Woman serving 39 years for robbery and prostitution wins miss criminal beauty contest

Woman serving 39 years for robbery wins miss criminal beauty contest held inside one of the toughest’s women prisons in the world.

Woman serving 39 years for robbery wins miss criminal beauty contest

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 beauty contest was done with armed guards watching from the towers and making sure everything was alright.

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.

The women try on different dresses, have their makeup and hair styled by volunteers and even perform catwalk poses in the Miss World-style contest.

According to Brazil's Ministry of Justice, the number of imprisoned females in the country rose 567 percent from 2000 to 2014.

Overall, Brazil's overcrowded prison population is now the world's fourth largest, with more than 600,000 inmates being held in facilities designed for 377,000, according to Human Rights Watch.

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