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Prison is one of several forms of punishment, where an individual is confined against their will and deprived of various personal freedoms, after committing a crime. A Prison used for short periods of confinement is known as a jail. Prisons aboard starships and starbases are known as brigs or holding cells, which are typically used as short-term prisons, or for the containment of unprocessed fugitives.

Klingon philosophy indicates that, if taken prisoner, a Klingon should kill himself rather than be held prisoner, unless there are enemies to fight or hope of escape. (DS9: "In Purgatory's Shadow")

Types of prisons

Noted prisons


The Argrathi Authority use prisons that are, in reality, an interactive program that creats an artificial reality filled with memories of things that never actually happened, modelled to fit each offender's personality. The Argrathi use this form of punishment as they find it more efficient and more effective than maintaining an extensive prison system.

Miles O'Brien was incarcerated in an Argrathi prison for 20 cycles, wherein he experienced several horrific memories. In recalling his memories, he explained that the Argrathi guards did not care whether or not their prisoners lived or died, noting that sometimes they would starve the prisoners for days to weeks at a time. O'Brien learned to adapt to this situation by eating as little as possible and saving the rest, following the times that he was actually fed.

The Argrathi also demanded that all offenders have a dormancy period each night. Their policies indicated that "any offender still active during the dormancy period will be disciplined." Death, as a form of discipline, was not uncommon. (DS9: "Hard Time")


At one point prior to 2369 Quark was able to get Durg released from a Cardassian prison. (DS9: "The Passenger")


The Dominion converted an ultritium mine, located on an asteroid, into a prison that was later referred to as Internment Camp 371. This conversion included the addition of a dome and the consolidation of the mining barracks, which each formerly had its own life support system embedded in the walls. (DS9: "By Inferno's Light")

According to the writer's guide for the episode "In Purgatory's Shadow": "The Dominion isn't big on prisons, or on taking prisoners for that matter." Those that are imprisoned are usually "an elite group of POWs, people who the Dominion is especially curious about".


During a bizarre social experiment in 2268, where Federation historian John Gill had turned the Ekosian society into a replica of Nazi Germany, a security prison was established in the Ekosian capitol known as the "Chancellery Detention Center". Here, members of the Zeon resistance movement were taken and tortured for information. When Captain James T. Kirk, and his first officer Spock attempted to infiltrate the Ekosian Chancellery, they were discovered and taken to the Chancellery Detention Center. After being beaten, the two were due to be executed but were spared for one hour by Eneg (who was himself a member of the underground resistance). The two Starfleet officers then managed to escape with the help of crystals inside two wrist subcutaneous transponders. (TOS: "Patterns of Force")

Other prisons

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