An Italian prison that is application-only

Oct 10, 2023 238

BY: Francesco Bertolucci

It is the smallest island in the Tuscan archipelago and is the last prison island in all of Europe. But the Gorgona Agricultural Penal Colony is no maximum-security Alcatraz. On the contrary, inmates serve their sentences by working outdoors, ranching and farming and learning a trade that will help them reintegrate into society once they complete their sentences.

They are overseen at intervals by police officers who do not stand guard but who cycle by on patrol. Prison gates remain open during the day, and new inmates are housed in two-person cells. The best-behaved earn a cell of their own.

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