Being sent to prison is a life-defining moment, and for better or worse, some people are never the same again once they are locked inside a cell.
Some inmates find sinking to their lowest low as an opportunity to clean up their act while others make extremely painful physical changes to help them cope.
And below we pick out some extraordinary transformations that either took place in jail or after the prisoner finally walked free.
READ MORE: 'I bit off pinky fingers and severed my genitals in America's toughest jail – but survived'
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Jerry Lee spent 49 months inside a maximum security federal prison at the US Penitentiary Big Sandy – but he looked completely different on his release.
That’s because Jerry, who was punished for trying to rob a bank, endured the unimaginable agony of tattooing his own face and eyelids from his cell.
And speaking exclusively to Daily Star after getting his freedom back, he told us: “I burned vegetable oil and mixed the soot with alcohol for the ink and used a pen spring for the needle. I did it all in the mirror in my cell. It’s a skull representing death broken open with my inner demons looking out.”
Jerry, who is based in North Carolina, said he was inspired to do it after being put in segregation after a stabbing incident. And during his time in isolation he received a heartbreaking letter from his son.
Remembering how he felt, he said: “I couldn’t call him because I was in disciplinary segregation. A part of me died that time not being able to be there for him.
"When I got back to population this is what came out. I did it to myself as a daily reminder of that time, a time in my life I will never want to forget."
As for how others reacted to his artwork, he added: "The other prisoners and guards for the most part liked it too. I’m very happy with it and I will continue to work on it.”
Jerry, who was reunited with his boy in 2021, said he hoped to one day be a professional tattoo artist.
Cassandra Sainsbury became known as “Cocaine Cassie” after being punished for smuggling 5.8kg of powder, which she hid inside her headphones, into Columbia in 2017.
The glam Aussie, who once worked as a personal trainer, was slapped with a six-year sentence at El Buen Pastor – one of Columbia’s toughest prisons.
She was given an early release after overcrowding issues and the drug-runner, who said she committed the offence under duress because her family had been threatened, immediately started working on her fitness after piling on pounds.
One social media snap showed her looking noticeably slimmer with toned abs and writing about her transformation, she said: “Exercise and diet. That’s what you need to do.”
Last year it was reported that she lost 4.5st and she also added multiple tattoos to her right arm after her release in April 2020.
And in recent months the criminal turned fitness influencer said she was brutally attacked while serving three years inside the infamous jail.
Grimsby bloke Lee Sandilands deliberately got himself sent to prison in the hopes he could transform his life while banged up.
He had been hooked on drugs for 21 years and during lockdown he deliberately threw a brick through a pub window – just so he could be taken off the streets.
But he was given a suspended sentence and was soon back out in the cold where he said he went “straight back into the drugs”.
But Lee sought help from Cath and Ken Homewood, who ran a food kitchen in the town, before undergoing a heartwarming transformation.
He then continued his recovery at Reflections House in Castleford, West Yorks, and he spoke to GrimsbyLive about looking and feeling like a new person.
He said: “Each day now flies, I’m trying to give back and help people, I have a lot of guilt about the damage that I’ve done and I’m trying my best to become a better citizen and a better person.
“I'm still due in court for some of the things that I’d done while I was in the madness, I want to send a message to the people of Grimsby to let them know that I’m sorry for what I did during those times.
“I also want to show other people that are struggling that there is a way out, that things can change around and you can get better.”
Lee, who started struggling with addiction issues aged 16, also went to rehab before going on to work with schools and clinics so he could support others.
Another Grimsby man with addiction problems is Shawn Penkenth who spent three decades abusing his body with cannabis, heroin and crack cocaine.
And like Lee Sandilands, he also spent time in prison, but in Shawn’s case it was almost 29 years and at his lowest the 6ft3 father weighed just 10st because of his substance struggles.
But despite feeling “mentally and emotionally dead” he managed to turn it around and he went on to work as a volunteer at a rehab centre. Shawn, who has three kids and has since gained weight, told GrimsbyLive in 2021: "I've spent 18-and-a-half years in prison overall.
"I went into the rehab centre on January 23 last year and I've now been clean for about 18 months. Now, I've got my first ever flat that I've furnished and decorated myself in Castleford and I volunteer at Reflections teaching other people like myself."
Ian Griggs spent 12 years in prison and he later covered his entire body in tattoos after the love of his life was killed in a car crash while he was banged up.
The former professional criminal, who sold drugs and committed acts of violence, said he used the pain he was experiencing to finally turn his life around.
And this started by splashing out £30,000 on tattoos which incredibly led to him becoming an international model and actor who starred in the film Legacy last year.
Giving an insight into his traumatic life, he said: "I had a very hard life growing up, and was in and out of jail in my teens and 20s.
"My son was born when I was in jail, and he visited me there for many more years, which was no way for him to grow up when he needed me the most. I had been with Leanne for three years when she died in a car crash in 2008. I was in jail at that time, and it was the worst day for me, but I decided to use the pain to turn my life around."
His hardcore tattoo journey began when he was released from prison in 2015 and he used body art to help become a new and improved person.
He added: “Once I got one tattoo, I wanted more and have never since looked back. I feel so good with tattoos. People look at me and I love it. My favourite tattoo is the tiger that I have on my head.”
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