Pubdate: Fri, 02 Dec 2005
Source: Watertown Daily Times (NY)
Copyright: 2005 Watertown Daily Times
Bookmark: (Women)
Bookmark: (Incarceration)


The sweltering heat inside the Capital Female Penitentiary got hotter
- - contestants to the Miss Penitentiary pageant were working overtime
using hair dyers.

Angelica Mazua, a statuesque Angolan facing international drug
smuggling charges, was voted Miss Penitentiary 2005 on Thursday after
a six-hour contest pitting 40 female inmates from 10 prisons around
Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo.

"People told me, 'You're tall. You should enter the contest,' so
that's why I entered," said Mazua, who has been jailed for four months
and could be sentenced to about five years behind bars if she's
convicted. "I've always been interested in fashion."

Other women imprisoned on charges of everything from armed robbery to
drug trafficking also took part in the contest that officials began
last year as a way of tying to boost inmates' self esteem.

Last years winner, Fernanda Maria De Jesus, gained early release
months after her victory, but prison officials insist the shortened
sentence had nothing to do with her winning the title.

Judges include celebrities, soccer players and journalist, and there
are prizes in three other categories: writing, public speaking and

Peru and Colombia also hold beauty contests in prisons. Sao Paulo's
contest, which also offered a $160 prize to the winner, is one of the
largest, drawing from its female population of almost 4,000 inmates.
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