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The Sona Federal Penitentiary or Penitenciaría Federal de Sona in Spanish language, refers to a maximum security prison in Panama. Colonel Escamilla is the warden of the poorly-built prison.


After violent riots a year previous, the prison guards pulled out of Sona and left the prisoners to their own devices. Since then, the prisoners have organized their own internal forms of leadership, economy and workforce and run the prison themselves. Lechero is currently the leader of the prison. (3x1) In order to quiet down Sona, only limited water supply is allowed inside. Thus, the inmates collect rainwater with a barrel in the yard. This problem, however, was resolved by Michael Scofield. (3x2) There were also telephones inside Sona until the officers found out that inmates are monitoring their criminal acts via the telephone. All telephone have since be removed except for a chargeable wireless phone inside Lechero's cell. (3x3)

It was mentioned by Pad Man to Bill Kim on two occasions. (2x18, 2x19) When Michael arrived, the prison was poorly guarded, with drugs addicts, she-males, murderers and rapists inside with no guards visible. (2x22)


Front Door

The front door

The front door is guarded by guards with automatic rifles. Criminals are taken to the front door by a van, and will need to enter the prison alone. The front door then leads to a poorly built general population.

General Population

The doors which were supposed to be locked are often left unlocked. A cell often includes a bunk bed. Exceptions include Lechero's cell which is more a home then a prison cell. Some of the cells are used for cooking and recreational use instead. Most of the inmates stay in the yard for most of the time and seldom visit their cells. Cells can be found on the two sides of a long hallway, one end of the hallway leads to the yard while the other leads to the front door.


The yard is covered with sands and rocks. Cooks stay there to offer food to other inmates. A large water barrel is used to store water. The yard can be overlooked from Lechero's balcony.

Meeting Area

The meeting area

A poorly built fence separate the inmates from the visitors. No guards are visible at the area. Visitors must sign on a log book in a small hut before they enter.

Watch Tower

Shooting from the tower

Watch towers are scattered among the barren area of the prison and is the only thing that gets in the way of any escapees. The guards are armed with machine guns.

The Warden's Office

Looking at Sona from the office

An office is located outside of Sona but very near to it. Colonel Escamilla is also located there.

Barren Areas

Barren areas are between the main building and the fences. These areas are also called "No Man's Land" by the inmates. Watchtowers are scattered among this area. Dead bodies will be transferred here before they are taken on a truck and leave the prison. Only prisoner with duties are allow to get to this area, with heavily-armed guards supervising them.

Life in Sona

Inmates pass their time by playing cards

No guards are stationed in Sona, thus making it a place without any rules. Drugs, prostitute, cigarettes and shemales are common in the prison. Death-matches between inmates are often the most entertaining thing in a day. Only inmates with higher social position can gain access to food, clothing, a bed and water. Inmates spend their time by spraying graffiti on walls, tattooing themselves, playing cards, darts and chat. A public announcement system is available in Sona to inform the inmates when serious things happen, like prison break.

Notable Escapes

The first known escape was the Sapo Escape through a window. He just jumped out of the block and tried to make it out. Guards killed him in the progress.

The second known escape was carefully planned by Michael Scofield. Fernando Sucre (as a gravedigger) used the Kesslivol sprayed on the bodies to make a hole in the fence. Scofield found a way to distract the tower guards. The first was blinded by the glare of the sun off a rooftop and the second guard was knocked out by a sleeping drug put in his coffee cup by Sophia Lugo. With the guards taken care of Scofield and James Whistler started climbing out of a cell window using a rope ladder. When Whistler was part way down clouds covered the sun and they both had to get back inside before being spotted by the first tower guard.

The third known escape was also planned by Scofield. With the help of Fernando Sucre he was able to find out how long it takes for the backup generator to start up after a power outage and disable the jeeps that patrol at night. Scofield and his team made an underground tunnel, what leads in the surface. They waited in the tunnel for Lincoln Burrows to cut the power. Lechero, Bellick and Bagwell get out to the surface in the dark and tried to make it out of the prison but the generator started sooner than Scofield told them. They got caught and the military jeeps parked in the No-man's land. Scofield, Mahone, McGrady and Whistler got out to the surface and crawled under the jeeps to the fence and made it out of Sona successfully.

The fourth (and last) known escape was when the remaining inmates started a riot and burned prison down. Bellick, Bagwell and Sucre made it out.

Real life location

The Sona prison featured in season 3 was filmed at the old swift-armor meat packing plant, it is located in Texas.



Deaths inside Sona

Deaths outside Sona


See also

Wikipedia has information related to: