San Pedro prison or El penal de San Pedro is the largest prison in La Paz, Bolivia renowned for being a society within itself. Significantly different from most correctional facilities, inmates at San Pedro have jobs inside the community, buy or rent their accommodation, and often live with their families. The sale of cocaine base to visiting tourists gives those inside a significant income and an unusual amount of freedom within the prison walls. Elected leaders enforce the laws of the community, with stabbings being commonplace. The prison is home to approximately 1,500 inmates, with additional guests staying in the prison hotel.
The book Marching Powder, written by Rusty Young and published in 2003, describes the experiences of the British inmate Thomas McFadden who became known for offering prison tours to tourists.