- "You boys won't be going any further. That's because this is Nanba Prison, the greatest prison in history."
- —Hajime confronting Cell 13 outside the prison.
Off the coast of Japan
Nanba Prison (難波刑務所 Nanba Keimusho) is a highly classified prison somewhere out in the ocean just off the coast of Japan, and is one of the most secured jailhouses ever known. Nanba's security even surpassing the famous prison Alcatraz, as it has absolutely no reports of any successful escape attempts since the prison's establishment; with the exception of one individual. With the use of the prison's use of state of the art, high quality security technology, and the recruitment of elite degree guards from all over the globe, Nanba Prison stands as one of the highest rated prisons in the entire world. There's a reason to this overkill of security, as Nanba Prison holds some of the most dangerous criminals from around the world and also holds prisoners that have escaped numerous prisons on Earth, only to put them here where they would never escape.
The buildings themselves take up a great deal of the prison grounds, and can extend into the air space for several stories, even dwarfing that of traditional skyscrapers.
The buildings within Nanba Prison follow a strict organizational infrastructure to provide the most effective security measures possible. A mixture of both hidden and visible cameras line passageways, cells, air vents, and even the group bathrooms, to ensure that no spot is left blind to perform misdeeds. These video streams are fed to a continuous recording device located within the monitor room at the center of each building. This set up is repeated on each floor of the building to allow for quick response from the guards, and minimize the chances of missing something when watching the feed. Buildings at Nanba Prison are generally co-ed, though genders are separated by floors to prevent potential sexual harassment during their bath time at the communal floor showers. The floors themselves are organized based on criminal severity, with the worst of the worst kept in the cells at the highest floors, preventing them from a quick escape if they were to undo the padlocked door of their cell. The more well behaved inmates, typically the ones with the highest IPs, are put on the cells in the lower floor to allow them easier access to the wide variety of activity rooms available.
For the prisons who are well behaved, there is an activities room in headquarters, where inmates can take classes such as wood working, cooking, and music classes. There is also a library within each building with books, magazines, manga, CDs and DVDs. A chapel is also available for inmates to visit on their free hour.
Each building also has its own hospital ward that serves to treat patients for a range of services including a medical and surgical in-patient unit, aged care, mental illnesses, and pharmaceuticals. Though the hospital ward is found within each building, its design is that of a typical hospital environment, providing a more benign environment, while still maintaining the necessary levels of security. Medical staff are all trained to subdue wild inmates, with just as much skill as any guard, which can help in the case of an incident in the caring environment. Most rooms will feature a traditional twin bed with quick release guard rails and trapeze equipment alongside to hold the IV bags and wires of the nearby medical equipment. Cloth partitions keep the two bed per room separate from one another, but can be rolled back along the wheeled track on the ceiling. A couch is placed nearby for guards to rest on while their inmate is being examined, and in critical cases, the family of the inmate can visit and rest on the couch as well. The medical technology and research available for the doctors at Nanba Prison are within the scope of the top 100 hospitals in the world, due to the fact that the prison has the capability of asking for permission to try new and innovative medical procedures on death row inmates. The hospital in each building is also one of the lead research departments on superhuman abilities, as a majority of their inmate patients have some sort of ability that makes them key targets for medical research.
Each prison cell is 40 square meters (440 sq ft) and has a selection of cupboards, closets, a desk, mini-fridge, toilet with shower, and even storage underneath the floor where inmates can keep the belongings they purchase from commissary. The cells also have air conditioning, unlike many other prisons around the world. Those inmates who have high enough Inmate Points (IPs) can request objects such as a couch, laptop, books, or a video game system. While the prison provides food, the prisoners can also buy snacks to store in the cupboards and minifridge. Guards will frequently escort inmates from their cells to the outdoor yard to exercise.
