A Japanese prison is trying to up their public image and has decided a cuddly mascot is the solution. The Asahikawa Prison debuted "Katakkuri-chan", a 6-foot-6 mascot costume of a warden with a groovy purple flower in her hair.
Newser.com is reporting that officials hope the mascot will show that the Asahikawa Prison is not an insolated place where people are surrounded by grey walls and have no contact with society. In fact, they want people to know that the facility is open to (and supported by) society.
Source: Asahikawa Prison/Doshi Web/newser.com