Some months ago, I wrote about how safe Hong Kong feels -- at night as well as during the day. In that entry, I posited a couple of reasons for that being the case. Upon finding out that Hong Kong has more prisons than one might think and one of the region's highest rates of imprisonment, one might also conclude that the threat of getting found out and locked up additionally acts as a strong crime deterrent to would-be offenders in the Big Lychee.
Once upon a time, captured criminals found themselves faced with terrible fates in Hong Kong. Anyone doubting that would do well with checking out the exhibits on display at one of the territory's close to thirty museological establishments: the Hong Kong Correctional Services Museum located close to the maximum security Stanley Prison in the southern section of Hong Kong Island.
As this Photo Hunt entry shows, the museum includes a cell diorama and mock up of the gallows (but for the record, capital punishment was abolished in Hong Kong in 1993 even while death penalties continue to be meted out in Mainland China). But you'd have to visit the institution yourself to see what were some of the punishments in store for convicts and condemned individuals that I consider quite a bit worse than spending time locked up in a cell or even getting a noose being put on your neck.
The Hong Kong Correctional Services folks also seek to emphasise by way of the museum that these days, the focus is on rehabilitation rather than punishment. For all that, however, a visit to that educational establishment got me convinced that being locked up is not a fate I'd like. (In stark contrast, there's a Japanese film called Doing Time which made prison in the Land of the Rising Sun actually seem... quite attractive! ;b )