The Mahara Prison is a maximum security prison, and is one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka. Situated in the old city of Mahara in the Western Province, it was built in 1875 by the British colonial government to ease the congestion at the Slave Island prison. It was used to house the prisoners employed in crushing stones at the Mahara quarry. Since its establishment, it has had a police post attached to it. The prison is administrated by the Department of Prisons.