The prison was built by the French colonialists in 1930-1931 on an area of two hectares at No.18 Tan Thuat street, Tu An ward, Buon Ma Thuot city.More than 4,000 prisoners were kept in the prison, including many communist soldiers such as Vo Chi Cong, Nguyen Chi Thanh, To Huu, Phan Dang Luu, and Ho Tung Mau, who later became senior leaders of the Party and State.
The U-shape building is surrounded by four walls and four watching towers. Inside the walls are six ranges of jails and cells where prisoners were held in custody by a cruel and harsh regime.
Despite cruel torture, communist prisoners turned the prison into a political training place. In late 1940, a secret force called “faithful force” was formed in the prison, which became the first Party cell set up in Dak Lak, contributing to the revolutionary movement in the province and laying a foundation for the 1945 uprising in the province.
The prison was recognised as a national historic-cultural relic in July 1980 by the Ministry of Culture and Information (now the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism).
It was restored in 1992 and 2006. Since 2015, the site welcomed a total of about 47,000 visitors.
In December 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam signed a decision recognising the prison as a special national relic site.
In January 2019, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc approved the certification of the prison as a special national relic site.
Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee H’Yim Kdoh said the privison will be a “red address” to educate the revolutionary tradition and national pride, especially for young generations.