The dining experience at Nanba Prison is described as being one of the best out of any prison in the world according to inmates. Each building within the prison has their own dining facility that employs their own kitchen staff. These chefs are trained in a variety of cuisine styles, including that of vegetarian, vegan, and religious culinary dishes. The ingredients themselves are shipped in and inspected by the state, and then stored in the food bank within the prison's headquarter to be distributed via monorail to the respective building kitchens. These shipments also include items that inmates can purchase at the commissary, such as peanut butter, candy, and coffee.
The dining hall itself is fairy simple in design. It features numerous lunch tables with bolted benches spaced out within the large mass hall; each table clearly visible from the guards galley above that circles around the room. The grated walkway of the galley allowing for no blind spots in the guards watch, ensuring that inmates do not steal the silverware, food, or engage in personnel disputes. The kitchen is separated from the dining hall with a thick concrete wall, and is only accessed by the inmates through a glass plated window. The inmates will line up and pull pre-plated dishes from the kitchen window, as well as grabbing a wrapped set of silverware. The silverware must be left on the table at the end of the meal, allowing for the guards to count them before inmates are allowed to leave; ensuring that no silverware is taken to be used as weapons.
Nanba Prison is home to a great deal of recreational features for its guards to enjoy on their time off. These amenities were initially put in to encourage guards to stay at the dormitories, allowing for them to be on call in case of an emergency, but have now been expanded and gated off to allow for more commercial use; even used as a tourist attraction for the public. The recreation area is located close to the guard’s dormitory, which is due east of headquarters, and is the last stop on the monorail. A big feature that draws the public is a 228 store mall featuring a wide array of apparel, food, entertainment, and home good stores within. The recreation area also has options such as a 6 screen movie theater complete with a snack bar and the latest movies that are playing on the mainland. One of the more popular attractions, however, is the indoor ski resort. With 35,000 m2 (376,737 ft2) of snow, a 250 meter (820 ft) slope that’s 100 meters (328 ft) long, multiple chairlifts, and other winter sports areas for things like tubing, snowmobiles, and even ice skating.
One of the most visited recreation areas for inmates, aside from each buildings recreation yard, is the arena. This arena is located outside of the gated-off Rec area, and is the only facility that inmates are allowed to enter. The arena is a tri-level coliseum style arena, built on 45 acres. The concrete arena is built to a capacity of ninety-five thousand inmates, with no inmate seated more than 100 meters (330 ft) from the field, and there are no restricted views in the arena so that guards can keep a watchful eye on the inmates. There is a jutted out podium that the wardens can observe from, especially during events such as the New Years Celebration.
Nanbaka is home to one of the most used monorail systems in the world, aside from those found in theme parks. The monorail system connects each of the buildings to headquarters, as well as the adjacent buildings in their sector. They are largely used for passenger transport, but supplies to each building is transported from headquarters to their respective places using the monorail system. The monorail is classified into four sectors, each sector having two track that are always moving on opposite directions to help minimize the travel time of its users. These four sectors coordinate with the cardinal directions that they are aligned with in relation to headquarters. Each line is then labeled with a number. For example, if someone from building 10 wished to go to building 7, they would take the N1 monorail.
The monorail itself is classified as a straddle-type maglev train. This means that the monorail units are coupled together atop a single rail, and use magnetic levitation to create lift and propulsion of the monorail. This allows for a highly stable model and can accommodate rapid deceleration from high speeds; the fastest monorail in Nanba Prison, HQ1, can reach speeds of 235 km/h (146 mph) between its stops. And because no two trains share the same rail system, there are very few opportunities for collision, making it relatively safe. This type of system also allows for the monorail to change directions, so that once it reaches the end of its line, it will reverse and head to the opposite side. The speed of this monorail even allows for someone from building 3 travel to building 13 in only 30 minutes, despite the line transfer and subsequent stops.
Equipped with the latest technology and staff hired from all over the world, Nanba prison is highly regarded as the most secure prison in the world. Believed to dwarf the legendary Alcatraz in terms of security precautions taken to see that no inmate may ever escape from the prison. While many attempts have been made to tarnish the prison's track record, none have ever succeeded with their lives.
