If you're ever arrested in Central New York, you better hope you won't be hauled off to this prison that's full of nightmare fuel.

New York's Worst Prisons

2024 is here, which means a new wave of jailbirds will be out committing crimes and spending time behind bars. But where do authorities hold these lawbreakers?

Before we continue, please note Townsquare Media is not accusing the prisons of anything. We are reporting on a survey by an entity that is not and never has been affiliated with the company. If you have complaints or criticisms, direct them at Prisons Info.


For those who find themselves curious about the living conditions of these inmates, a new list by PrisonsInfo.com found the seven worst prisons in New York and their findings will give you the chills.

Topping the roundup was none other than the infamous Rikers Island Facility, which is home to nearly 6,000 inmates - meaning crammed conditions, stinky smells, and unfortunate incidents. Prisons Info wrote, "Just alone in 2021, there were 11 murders reported, with 5 prisoners committing suicide."

Read More: These Are the Top 10 Dumbest Cities in New York State

The New York State Department of Corrections refuted those claims and in an email to Townsquare Media, they report there were 14 in-custody deaths in 2021. According to the press office, six of those deaths were ruled natural in cause while four were ruled to be suicides and the remaining four were accidents.

In all, this list is full of places that will make you rethink running afoul of the law. But one place in Central New York earned the title as being the most problematic facility in the Empire State.

Shoutout to Onondaga County

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Prisons Info had not-so-nice things to say about the Onondaga County Justice Center, which was sixth-worst on the list. According to them, there is a reason why the state Commission of Correction hails it as the most disturbing prison in New York:

Investigations have revealed that the facilities for inmates are inadequate to such a scale that they pose a serious health risk for them and even the guards. In addition, the report says there is an excessive inhumane treatment of inmates, which simply violates their constitutional rights.

The facility also grapples with overcrowding and severe gaps in staffing. The website also had this to say about the facility:

Unless Onondaga County Justice Center looks into the problems of overcrowding and improving the facilities for inmates, it will remain one of the worst prisons in the state of New York.

The facility is in good company with Rikers, as well as Greene County Jail, Erie County Holding Center and the Dutchess County Jail.

What Are the Worst Jails in New York?

Aside from Rikers and OCJC, here are the top 7 worst jails in the Empire State.

  1. New York City Rikers Island Facility
  2. Great Meadow Correctional Facility
  3. Greene County Jail
  4. Erie County Holding Center & Correctional Facility
  5. Dutchess County Jail
  6. Onondaga County Jail
  7. Attica Correctional Facility

An honorable mention went to Sing, Sing Prisons in The New York State.

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As for why Prisons Info claims these jailhouses are the worst of the worst:

The reason why some prisons in New York state are not as effective as they should be lies in a multitude of reasons. These range from poor hygiene and maintenance of the prisons, overcrowding, wardens not doing their jobs effectively, not being given effective correctional services, denied access to mandatory education programs, and fights.

The website also mentioned racial tensions due to New York's higher incarceration rates for Black americans, with 48 percent of all inmates being African American.

You can read more about this report HERE.

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