Blackgate Penitentiary is a fictional prison depicted in the DC Universe, traditionally located on a small island in the Gotham Bay, Gotham City. Batman: The Long Halloween suggests that it was preceded by Gotham State Penitentiary, which appeared often in pre-Crisis comics.


Gotham State Penitentiary is also known as Gotham Prison, especially when referenced after the Crisis. It is later officially renamed "Blackgate Prison". In the late 1980s, Blackgate Prison is condemned by Amnesty International and forced to shut down. When the prison eventually re-opens, it is officially known as "Blackgate Penitentiary".

Unlike Arkham Asylum, Blackgate is where non-insane criminals such as Catwoman, Dollhouse, Echo, Knife, Magpie and various henchmen, mobsters, and mafia bosses are incarcerated when captured.

There are instances where inmates from Arkham Asylum are temporarily moved to Blackgate, like when Big Top destroys the original Arkham building in Batman #491. All of the Arkham inmates are incarcerated in Blackgate until the new Arkham structure is built and opened in Batman #521.

There is a one-shot about a breakout happening in the prison entitled Batman: Blackgate. The prisoners in the story are Catwoman, White Rabbit, Lady Arkham, Talia al Ghul, Bloody Mary, Alice, Clayface (Sondra Fuller), Harley Quinn, and others. Several of these villains are also featured in the Cataclysm storyline when an earthquake and the resulting tidal waves damage the prison and open up a land bridge to Gotham. This allows the majority of the inmates of Blackgate to escape.

Known Inmates

Batwoman's Enemies:

In other media


  • In Christopher Nolan's 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises, the mercenary Bane liberates the criminals "wrongfully imprisoned" at Blackgate Penitentiary by Commissioner Jim Gordon under the Dent Act and uses them in his army.


Video Games

Batman: Arkham series

Batman: The Telltale Series

Blackgate Penitentiary is mentioned several times in Batman: The Telltale Series and Batman: The Enemy Within. The Penguin is convicted to the prison following his defeat at Batman's hands. Two-Face can also be sent to Blackgate if the player confronts him in Guardian of Gotham. During The Enemy Within, Harleen Quinzel is mentioned to have been a psychiatrist at the penitentiary. After the being defeated by Batman, she can be committed to Blackgate, either due to a request made by the vigilante to Amanda Waller or after she is defeated with Joker. Should the former occur, Bane will also be sent to the prison.


  • In the novel Batman: The Ultimate Evil, author Andrew Vachss refers to a "Hellgate Prison".
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