Inside the World's Toughest Prisons: Series 6 of the Netflix series explained

Take a look Inside the World's Toughest Prisons as Season 6 hits screens on Netflix.

Inside the World's Toughest Prisons Season 6
(Image credit: Netflix)

Inside the World's Toughest Prisons returns to Netflix with four new episodes as we look at all you need to know about the latest series.

The Netflix original docu-series returns on Wednesday, September 28th premiering on the streaming service.

Continuing to gain unprecedented access behind the bars of the planet’s most dangerous maximum security prisons, the new series will see presenter Raphael Rowe provide a transfixing insight into more of the globe’s most highly notorious penitentiaries, this time found in Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Greece. 

If you liked watching documentaries on people like Hunter Moore, Anthony Templet or Anna Delvey, then this real-life docu-series could be one for you...

Is Inside the World's Toughest Prisons staged?

Inside the World's Toughest Prisons is not staged or sensationalised thanks to presenter Raphael Rowe. Due to a miscarriage of justice, presenter and British journalist Rowe spent 12 years behind bars himself in the UK, for a murder he did not commit. Armed with this unique & insightful perspective, Rowe steps back into the institutions he spent so long fighting for release from; using his past experience to gain the respect of the inmates, he witnesses first-hand some of the most terrifying, intimidating and unique prison environments across the globe, speaks with the world’s most treacherous convicts, and discerns the effectiveness of each jail’s often eye-raising regime. 

With the team on the show negotiating tirelessly to gain unprecedented access to film behind the bars of the featured jails across the globe, the series has won praise for its perceptive reflections on the varied approaches found inside them. Comparing the differing levels of importance that each institution places on punishment versus rehabilitation, series 6 once again sees completely contrasting strategies being implemented. 

Whether it’s the punishingly tough, austere Rezina Prison in Moldova, where Raphael meets convicts who have been put into solitary isolation and now live incredibly restricted lifestyles, all because they refused to engage in the violent, gang-led regime of the main prison wing… or Centra Prisons Nicosia in Cyprus, where the inmates chant the Prison Director’s name, and bingo nights & calming outdoor water sculptures signal a modern, rehabilitative approach to incarceration; the difference in policies are stark. 

Series 6 will once again provide an insightful look into the minds and lives of some of the world’s most dangerous prisoners. Whether it’s the terrifying former crime boss who intimidates Raphael in Bosnia’s Zenica Prison, or the disillusioned people smugglers, murderers and armed robbers he meets in Diavata Prison in Greece, Raphael continues to remain firmly on his toes as he meets, interacts and gets to the bottom of each prisoner’s shocking story. 

Inside the World's Toughest Prison

(Image credit: Netlfix)

How many seasons of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons are there?

There are six seasons of The World's Toughest Prisons. The show first aired back in 2016 and since then it has visited some of the most toughest institutions containing some of the world's most notorious prisoners. Covering prisons in countries across the world. Season one explores; Honduras, Poland, Mexico, and Philippeans. Season 2 visits prisons in Brazil, Ukraine, Belize, and Papua New Guinea. Season 3 covers Costa Rica, Columbia, Romania, and Norway. Season 4 features Paraquay, Germany, Mauritius, and Lesotho. Season 5 explores South Africa, Philippeans, and Greenland. Season 6 covers Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Speaking about the new series, Raphael Rowe said, “‘When will Season 6 be out?’ has been the number one question thousands of the show’s fans across the globe have asked me over the last year. It’s exciting to finally be able to share that in this season I’m taking them to four new locations, Moldova, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina & Greece. There were moments during filming, in these prisons, that blew my mind and will equally have viewers stunned. It’s an incredible thing to be able to say that I’m proud that this show is really helping to change the public’s perception about criminality, prisoners and prisons!” 

Inside the World's Toughest Prisons

(Image credit: Netflix)

Why did the host of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons change?

There is no official reason why Paul Connolly left as host of Inside the World's Toughest Prisons after hosting when the show first aired in 2016. Paul took the viewers inside the jails, showing them what living conditions are for the inmates, as well as the guards and while season one was popular, it could have been to do with its move to Netflix. There was a huge two-year break between its release and the second season recording.

Since he appeared on Season 1, Paul has worked on the Facebook Live series Curse of Akakor. He lives in London with his wife and daughter. 

Season two onwards Raphael Rowe was appointed as new host. Less than a year after his release from prison, Raphael began a new career as a journalist and broadcast reporter for the BBC, for BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. He later moved to television, reporting in 2003 for BBC One’s 6 O’Clock News

Between 2004-2006, Rowe went on to make a series of hard-hitting documentaries for BBC Two and BBC Three, covering issues such as serial killers, knife crime, drugs, corrupt UN peacekeepers, environmental crime and terrorism, with one of his investigations playing a pivotal part in freeing a man convicted of the assassination of a high-profile BBC celebrity. 

Rowe became a correspondent for the BBC’s Panorama, the world’s longest running current affairs TV series – again, Rowe found himself in a reporting role as the first ex-prisoner and person of colour, with dreadlocks, to have achieved such a position. 

Raphael has a podcast and has also recently released his autobiography Notorious: Life with No Parole for a Crime I Did Not Commit

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Selina Maycock
Senior Entertainment Writer

Selina is a Senior Entertainment Writer for, Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life with more than 16 years of experience in newspapers and magazines. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including baby news, weddings, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.