Inmates celebrating Christmas at the Raymond Street Jail, Brooklyn New York, 1932
Christmas falls on December 25th whether you're free to celebrate the day or incarcerated for committing a crime, and even those facing life behind bars dredge up a bit of holiday cheer at the end of the year.
An inmate at the Orange County Jail playing Santa with a mop and paper hat, 1940s
Most prisons don't allow inmates to decorate their cells these days, but in the first half of the 20th century prisoners were allowed to put up decorations and celebrate the holidays just like everyone else.
Prisoners at the District Jail in Washington, D.C., 1909
These vintage photographs present a view of prison life that seems almost too serene to be true, but let's not forget what the less festive parts of jail, like the "drunk tank", looked like on Christmas morn circa way back when:
Christmas morning in the “drunk tank” in Downtown Los Angeles, 1952