Inside The World's Toughest Prisons Season 6 Release Date, Cast, And More Information

"Inside the World's Toughest Prisons" is a documentary series wherein the show's host goes undercover as an inmate in order to give viewers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what really goes on in the world's toughest prisons. "We're always, rightly, told that we're safe because the bad guy is locked up, but it is what happens next that is key," host and presenter Raphael Rowe explained to Express about the premise of the show.

Per Distractify, the popular prison documentary debuted on Channel 5 in the United Kingdom before Netflix took notice and quickly secured the rights to it... and the rest is pretty much streaming service history.

But on the heels of the show's fifth successful season, many "Inside the World's Toughest Prisons" stans can't help but wonder when they will get the opportunity to sink their teeth into yet another season. The answer, however, might surprise you.

When will Season 6 of 'Inside the World's Toughest Prisons' drop?

Unfortunately, there's no current game plan for a sixth season of everyone's favorite prison documentary.

But fear not! As reported by Bullet News, Season 5 premiered on January 8, and typically Netflix waits to announce any updates until a month or two before the release date, so technically there's still time in the event they follow suit with another January season premiere. Cross your fingers and your toes!

Perhaps, however, the state of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could play a huge role as to whether or not the series will make a comeback. As reported by The Marshall Project, half a million people contracted COVID-19 while in prison. "Prison is not built to compete with a pandemic," former inmate Derrick Johnson declared regarding the overcrowded conditions and arguably subpar medical care. "The pandemic's gonna win every time." Sadly, it has been reported that almost 3,000 COVID-19 deaths occurred among both prisoners and staff.

What will the cast of 'Inside the World's Toughest Prisons' look like?

While the premise of "Inside the World's Toughest Prisons" has remained the same throughout all five seasons, the show has gone through a few changes, including a major cast shakeup.

During the series' inaugural season, investigative journalist Paul Connolly served as the show's host, but by the time the second season rolled around he had been replaced... by a real-life former inmate! As reported by Distractify, Raphael Rowe, a man who did 12 years of hard time before finally being acquitted of murder and robbery charges, was tapped as the show's new host. "Nobody has taken the unique journey I have," Rowe told Express in 2020. "That's because I've embraced what happened to me rather than allow it to continue to destroy me in the way that it did when I was in prison." 

But even after serving 12 years, Rowe's not always prepared for the circumstances he finds himself in while working for the show. "When I walked through Tacumbú penitentiary in Paraguay, I could not believe my eyes," he recalled about a prison featured in Season 4. "I've seen inside many prisons and have ­witnessed all kinds of conditions but I had never seen anything like this." He added, "It was terrifying to see guys sleeping outdoors in the open air, openly using drugs and carrying knives."

Raphael Rowe finds it challenging to talk to some inmates

Perhaps the most disturbing part of "Inside the World's Toughest Prisons" is not witnessing the dangerous and dirty living conditions, but rather learning about the various violent and heinous crimes of the inmates that inhabit the prisons.

"I find it a challenge to stand and look a man in the face and ask him why he raped a child, a woman, or a man for that matter, and ask him in detail to try and understand the mentality," host Raphael Rowe confessed to Express. "I can imagine the scars that have been left behind in that individual will be something they will never be able to brush off and will live with them long after the prisoner is freed."

And as far as those living conditions go — as it turns out, they're not all bad. During Season 3, the series featured a maximum-security prison in Norway. The episode was titled "The Perfect Prison?" and viewers learned that at this particular prison the entire goal was rehabilitating the prisoners. "They provide each individual with the right therapy or skill set while in prison, so when they come out people wouldn't mind them being a neighbor," Rowe explained. "But it's also about their relationship with ­prisoners, how they respond and interact with them."