Some see incarceration as the absolute end of freedom and life as they know it. Others simply view it as a challenge. Prison is where humanity is left to rot. A place where both dignity and identity are stripped away, exposing only the animalistic core at the dark heart of man. If you’re not messed up, frustrated and violent going into jail, then you’re sure as shit going to be by the time they’re finished with you—and with the American penchant of issuing mandatory minimum sentences, that could be a long time indeed. But just as a fox will chew off its own leg to escape from a trap, it’s amazing the lengths that a man in a cage will go to free himself.
There is a psychological shift that takes place within us when we hear about a prison break. No matter who the person is or what he might have done, we root for a successful getaway. Maybe it’s due to the fact that we are all becoming so contained and monitored ourselves—by our jobs, by the way we hand over our data online, by limitless public surveillance—that when someone actually manages to slip from the net, we can’t help but hold out hope for them.
While there are prisoners who toe the line once their sentence has been passed down, a small contingent will do everything in their power to get the hell out of the big house. Two thousand fifteen in particular was a banner year for elaborate, high-profile escapes, each more unique, inventive and outlandish than the last.
BRAZIL, FEBRUARY 2015
Nova Mutum Prison, a small but brutal penitentiary near Cuiabá, Brazil, received a trio of unexpected midnight visitors in the early hours of Thursday, February 5th. Three hot women in police-themed PVC outfits, complete with leather caps and handcuffs, arrived at the gates, stating that they were looking to have a little fun with anyone willing to party. The three guards who were on duty that night didn’t need much convincing to let the girls in. After all, this was a fantasy come true, right?
Not quite. Plying the prison employees with whiskey, they put on a little show. It didn’t take long for things to heat up and the action to begin. Pretty soon the men were stripped, handcuffed and…completely unconscious. The whiskey was spiked, and the guards hit the deck with a bang. The ladies simply relieved them of their keys, opened up the cell doors and freed a horde of prisoners.