Amnesty for Pussy Riot, Greenpeace 30


When Putin and the Kremlin throw a charm offensive to distract people from the popular uprising in the Ukraine and the institutionalized homophobia in Russia, it's good news for dissidents and former billionaires. Russia's Stalin-loving strongman has extended amnesty to Pussy Riot, the Greenpeace 30, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky (formerly Russia's richest man, who fell into Putin's bad books and onto hard times).

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Prisoner squeezes through visitation partition in daring escape

BBC News on a remarkable jailbreak: "CCTV footage captures Derrick Estell fleeing from the prison in Garland County before making off for the car park." He outran his pursuers and is still at large.

Prison visiting room photo backdrops

Prissss

NewImage

The image above left is a photo backdrop in the visiting room at Woodbourne Correctional Facility in New York. It's one of many unusual paintings found in prison visiting rooms around the United States. Their function is to make family photos more pleasant. Alyse Emdur photographed these scenes and compiled images sent by inmates into a book, titled Prison Landscapes. Above right, James Bowlin holds a fake trout bass at the US Penitentiary in Marion Illinois. BLDBLOG posted an interview with Emdur.

Fantastical scenes are actually much less common—from what I gather from my correspondence, realism is like gold in prison. That’s the form of artistic expression that’s most appreciated and most respected, so that’s often the goal for the backdrop painter.
"Captive America: An Interview with Alyse Emdur" (BLDBLOG)

Prison Landscapes (Amazon)

Convict "sneaks back into jail"

Matthew Matagrano, 36, a former inmate, was charged saturday with impersonating a New York Department of Correction investigator. The convicted sex offender inveigled his way into Manhattan Detention Center and other lockups, according to officials, and handed out cigarettes. He also allegedly stole a radio. [Indy]

Prison ID photos from 1915-1940

Photo

NewImage

In 1975, photographer/filmmaker Bruce Jackson, who has spent decades documenting prison life, was visiting Arkansas' Cummins Unit, a state prison farm. While there, he stumbled upon a drawer filled with old prison ID photos snapped between 1915 and 1940. Jackson recontextualized these as a unique form of portraiture in his book "Pictures from a Drawer." Accidental Mysteries posted a collection of these striking images.