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Rocky islet off the Atlantic coast of French Guiana. The smallest of the three Îles du Salut, it is a narrow strip of land 3,900 ft (1,200 m) long and 1,320 ft (400 m) wide. Part of a penal settlement since 1852, it housed the convicts' leper colony until the islands were made a maximum-security area. It shared the notoriety for cruelty of the mainland French Guiana penal colony. Spies and political prisoners, including Alfred Dreyfus, were held there. The island's use as a penal colony was phased out by the early 1950s.
Variants of DEVILS ISLAND
Devils Island French Île du Diable
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Devils Island, visit Britannica.com.
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