Life behind the bars is bleak when you have to share the place with convicted murderers, thieves and drug dealers. Glamour is the last thing you would expect in a place like this. But inmates at a Siberian women’s correctional facility, Rio de Janeiro’s Talavera Bruce prison, Carandiru women’s detention center in Sao Paolo, El Buen Pastor women’s prison in Bogota and numerous other prisons around the world have something to cheer about. These prisons have been staging beauty pageants for past several years to find the most beautiful woman behind bars. Winners often receive cash prize, but in some cases the winning prize is something far more precious: a ticket to early freedom.
Held under various titles such as Miss Penitentiary (Sao Paolo, Brazil), Miss Captivity (Lithuania), Miss Prisoner (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Miss Spring (Siberia), prison beauty contest are gaining popularity around the world.
Participants are required to take part in the usual – swimsuit rounds and evening gown twinned with fur, black leather, including knee-high boots. Prisoners are also excused from work in the prison for up to a week to prepare for the contest, a welcome diversion from the monotony of life inside the jail.