Generator Rex: Heroes United), though they are regarded as some of the most dangerous beings in the universe.
  • Walker's prison stronghold in Danny Phantom. Naturally the main character got all the Rogues Gallery he's faced so far to help create havoc and escape. All this for a present. The main character Danny finds out he can escape the prison by just walking, the prison is in the Ghost Zone where ghosts live, and ghosts cannot go through the walls of that prison, but when he reverts back to his human form, he finds out that he and all humans can walk through the walls like ghosts.
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons (1983) cartoon, Venger's "Prison of Agony" is an enormous prison suspended over a lava lake in a volcano by four enormous chains. One of the biggest reasons it was escape-proof was because the winch to operate the drawbridge that was the only way in or out was so heavy, only the giant who guarded it could turn it. The giant actually wasn't a bad guy; Venger was blackmailing him by threatening to destroy his homeworld. (Apparently, he was in the same situation as the heroes.) Naturally, when Venger sent the heroes to this awful place, the giant proved a valuable ally when they launched a mass-jailbreak and destroyed the whole facility.
  • The Fairyworld Maximum Security Prison, recently renamed Abra-Catraz, that Jorgen Von Strangle is in charge in The Fairly OddParents!.
  • The Alcatraz was the setting of an episode of Funky Cops where Ace and Dick are sent to prison. The anachronism (the show is set around 1976 or so and Alcatraz was closed in 1963 — wasn't it?) is pointed out several times and never explained. They mount an escape with the help of The Old Convict, who has spent some decades building a non-powered glider plane out of matchsticks.
  • A weird example occurred in The Huckleberry Hound Show. Huckleberry is the warden of a prison in the middle of nowhere, from which nobody escapes... because the amusement parks and various entertainments inside make the place so darn fun. In fact, Huckleberry's problem in that cartoon isn't a criminal trying to break out, it is one who'd served his sentence trying to break back in.
  • The Owl House: The Conformatoriam is where Dissenters (or even people who just don't "fit in") get branded criminals, thrown in prison, stripped of their magic, or even turned to stone in a public execution.
  • In SilverHawks, the Penal Planet serves this purpose. Mon*Star broke out in the first episode thanks to a burst of light from the Moon*Star of Limbo which transforms Mon*Star and gives him the strength to break free.
  • Stalagmite 17 in Slugterra is the most highly guarded prison in all of SlugTerra. Stalagmite 17 first appeared in "Mission: Improbable", where Mister Saturday took over and zombified the staff. After a fusion shot failed, Mr. Saturday captured and placed the Shane Gang in Stalagmite 17. Eventually this caused Burpy and Pronto to come and break the gang out. In later episodes, it was used by the Shane Gang to incarcerate the most dangerous criminals in SlugTerra and, for the most part, it succeeded in holding them.
  • The Citadel in Star Wars: The Clone Wars can be found on a remote volcanic planet, blockaded by the Separatist fleet. It's explicitly stated, that even if someone manages to escape the institute, they still can't really go anywhere because the landscape is almost impossible to cross — especially while being chased.
  • Star Wars Rebels:
    • The Spire on Stygeon Prime appears in the third episode, "Rise of the Old Masters". This is the same place Darth Maul was contained at the beginning of Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir. By the time frame of this series, Jedi Master Luminara Unduli (or her corpse, at least) is being held there.
    • Mustafar is also treated as this during the final episodes of Season 1, specifically being called the place that 'Jedi go to die'. Makes sense, since Darth Vader has taken up residence on the planet.
  • Storm Hawks has the Cyclonian prison on Terra Zartacla. Since the actual prison complex is surrounded by a dense jungle, escaping the prison proper doesn't mean you're home free. What's more is that Mr. Moss keeps dangerous animals bred for tracking down escapees. And since a 'Terra' in Storm Hawks means a tall peak surrounded by a volcanic wasteland, without a pre-arranged ride, you'd be out of luck. Aerrow manages to escape and spends the episode dodging Mr. Moss' forces until his friends (who by this time have freed the rest of the prison while it was left defenseless because Moss called all of his men on the search) come to rescue him.
  • Superjail!, from the series of the same name, seems almost ridiculously inescapable. For one thing, it's on top of a volcano... which apparently grew right in the middle of another volcano (so, you know, lava moat), which is on a desert island and it's probably in another dimension. One character manages to escape by the end of the first episode. It's a good thing too; in Superjail, you go in... and that's about it.
