"I have been reading Diego Gambetta's new book Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate, just published by Princeton University Press. The author, a professor of sociology at Oxford University, notes that senior convicts in Folsom State Penitentiary, including its "honorable" tattoo artists, strongly discourage young and unmarked felons from getting inked. Gambetta, who has also published a study of the Sicilian Mafia, takes a transnational approach in his new book. He cites a report on the attitude found within a South African prison: 'Facial tattoos are the ultimate abandonment of all hope of a life outside.' "