The tattoos you pick up in a Russian prison aren’t necessarily the ones you’ve chosen though. They can be dished out as a punishment too. If you broke a debt in a card game or went against the criminal code for instance you could find yourself getting a non-optional tattoo.
These forced tattoos might take the form of a political slogan that would make you unpopular in a prison, or something racial or sexual that would cause you embarrassment. An examples might be having something like “child rapist” tattooed on your forehead whilst you’re pinned down. These markings are not only a punishment to you, but a warning to others that you cannot be trusted.
Facial tattoos are most commonly seen among the lifers who have no hope of seeing the outside world again. They quite often have statements like “don’t wake me up” on their eyelids. These eyelid tattoos are done by inserting a spoon under the eyelid to give the artist a solid base and prevent the eye-ball from getting burst wide open.
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