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Gov Approved Prison Tats
November 25, 2005 6:35 PM   Subscribe

The Canadian government has come up with a novel approach to stemming the tide of disease in prisons. They're paying for clean needles. For those who wonder what it all means. Great photos of this subculture and the tattoo as a mark of rebellion.
posted by IronLizard (20 comments total)

 
The first link caught my eye as odd, the rest is filler. Enjoy.
posted by IronLizard at 6:36 PM on November 25, 2005


Throughout history tattoos have symbolized rebellion. There’s nothing normal about a tattoo. A tattoo screams of unabashed rebellion and deviancy.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 6:43 PM on November 25, 2005


How interesting! Just yesterday, someone gave me "1000 Tattoos" published by Taschen. A great book.

Now I want more tattoos.
posted by Jon-o at 6:52 PM on November 25, 2005


OK, I have one. A small one. But this is just gross. Although, I suppose, if you're living in prison, it just doesn't really matter.
posted by WaterSprite at 7:14 PM on November 25, 2005


California inmates also use a “13” to indicate their affiliation with southern California, while northern residents use a “14.”

huh? Is Oregon 15?
posted by stbalbach at 7:17 PM on November 25, 2005


Maybe they'll add barcodes to the menu.
posted by IronLizard at 10:14 PM on November 25, 2005


Throughout history tattoos have symbolized rebellion. There’s nothing normal about a tattoo. A tattoo screams of unabashed rebellion and deviancy.

Now that was well played.
posted by cmonkey at 11:02 PM on November 25, 2005


"gross"

What? What's gross about it? They want tattoos and we don't want them to get screwed over by dirty needles.
posted by blacklite at 12:29 AM on November 26, 2005


Quick, somebody tell those crazy Canadians to stop being so sensible or the Feddle Gummint here in the US of A might just invade them to bring the fruits of democracy, Baghdad style.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 5:03 AM on November 26, 2005


Better yet, why don't they save some money and cut down on the use of dirty needles by leaving the prisoners in their cells where they belong...
posted by MrBobaFett at 7:43 AM on November 26, 2005


Why not go for clean and artistically sound tattoos by giving tattooing lessons?
posted by lemur at 10:42 AM on November 26, 2005


We also give clean needles to junkies.

In Vancouver, BC, there is a safe injection site, where nurses are on-staff to provide clean needles and medical assistance as needed. It is a hugely successful program: many junkies want to break their addiction, and through contact with the nurses they learn to trust them and seek help from them.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:48 AM on November 26, 2005


Clean needles for drug users are fine, they are free citizens. Prisoners on the other hand, belong in their cell.
posted by MrBobaFett at 11:52 AM on November 26, 2005


Well, yeah, I can agree with that. I should think it is entirely within our capabilities to ensure our prisons are drug-free and abuse-free. It's mostly just a matter of commitment.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:56 PM on November 26, 2005


gee it's great that they "care so much" about prisoners. how sweet. maybe they could take the next step and help simply reduce the number of poeple in prison by reigning in racist cops, funding sustainable social programs for First Nations people (who make up one third of the prison population but 5% of the general pop), supporting existing social programs, and embarking on a true, comprehensive national social housing plan.

but, yeah, hey, the needle thing'll probably be just as helpful.
posted by poweredbybeard at 2:57 PM on November 26, 2005


the post I think has led to a lot of confusion for people who didnt read the article.
this is NOT about drug needles.

"tattoo designs must be approved by prison officials and must not be gang-related, or deemed racist. Participating inmates must have a good prison record.

Prisoners are allowed a one-hour controlled session with an inmate tattoo artist for C$5"
posted by Iax at 8:01 PM on November 26, 2005


i think it's one fecker of a stupendous idea. lots more criminals with huge self-administered identifying inky marks liberally applied making for dead trivial future identification. the idea should create for a preponderance of ex-cons sporting cool prison-style face, neck and hand tatties you could literally spot one mile away in case of inquiry.

secondly, it makes for excellent prison therapy for the tribally-inclined inmatery. prison being of course the only place in the world where tattoos never ever go out of fashion so ink, fresh pricks and prison seem here to be a great match.
posted by rodney stewart at 9:26 PM on November 26, 2005


Seems to me, with the rising costs associated with health care, anything that keeps prisoners healthy makes sound fiscal sense.
posted by Enron Hubbard at 3:57 AM on November 27, 2005


So how does the price ($5/hour) compare to what a tatoo from a fellow inmate would cost? (And yes, I realize the fellow inmate might get a non-cash payment, but surely there's something approximating a conversion rate)?
posted by duck at 8:08 AM on November 27, 2005


Better yet, why don't they save some money and cut down on the use of dirty needles by leaving the prisoners in their cells where they belong...

Normally I hate to feed a troll, but I just wanted to point out that keeping prisonsers in their cells 24/7 would probably cost a lot more, not less. Prisoners do a lot of the work of running the prison, and of course prisons (and in the US the private companies that run them) make a lot of money by renting out prisoner's labour. Think of the money you can make when you don't have to pay your workers minimum wage!
posted by duck at 8:24 AM on November 27, 2005


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