Joe Bruno on the Mob – No More Designer Clothes for Sicilian Prisoners

When I first read the article below in Mafia Today, which had been originally printed in the London Daily Mail, I thought to myself , “This has got be be a joke.”

I’ve never been to prison, but I know people who have been to prison, and I can assure you without a doubt, American prisoners are not allowed to wear Prada silk dressing gowns, or shirts, jeans and underwear designed by either Gucci, Valentino, Versace, or Giorgio Armani. Yet, in Palermo Sicily, prison inmates are now highly insulted that new Governor Rita Barbera has ordered such clothing confiscated, and that only approved prison garb must be worn.

What’s next? No steak, lobster and caviar for dinner? No Louis XIII cognac as an after dinner drink? No zabaglione for dessert?

In America, going to prison is a severe punishment. Some of our top Mob leaders have been locked away in cruel dungeons, sometimes never to emerge alive.

And these jokers in Sicily are angry because Giorgio Armani silk cannot touch their bodies as long as they are behind bars?

I always thought the Sicilian Mafia was tougher than the American Mafia. I might have to rethink that premise.

The link to the article is below.
Jailed mobsters ‘humiliated’ after being made to hand in designer clothes during prison crackdown on high-end labels
July 27, 2011 by Capo ·

Mafia men told to wear ‘approved only’ clothing
Inmates at an Italian prison have been banned from wearing designer label clothes and jewelery as officials try and stamp their authority.
Prisoners, including several convicted Mafia mobsters, have been ordered to hand over all their designer gear and it will be forwarded onto family members.

Items collected so far include Prada silk dressing gowns, as wells as T-shirts, jeans and underwear by top Italians Gucci, Valentino, Versace and Giorgio Armani.

Sports brands Adidas and Nike have also been called in with inmates at the Ucciardone prison in Palermo on the island of Sicily being told to wear approved only clothing.

In the past the prison was dubbed the ‘Grand Hotel Ucciardone’ because of the numerous Mafia Godfathers that were held there and because of the extravagant privileges previous governors gave them.

Mobsters would wear silk dressing gowns while one famous episode centered on boss Michele Catalano who was given a slap up birthday party with lobster and champagne at a bash organized in the prison gym.

New no nonsense governor Rita Barbera, who was credited with cleaning up a troublesome juvenile institute, said:”For too long this prison has been known for its silk dressing gown wearing inmates and it has to stop.

‘Prison is a place of punishment and every inmate has the same status so any symbol of luxury be it designer clothes or designer gadgets that would suggest power or financial supremacy must go.

‘In prison the tiniest things can make a difference so imagine what inmates wearing designer clothes has – there are even those that wear fakes so as to keep up their image.’

Mrs Barbera added that relatives of inmates would be allowed to send in 20kg of clothing but none of it must be designer and it would be checked by warders.

The wife of one inmate told Italian media:”My husband will have to walk about in the nude – all he has is designer label clothes – not because he is flashy but because the quality is better.’



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