• Give a Gift
  • Customer Service
  • Promotions
  • Videos
  • Blogs
  • Win
  • Games

September 1, 2006

Prison Beauty Pagents

Siberian Prison Beauty Contest

Siberian Prison Beauty Contest

Photo Credit: Witold Krassowski

Special Offer


There are hundreds of stories like Lutzkhak's at UF 91/9. A man is almost always involved, either cajoling his partner into drug-related crimes, or abandoning her so that she needs to make a fast buck on her own. Almost all women cling to the hope that someone on the outside is waiting for them. Contact with family members is restricted: Only after two months can inmates and relatives converse via telephone through the prison glass. Once every three months, the women in UF 91/9 are allowed an overnight guest, male or female, for up to three nights. No one ever stays the full three, though -- at $5 a night, it's too expensive.

In the "short-visits room," the scene is like a colorful Russian bazaar -- women of all generations talking and crying. The outsiders bring food, clothes, cigarettes, and sanitary products -- all carefully inspected by the guards to prevent any contraband from sneaking through. A little boy lugs fruit for his inmate mother. An old gypsy woman breathlessly tells her daughter the latest town gossip. (Gypsies, an ethnic group in Russia, have their own laws, which often include women taking responsibility for men's crimes and actually doing the time for them.) Lutzkhak's mother brings her beads for her contest gown and painted Easter eggs--but the eggs, not on the list, are quickly confiscated.

Connect with Marie Claire:
daily giveaway
Unlimited Brunch!

Unlimited Brunch!

enter now
You Know You Want More
More From World News on Women
This Act Could Put an End to Anti-Abortion Legislation

Women's right to choose is constantly at stake—but this might the solution.

Yet Another Blow to Birth Control Coverage

The Supreme Court's latest decision will limit a key benefit for women.

post a comment

Special Offer
Link Your Marie Claire Account to Facebook

Marie Claire already has an account with this email address. Link your account to use Facebook to sign in to Marie Claire. To insure we protect your account, please fill in your password below.

Forgot Password?

Thanks for Joining

Your information has been saved and an account has been created for you giving you full access to everything marieclaire.com and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your username and/or password or complete your profile, click here.

Your accounts are now linked

You now have full access to everything Marie Claire and Hearst Digital Media Network have to offer. To change your settings or profile, click here.