Two brothers from a set of triplets fooled a Russian prison when one brother swapped places with the other to give him a brief taste of freedom. Rather than returning, the freed brother ran off with his brother’s girlfriend. It took years for the authorities to realize they had been duped.
Salvador Dali made a painting for Riker’s Island prison in New York, which was eventually moved away from inmates, only to be stolen by guards.
A man was once accidentally released from prison 90 years early due to clerical error. He then started building his life by getting a job, getting married, having kids, coaching youth soccer, being active in his church. Authorities realized the mistake 6 years later and sent him back to prison.
A young Arkansas woman spent 35 days in jail and paid thousands in fines for a $29 bounced check.
Treadmills used to be used as punishment for prisoners in the 1800’s. The treadmills powered grain mills (hence the name treadmill) and pump water.
Louisiana State Penitentiary was founded as a slave plantation, and is still run as a prison farm to this day.
Guards at New Mexico State Penitentiary had a “snitch game”. They would label inmates as snitches, let them be abused, and wait for them to turn into informants to escape their tormentors.
Two inmates sued the state of Alabama, claiming the cramped space in their cell was a cruel and unusual punishment. The state argued that students at Auburn University actually paid to live in even smaller living space in the Magnolia Dorm.
The longest prison term ever sentenced was 2,200 years. He appealed, was re-convicted, re-sentenced, and given an additional 9,000 years.