There are several security precautions in place to ensure that no prisoner can ever escape the floating fortress that is Nanba Prison. The first and most notable is its location, located on an island in a classified section of the sea off the coast of Japan with the only possible access or exit points being through the use of boat or helicopter. The waters surrounding the prison is riddled with large jagged rocks and a powerful current that makes the possibility of swimming away from the island a near impossibility. Even if one were somehow able to make it into the water they would likely be pulled under or thrown against the rocks until they lost consciousness and drowned.
The prison itself is armed from the door of each and every cell to the outside world with precautions that see to it that inmates remain in captivity until they have served out their sentences. Each cell is fitted with two locks, the first being that of a high-tech magnetic lock that can only be opened via a console in each building's main security room or a special key carried by supervisors and other trusted employees. The second lock found on the cells of inmates is that of an electronically enhanced deadbolt made of high-grade metal protected against breaking or tampering of most kinds. A master key is kept by the building's supervisor and their deputy, regular guards being allowed to check out individual keys from the main security room with a two hour return time after being checked out. Like the magnetic lock, the dead bolts can also be opened but only from a console located on each floor, each console only being able to unlock the deadbolts of the cells on that floor alone. This is to ensure that it is impossible for all the prisoners of a single building to be released at once. In order to ensure the safety of all inmates, the detection of large amounts of smoke triggers the unlocking of all deadbolts within a building so that the magnetic locks can be quickly opened from the main security room.
Even if an inmate were somehow able to escape from their cell, their journey would have only just begun as each cell block is armed with several traps, many of which being triggered the moment the locks are disengaged without authorization, other more severe measurements reserved for use at the supervisor's digression in the main security room. Alarms beginning to sound throughout the building where the attempted escape is taking place, an alert to all other building being sent out automatically to go on lock down and keep an eye out for the escapee. Each Cellblock and hallway contains its own horror, from walls that close in on the victim to winding mazes that are nearly impossible to navigate without a map or some kind of knowledge of the layout. Even the vents and trash shoots are often equipped with their own traps to ensure that even an attempted escape is a futile attempt that is more likely to result in one's bodily harm than anything resembling a taste of freedom. However, a very select few have made it past the array of traps and defenses. Guards equipped with weaponry suitable to deal with whichever inmate is attempting their escape. This equipment normally consists of tranquilizer guns and their electrified batons but much deadlier weapons may be utilized depending on the threat the inmate may pose. A K-9 unit is also available for deployment at a moments notice, consisting of several highly trained Doberman.
If all else fails there is one final security precaution in place to ensure that not a single inmate is allowed to see the outside world before their sentence has been carried out. A large, several inch thick metal door equipped with one of nearly every lock known to man stand between the inmate and the ocean. Tampering with this even a single one of these locks without the necessary codes and access will trigger a timer that will countdown from ten minutes. Once the countdown reaches zero the door will explode, destroying itself and nearly everything around it. If even that security measure fails, it is the supervisor's duty to confront the inmate or inmates who have made it so far as to taste the air of the free world beyond the prison walls. Once the inmate has reached this far the supervisor is allowed free reign to make nearly whatever judgments they see fit and use whatever means necessary to take down and resecure the prisoner back in their cell.
Aside from ensuring that no one escapes the prison, there are also several security measures in place to keep prisoners safe within the prison from themselves, other inmates, and even the guards. Camera's are located everywhere within the prison, leaving the only blind spots to be the prison's restrooms. Even the areas only accessible to guards is kept under surveillance to discourage any inappropriate contact between guards and inmates alike. The only exception to this is the private quarters of the prison employees is kept camera free to respect the privacy of staff. To ensure the proper respect is granted to the inmates of Nanba prison, cameras connected to cells housing female inmates is monitored by a female staff member and male inmates are monitored by a male staff member. Guards patrol the cell blocks regularly, doing a routine check on each inmate three times a day and a role count twice a day. The supervisor is asked to be present during at least one of the routine checks and both of the role calls each day. The guards chosen to work in Nanba are highly trained, equipped with the latest equipment to deal with the capture and containment of rowdy inmates.
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