    • This soon proves to be a running gag that occurs Once an Episode, where by some strange coincidence he manages to escape at the end of every episode only to be brought back at the beginning on the next one.
  • In Winx Club, the frozen prison planet of the Omega Dimension is where the most evil criminals are sent. Anyone sent there is either frozen or placed in a capsule and then shot down to the surface from space. Anyone that gets out must deal with large ice snakes with an ice breath that can freeze lightning, freezing to death, finding any food and supplies, and avoiding roaming gangs attacking intruders. Without a spaceship, the only way out is a single portal heavily reinforced with magic. Anyone who could get through that would arrive on the ocean planet of Andros and be confronted by the mermaid guards at the portal. When the Trix are sent there, they free another prisoner, Valtor. They locate the portal and manage to break it open while simultaneously brainwashing the mermaid guards. They then stroll free, leaving the portal open for other prisoners to escape.
  • W.I.T.C.H. has the prison of Cavigor where Prince Phobos sends rebels and anyone else that opposes him. It's a lot like the original Alcatraz only instead of water there's a Bottomless Pit and there's only one way in or out; Caleb states that even the guards are prisoners until they're relieved by the next shift. Cavigor was in the original comics, but was just a regular prison on a hill. Both versions have giant cockroaches as guard dogs, just to add to the charm.
  • Belle Reve in Young Justice is a supermax facility located in the Louisiana bayou, and built to house most, if not all, of the strongest and deadliest of super villains. The only thing keeping all the inmates at bay are special collars designed to negate their individual powers, and shock them into submission if they break the rules. Then somebody figured out having the baddest villains under the same roof was a plus, so the evil cabal known as the "Light" engineers a failed escape attempt, (by having ice-based villains purposly caught and brought to Belle Reve to freeze the walls solid and smash through them,) that allows one of their agents to be put in charge of the facility. Despite all the major villains being unable to escape, Edward Nygma, aka "The Riddler", is the only one that manages to break out during the ice-villains' attempt, after being harrassed for so long, and called a loser and second-rate criminal.

    Real Life 
  • The Trope Namer is Alcatraz, the famous prison in San Francisco Bay set out on a rock.
    • The most successful escape attempt was a man (John K Giles - a pretty awesome guy in his own right) who stole an Army uniform, snuck onto an Army laundry boat, and took it to Angel Island (another island in San Francisco Bay) where he was immediately apprehended. It says something that this is considered successful. (However, see below for speculation regarding escapees who were never found.)
    • This trope is so famous that, in direct competition with the 140.6 mile Iron Man endurance triathlon, San Francisco now holds an Escape from Alcatraz triathlon, which starts with the athletes diving off the prison island and swimming to shore, before completing a bike race and foot race.
    • Ironically, Alcatraz itself has spent more years as a tourist attraction than as a federal prison (it spent 29 years, from 1934 to 1963, as a prison, but has been a tourist attraction since 1972, passing the length of time it spent as a prison in 2001).
    • Frank Morris and John and Clarence Anglin may or may not have escaped. MythBusters proved their escape possible, and even took San Francisco Bay tidal movements and Morris' high intelligence into consideration and concluded that he could have ditched their equipment upon reaching the mainland and have it wash up on Angel Island, giving the impression they drowned. Given that no sign of them has ever turned up, it will likely never be known if they actually survived. There are some evidence that all three survived, and lived for a period in Brazil, but no definitive proof has surfaced.
    • Before Morris and the Anglins, there were Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe. They are also presumed to have drowned, but no bodies were ever found. Like Morris and the Anglins, there were suggestions that they survived.
    • Six months after Morris and the Anglins, John Paul Scott and Darl Lee Parker also made a break for it. Parker broke an ankle and was captured shortly afterwards, but Scott actually made it across the Bay to Fort Point (at the San Francisco end of the Golden Gate Bridge). He was too frozen and exhausted to continue his escape afterwards and was apprehended. The Escape from Alcatraz triathlon has the competitors swimming the same route Scott took for its first portion.
  • Louisiana State Penitentiary (also known as "Angola"), a large prison farm in central Louisiana, is literally nicknamed "Alcatraz of the South". Surrounded by the Mississippi River on three sides, and a range of hills on the other, the prison has only seen one successful escape, carried out by five men in December 1956.
