The smallest prison in the world is located on Sark Island, one of the quietest, most peaceful and ecologically clean places on Earth. The use of cars is prohibited on the island, no planes fly over it. Even in such a truly paradise corner, there was a place for such a gloomy structure. The prison is designed for two people, and its history is unique, like itself.
Sark is a very small island. It is only five kilometres long. It is located in the southwestern part of the English Channel and belongs to Great Britain. Only five hundred inhabitants live here. The first mention of the island of Sark was in 1040 when William the Conqueror gave it to the abbey of Mont Saint Michel.
In the middle of the 16th century, the island was captured by France. Later England conquered it. Until the very beginning of the 20th century, smugglers and pirates were hiding there from justice.
The islet was the only British territory captured by the Nazis during World War II. Until 2006, feudalism reigned there. Democracy reached the island only fourteen years ago, and universal suffrage was introduced.
Sark seems to be quite deceivingly safe. There have been many incidents in its history, proving the need for special checks on visitors and defence.
For example, in 1990, nuclear physicist André Garde arrived here in a boat loaded with semi-automatic weapons. The Frenchman declared himself Lord of Sark and immediately set about installing his advertising posters.
According to the scientist, “the island was now under his rule.” The reign of the unexpected guest was short-lived. He was arrested the day after he went ashore. The constable knocked him down with a blow to the nose and took away the weapon.
In 2013, they even made a movie about this called “The Man Who Tried to Steal an Island”.
The unusual island is home to the smallest prison in the world, with only two cells. They have no windows, and there are beds with thin mattresses. There is a meter-long corridor between the cells, and the total area of the building is only eighteen square meters. This stone structure with a barrel-shaped roof was built in 1856. From the outside, it looks like some kind of village house. This is definitely far from reality!
Sark is one of the Channel Islands, incredibly beautiful and graceful. It is known for its impressive landmarks. The prison should be very small here. In fact, Sarka Prison is widely regarded as the world’s smallest prison that still operates.
This place is not a permanent solution, it is designed as pre-trial detention. The prisoners spend a couple of days behind bars – or rather, without it, since there are no windows in this prison, then they are sent to the neighbouring island of Guernsey.
The first inmate of the unique prison on Sark was a young maid, and she stole a handkerchief from her mistress. The girl was sentenced to imprisonment for three days. She was very much afraid of the dark, and her cell door was left open. Instead of the correctional officers, some local ladies sat next to her, knitted, and talked to the inmate.
Two volunteer constables are involved in law enforcement on the island. Since vehicles are prohibited on Sark, there are no accidents there. Now the only inmates of the unique prison in the world can become, perhaps, tourists who have too much alcohol. True, it occasionally happens that farmers get there, who got drunk behind the wheel of their tractor.
On the island, you can watch the beautiful starry sky. Nothing prevents this there – there are no cars, artificial lighting is limited. Tourists are also invited to see the granite carvings made by a Tibetan monk, which is about a thousand years old.
The island looks like a heavenly place, just do not disturb the order there, otherwise, you will have an extremely difficult night in a small bunk in a tiny prison.