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World's Strangest Prisons

Squirrel Cage Jail, Pottawattamie County, IA

Historical Society of Pottawattamie County

The Squirrel Cage Jail, Council Bluffs, IA

The Squirrel Cage Jail of Pottawattamie County, Iowa, is a one-of-a-kind contraption, the only three-story, revolving squirrel-cage jail—also known as a human rotary or lazy Susan jail—ever built. The jail has three floors of revolving, pie-shaped cells inside a cage.

What You’ll See: The prison cells, which jailers could view from a single vantage point, remain much as they were when the jail closed in 1969; signatures and dates of many prisoners still adorn the walls.


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