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"If you don't care about science enough to be interested in it on its own, you shouldn't try to write hard science fiction."
- Frederik Pohl

Orbiting Penal Colony  
  A prison placed in orbit (better than Alcatraz).  

Better than an island prison? Given that space travel is not an easy option for anyone, you would just need to control ship access very carefully. Then, relax; where can they go? Alcatraz was created with a similar idea in mind; put the prison in some sort of void that is difficult to traverse (San Francisco bay). Of course, the ultimate island prison - Australia.

Up in the orbiting penal colony he slept, unaware of anything. Time had passed, days and weeks and then months and years, and he kept sleeping that long sleep. Suspended in a coffin like plastic cubicle in the great orbiting prison that passed endlessly around the Earth, passing over Greater Los Angeles again and again.
From Tekwar, by William Shatner.
Published by Ace/Putnam in 1989
Additional resources -

Forced hibernation added to the security; prisoners can't riot or harm each other if they are asleep.

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  More Ideas and Technology from Tekwar
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