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Old 08-12-2010, 01:14 AM   #1
xoxoxoBruce
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Aug 12, 2010: Prison Tattoos

Tattoos are written communication, they convey a message from the wearer, especially tattoos that are visible wearing normal clothing. Sometimes the message is clear, sometimes not, because like writing, there are different "languages" in tattoos. Police and criminologist have long tried to decipher criminal and gang tattoos... even building libraries.

Before cheap cameras and computers, they just saved the tattoos.



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The tattoo collection at the Department of Forensic Medicine at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland consists of 60 objects preserved in formaldehyde, a method devised by one of the experts employed by the Department at the turn of 20th century.
The tattoos were collected from the prisoners of the nearby state penitentiary on Montelupich Street as well as from the deceased on whom autopsies were performed.
The majority of the prison tattoos represent connections between the convicts. Besides gestures and mimics it is a kind of secret code – revealing why 'informative' tattoos appeared on uncovered body parts: face, neck or arms.
The collection was created with a view to deciphering the code – among prisoners known as a 'pattern language'. By looking closely at the prisoners' tattoos, their traits, temper, past, place of residence or the criminal group in which they were involved could be determined.
I suppose they had checked off "Tattoo Donor" on their driver's licenses.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:15 AM   #2
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Just hope the original owners weren't polished off to collect those.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:19 AM   #3
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Well, I sure hope they didn't remove the tats while the prisoners were still alive.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:59 AM   #4
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I visited Surgeons' Hall, a medical museum in Edinburgh, a few weeks back with my daughter, and among the collection of specimens there were a few jars with tattoos just like the ones above plus a large one of a whole back (it may have been a chest...). Mind you, there were some far less attractive specimens on display.
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:22 AM   #5
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I wonder if they figured out the code for the "Fuck You" tattoo?
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Old 08-12-2010, 07:53 AM   #6
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Law enforcement does the same thing today. Only with the help of modern technology (digital camera) instead of a scalpel. Any time a prisoner is booked by any federal agency, even just to be transferred from one prison to anther, part of their booking record contains photographs of all tattoo's, as well as prominent scars and other identifying marks. Not a new concept by any means. Just a less messy way of collecting and cataloging them these days.
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Old 08-12-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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We need these translated from the original Polish.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:08 AM   #8
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #9
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what? They're already pickled -tuck in!
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:01 PM   #10
Shawnee123
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They look almost as bad as most of the tattoos I see these days.
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:07 PM   #11
monster
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Maybe you should start charging more.

What?
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
Shawnee123
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It costs money to be an individual, you know.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:56 PM   #13
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Yup.

You can be a unique individual, just like everyone else.
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I have no knowledge of the events which you are describing, and if I did have knowledge of them,
I would be unable to discuss them with you now or at any future period.



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Old 08-12-2010, 07:02 PM   #14
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Much more interesting than the prison wallet collection...
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:58 PM   #15
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You'd think with all that time to plan an elegant and handsome design the tattoos might demonstrate some degree of artistic endeavor, wouldn't you?
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