Stanley Prison (赤柱監獄 c. January 1937, previously known as Hong Kong Prison at Stanley) is one of the five maximum security prisons in Hong Kong, China and is currently the oldest institution still in service (the oldest prison built in Hong Kong was Victoria Prison, which ceased operation on 24 December 2005). It was set up by the then Prisons Department, and is now administered by the Correctional Services Department. The maximum capacity of the prison is 1,714 and has over 800 staff and officers. Stanley Prison, at the time of its construction, was considered to be one of the finest prisons in the British Empire. It was a modern structure built of stone, concrete and steel and consisted of six cell blocks set behind an 18-foot wall. It was originally designed to house 1,500 prisoners.
Hong Kong officially abolished Capital Punishment in 1990. Before that Stanley Prison had been a place of execution. 122 criminals executed there between 1946 and 1966. Although the law did not change until 1993, the last execution that was carried out in Stanley Prison was in November 1966. (This figure (122) does not include the large number of prisoners who were killed by the Japanese there during the occupation of Hong Kong in World War Two. (see below)) The area which once housed the gallows has now been replaced with the prison hospital.