In Bolivia, Inmates Buy Prison Cells for up to $10,000

If you commit a crime in Bolivia and find yourself being sent to La Paz’s San Pedro Prison, you’ll have to ante up some money to “buy” your cell. Cells are sold for anywhere from $300 to $10,000, and prison authorities say it’s not their role to intervene. The price of a cell depends on its location in the facility. Some inmates own two cells — one in which to live and another to rent — while others buy a cell, make improvements, and then sell it for a profit. Cells are assigned by seniority. Limber Porcel, President of the inmate Council Of Representatives, admitted that the council asks for monthly payments from inmates, and those funds go into a communal fund used for maintenance, repairs, and improvements to common areas. The current head of the prison system said inmates have their own rules and are governed by the Council Of Representatives.