There is perhaps nothing more poignant than an abandoned prison. When you see these haunting images, it's hard not to imagine what once went on in these now-crumbling rooms.

A jail on the island of Procida in Italy, built in 1563 as a castle, transformed into a prison in 1815, closed in 1988.

(via Luca Terracciano)

Vilvoorde Prison, Vilvoorde, Belgium, opened in the late 18th century as a prison, later used as a military hospital, barracks and a dentention centre. It was closed in 1974.

(via Foantje, Forbidden Places and imgur)

Old Salem Jail, Salem, Massachusetts, constructed in 1813, closed in 1991.

It was turned into luxury apartments in 2012.

(via Rana X)

The Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, opened in 1829, closed in 1971.

And here's Al Capone's cell:

(via Michael Cevoli, Bruce C. Cooper, Seeminglee, Thesab and Numb Photo)

The Old Essex County Jail (also known as Newark Street Jail), designed by John Haviland, built in 1837, abandoned in 1970, Newark, New Jersey

(via Forbidden Places and Laura Carolina Sala)

Moundsville West Virginia Penitentiary, operated between 1866 and 1995 in Moundsville, West Virginia.

(via Bob Jagendorf, Pghjared and Chrismiller513)

The Sinop Fortress Prison, a Turkish state prison inside a fortress in Sinop, Turkey. Opened in 1887, closed in 1997. Now it's open to public.

(via marmaduk, Nurettin Mert Aydin and orientalizing)

Holmesburg Prison, built in 1896, closed in 1995, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This facility was the site of some dermatological, pharmaceutical and biochemical weapons research projects involving testing on inmates.

(via Matthew Christopher/Abandoned America and Lindsay Blair Brown)

Tennessee State Prison, opened in 1898, closed since 1992, Nashville, Tennessee.

(via Joel יוֹאֵל, Dave Edens, Ken Fager and Thomas Hawk)

Atlanta Prison Farm, operated between 1945 and 1995.

(via Memories By Mike, Fotostalker and Eric Shoemaker)

A top secret prison and labor camp on Goli Otok (Barren Island), now in Croatia. The uninhabited island was made into a high-security, secret prison for political prisoners, used between 1949 and 1956 by the Yugoslavian government.

(via ::: zu :::, xandroid, Luka Dakskobler, Etoshas Pfanne and Michele)