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This Venezuelan Prison Lets Inmates Dance, Drink And Shoot Guns

The New York Times / YouTube

On Venezuela’s Margarita Island, you’ll find a prison that is nothing like you have ever seen. When you think of prison, you probably think about handball courts, free weights and solitary confinement cells. That’s not what goes down at San Antonio prison, which functions more like a resort that a typical correctional facility. It gives inmates so much freedom that some of them willingly return after their release.

This goes down at San Antonio prison. Seriously.

Dancing
Credit: The New York Times / YouTube

That’s New York Times footage of inmates dancing to music played by a DJ. Yes, a DJ. In a prison.

The prison also has an annex for women, and the two sexes are allowed to commingle.

Friends
Credit: SBS Dateline / YouTube

The prison also features conjugal rooms set up for visits from significant others.

Prisoners can access luxuries like oysters for lunch, or hammocks for lounging around.

Oysters
Credit: The New York Times / YouTube

“I found a restaurant, I found a place with barbecued chicken,” one inmate told the New York Post. “There are places to drink. It is not like a prison.”

They can also take a dip in a pool… or play a little pool.

pool-san-antonio
Credit: The New York Times / YouTube

Drugs are openly consumed in San Antonio prison.

Drugs
Credit: The New York Times / YouTube

Any drug from marijuana to crack is available and openly consumed in the prison.

But don’t let the party atmosphere fool you. Violence is still a problem at San Antonio Prison. They openly carry guns after all.

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Credit: The New York Times / YouTube

Despite the fact that prisoners carry guns, inmates told The New York Times that compared to other prisons, “peace often prevails” in San Antonio.

Teófilo Rodríguez Cazorla, El Conejo, is the man behind this prison’s particular atmosphere.

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Credit: @militzacrb / Twitter

As an inmate, he took over the prison by force and became its “Pran,” or boss. El Conejo told The New York Times the prison was a total disaster when he first arrived. He said there was no respect among the inmates, so he changed things up.

Earlier this year, El Conejo, who was still a prisoner, was killed outside of a nightclub. To honor his death, prisoners in San Antonio prison gave him a salute… with gun fire.

Shooting
Credit: CLUB VENEZUELA / YouTube

Here are the armed guards near the prison during El Conejo’s send off.

GuardsSayNo
Credit: Alan Hernández / YouTube

Check out dude in the bottom right corner. Clearly this isn’t his first run-in with the party prison. #BossLevel ?

But Iris Valera, who is the person in charge of the Venezuelan prison system, defends the culture within the prison.

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Credit: reporteconfidencial.info/ militzacrb / Twitter

Yep, that’s her with the late Teófilo Rodríguez Cazorla. She told Argentine news agency Infobae that opening a “nightclub” and allowing for an improvement in the quality of life is how Venezuela is trying to keep prison violence low.

Inmates appear to enjoy the hedonistic atmosphere. Like this prisoner told SBS Dateline:

LiveWell
Credit: SBS Dateline / YouTube

“Yes. We’re prisoners but we live well.”

READ: Mexican Man Caught Stealing Trompo Meat from Taco Shop

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You'll Never Guess What Demi Lovato Has in Common With Gwyneth Paltrow And Other Celebrities

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You’ll Never Guess What Demi Lovato Has in Common With Gwyneth Paltrow And Other Celebrities

Celebrities Talk About Mental Health AwarenessCelebrities discuss the very real need to raise awareness about this issue

Posted by Refinery29 on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CREDIT: REFINERY29 / FACEBOOK

What does Demi Lovato have in common with Cara Delevingne, Gwyneth Paltrow, Katy Perry and Lena Dunham? No, it’s not that they’re all famous. It’s something they have in common with many women, with many of us. At some point, Lovato and the other celebs have all suffered from a form of mental illness.

“Because I thought something was really wrong with me, I never opened to anyone. I didn’t tell them what I needed, therefore I ended up self medicating and coping with very unhealthy behavior,” Lovato said in the compilation created by Refinery29.

In an effort to erase the stigma around mental health, these celebrities, along with Alanis Morrisette, Michelle Williams and Hayden Panettiere, have opened up their struggle with depression, eating disorders and other types of mental illness to encourage those suffering to seek help.

“It’s so important for women to know that it happens. It’s common,” said Paltrow.

READ: Demi Lovato And Nick Jonas Put Smiles On The Faces Of Kids At A Children’s Hospital

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