Not all beauty contests come complete with armed guards, watch towers and barbed wire fences. But then your average pageant doesn’t take place in one of the toughest’s women’s prisons in the world. According to Scoop, the annual Miss Criminal 2015 beauty pageant was held at the Talavera Bruce women’s prison in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This year’s winner was Michelle Neri Rangel, 27.
She has been behind bars since 2010, when she was sentenced to 39 years for robbery – with an additional six years added on for prostitution inside the prison.
The jail, inside the sprawling Bangu penitentiary centre, is Brazil’s only maximum security prison for women and holds the country’s most serious female offenders.
The contest aims to boost the self-esteem of female inmates and is supported by community and church groups.