Jan 21st, 2011
Feeling pale? Jaywalk in Moscow.
Winter getting you down? Missing the ol’ sun’s rejuvenating warmth? You’re in luck. Word out of Russia is that Moscow’s infamous Butyrka prison (known for its Spartan accommodations and cruel conditions) is getting sun-tanning beds later this year. No joke.
The notoriously-cruel 19th-century penitentiary has long been regarded as a literal hell hole. Butyrka has been the residence of many famous “guests” – from Soviet writers Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Adolf Hitler’s nephew Heinrich.
With no sunlight in cells, squalid surroundings and outdated medical equipment and facilities, Butyrka is considered by many to be the worst place in the civilized world for imprisonment. They don’t even have cloth linens, if you can imagine that? No wonder they call it hard time.
Apparently the sun-beds are being installed for medical reasons – with the lack of sunlight coming through the concrete and brick walls causing problems for many inmates. But they’re also talking about adding spa facilities such as mud baths, and Skype service for inmates to stay in touch with friends, relatives and convicts on the outside.
Who knows, maybe Butyrka will go condo or start selling time-shares? If so, count me in. I could use some color.