  • The prison (and escape) in The Great Escape was based off a real one, Stalag Luft III.
  • While somewhat more famous in Britain, Colditz Castle was another 'inescapable' WWII POW camp. The population was composed entirely of men who had already escaped from other prisons and 15 managed to escape even here (there was a 16th who got out, but he wasn't heard from again).
  • Devil's Island was a notorious and "inescapable" island in the French Guiana Penal Colony. It was protected by rocky cliffs and powerful tides, if you didn't die on the way down the sea would smash you into the rocks. Numerous hardened criminals were sent to Devil's Island along with political prisoners, and there were several alleged escapes including Henri Charrière of Papillon fame.
  • Chateau d'If, most famous for its role in The Count of Monte Cristo, was a real-life island prison off the coast of the city of Marseille used to keep political prisoners who were too important to kill locked up. Much like Alcatraz, strong ocean currents helped ensure the security of the prison, and no real prisoner ever escaped. It is open today as a tourist attraction.
  • Giacomo Casanova (yes, the Trope Namer) managed to escape from the supposedly inescapable Doge's Palace.
  • All of West Berlin for an inverted example. East Germany spent enormous amounts of money to keep people from breaking in.
  • The British prison on the Rock of Gibraltar.
  • Portlaoise Prison in the Republic of Ireland contains Ireland's most dangerous criminals, members of dangerous drug gangs and criminals serving life sentences for serious crime. A number of Irish Republican prisoners are still in the old E Block. Anyone charged under Section 30 of the Offences Against the State Act must be sent to the prison because of its unique security measures. The prison has a capacity for 399 prisoners, but because of the security sensitive nature of its inmates, it operates below this capacity. A large number of well-armed Irish Defence Forces soldiers guard the prison 24 hours a day, making it one of the most secure prisons in Europe. The security features include a army detachment consisting of approximate Company strength, armed with assault rifles and anti-aircraft machine guns, who guard the prison complex. An air exclusion zone operates over the entire complex. The perimeter consists of high walls, cameras, sensors and acres of tank traps.
  • Elba was supposed to be this for Napoleon. Despite being an island guarded by the British Navy, he managed to escape after 300 days. After Waterloo, he was exiled to Saint Helena, a barren and isolated chunk of rock in the South Atlantic 1500 miles off the coast of Africa, guarded by a 2,000 man garrison and two warships that patrolled the coast. He didn't escape that time.
  • Australia was a penal (prison) colony for Britain for the greater part of the 19th century, and well beyond swimming distance to someplace better, and certainty prohibitively far from England, which was the point. In turn, Tasmania was the penal colony for Australia—that is, if after being transported to Australia from Britain and committed another serious offence, you'd go to Tasmania. The same, generally speaking, was true of Queensland; Brisbane is sufficiently far from the rest of Australian civilization to tell you why. And for those the British government was really angry at, there was Norfolk Island: after a failed rebellion there, some of the rebels were sentenced to hang, but had to have the sentences confirmed in Sydney. When some of the condemned found out that they would be spared, they wept and cursed their fate, while those who were to die rejoiced that at least they would not be on Norfolk Island any longer.
  • The Marias Islands in Mexico.
  • During World War II, Nazi concentration camps were a subversion, as they were neither escape-proof, nor sneak-proof. Alongside people who smuggled various objects inside, who spied and relayed some bits of info to partisans or Allied spies, who helped some prisoners to escape, the prisoners themselves were usually taken out for forced labor in quarries, construction sites or armament factories. The secrecy of The Holocaust was not maintained by guarding those living inside, but by exterminating most of the new arrivals in the first three hours after disembarking from trains.
  • The most secure prison in the United States is ADX ("Administrative Maximum Facility") Florence, the "Alcatraz of the Rockies", opened near Florence, Colorado in 1994 as a containment facility for inmates too dangerous for even maximum security. Just for starters, ADX is part of a four-prison complex surrounded by open ground and is at the far end of the prison access road watched by almost a dozen guard towers. Inmates at higher security levels never see another inmate, are forbidden phone calls, and cell windows view only the sky to prevent inmates from knowing where they are. In addition there are the razor-wire fence, hundreds of security cameras, 1400 steel doors, and various other security devices. As a result of the massive security, ADX's inmate list is a Who's Who of international drug lords and terrorists.
