There wouldn't be too many viewers settling in to watch an episode of the documentary World's Toughest Prisons.

It's a grim and uncompromising watch on Duke.

It's horrifying seeing the abject misery rife in our world - yet again.

Aoteaora is but a little cork in the world's ocean, where for some there is much to whinge about - which irks me because we're a paradise compared to so many countries.


Antinimora Prison in Madagascar is a prison slap in the middle of the capital Antinimora and this jail was nothing less than evil.

Rundown is a pitiful description. Satanic would be more like it.
This was a revolting place originally built for 800 prisoners, but more than 3,000 prisoners are jammed into the ramshackle complex.
They are herded into dormitory cells where you can only have a hard bunk if you can bribe someone.

The men sleep strung along so close that the cell boss needs to call out "turn over" and the row turns and heaves like a human snake.

The place is riddled with vermin. Rats, cockroaches and fleas own the compound; it's their stamping ground and they infect every corner.

We're told the ugly conditions are because the country has no money and the prison is at the bottom of any civic funds list.

Only money talks. That means bribes to the court and the judge are commonplace. Consequently it's easy to get thrown in the slammer but a hell hole personified to try and leave.

The prison guards are a platoon of soldiers with obviously no regard for the human lives incarcerated under their rule.

It's simply a case of animals shoved into a pen and left to grovel.

Prison food is great pots of a boiled root vegetable often seasoned with dead cockroaches and rat faeces.

However, twice a week families are allowed to a visit and to bring money and food. That's not straightforward either because prison staff claim their cut.

Over the years the prison boss has thrown hundreds of men into isolation - a dark, dank hole with no ventilation and nowhere for them to relieve themselves. They literally live in the dark and breathe in shit.

The boss said he can't go out socially at night in the city at all because sometimes there are prisoners who have been released out in the streets.

"It is not safe for me," he said.

Well I have to say 'yeh'. I get that.