    • ADX manages to have an even more extreme "ultramax" inside a supermax: Range 13, a small block of zero-human-contact cells. Thomas Silverstein, whose 1983 murder of a prison guard at USP Marion prison inspired the design of ADX, served his three life sentences on Range 13 before dying in 2019.
  • The United States, in response to The War on Terror, created two medium-security "Communication Management Units" in 2007 and 2008 at FCI Terre Haute and USP Marion to house convicted terrorists and tightly restrict their communications to the outside world. Certain prisoners whose communications are considered an exceptional risk can be subject to "Special Administrative Measures" that isolate them further from human contact.
  • Her Majesty's Prison Peterhead was described as "Scotland's gulag". It is an old, Victorian era building, initially serving prisoners doing hard labour. It only got electricity in 2005, and as of then still didn't have flush toilets for prisoners. It was closed and converted to a prison museum in 2016.
  • Spike Island was this when it was used as a prison. In 1985, a riot occurred culminating in the prisoners burning down one of the prison blocks. Of course, they were all rounded up, as getting off the island without a boat was impossible.
  • Several in Russia, such as White Swan (in Solikamsk), Black Dolphin (in Sol Iletsk), and Fire Island (in Vologda Oblast). These supermaxes were built for vory, Chechen terrorists and similar especially dangerous criminals sentenced to lifetime imprisonment. Another one, infamous in Mafiya and gopnik circles, is the Vladimir Central. There is a shanson song dedicated to it. Note that Russian supermaxes are either from the Tsarist times (like the Vladimir Central) or recently built. The Soviets did not believe in this trope, using either lax but very distant, frozen penal colonies, or the death penalty.
  • Camp Delta, more commonly - and inaccurately - referred to as Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It has imprisoned a variety of people taken captive by the US in The War on Terror, ranging from actual terrorists to completely innocent people to children as young as 12. There are 12 guards for every one prisoner, and waterboarding and other forms of torture were performed regularly until 2008. Escape is considered virtually impossible; even then, an escaped prisoner would find himself in the middle of a US Navy base and having to cross the heavily guarded border with Cuba or swim across the Windward Passage to Haiti.
  • Tadmor Military Prison in Syria, home of rebels and political dissidents. The prison can only be accessed through a single long tunnel, through which those wishing to get in must crawl. During the 1980s, it was infamous as somewhere the regime cast people too important to execute but too dangerous to release - it was nothing more than a hole for them to die in. Closed during the 1990s, it was later reopened to hold rebel prisoners taken in the ongoing Syrian Civil War. Completely destroyed by the so-called Islamic State or ISIL after they captured Palymra in May 2015.
  • La Gorgona Island served as Colombia's most secure prison for decades. Not only was it far from the mainland, but the prison itself was deep within the island's snake-infested jungle, which the prisoners would have to cross if they even wished to reach the sea (which was infested with sharks). Only three successful escapes were recorded during its operation, and all were caught and returned relatively quickly.
  • Côn Đảo prison, which was nicknamed the Indochina’s version of Devil’s Island where the French colonial government (and later US-backed South Vietnam) jailed those considered especially dangerous, and subjected them to hard labor, torture, and inhumane living conditions. Hundreds of escape attempts were staged continuously although escape was very hard due to the island being surrounded by sharks along with protection by rocky cliffs and powerful tides. It was closed after the end of The Vietnam War and is open as a tourist attraction today.
  • South Africa has Robben Island, located right off the coast of Cape Town. A small, barren lime quarry of an island, this is where anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela spent most of his years in prison. During his imprisonment, intellectual activity was active on that island, hence calling it a "university". Nowadays, it's a tourist attraction and a World Heritage Site.
  • Tarrafal (aka Chão Bom in the Sixties and Seventies) in Cape Verde was a combination of this and Penal Colony for Portuguese New State political prisoners and colonial independence fighters. Located 350 miles off the West African coast in the Atlantic Ocean where escape was impossible. It was also infamous for the overall bad conditions of the place, as well as the frigideira ("frying pan"), an isolation unit made entirely of zinc in which - due to being completely closed as well as the climate being tropical - many prisoners died of heat stroke.


Video Example(s):


The Omega Dimension

The Omega Dimension is a frozen Death World that is used as a dumping ground for the worst criminals in the Magic Dimension, who are all encased in ice beforehand. But when the Trix are sent there, Icy uses her ice magic to free herself and her sisters from cryostasis and make their escape.

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