Norway Sex Offender Escapes Prison On Surf Board

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A sex offender in a prison located on an island in Norway escaped on a surfboard and used a plastic shovel to paddle to the mainland, reports indicate.

From The New York Post:

The Bastoy low-security prison, famous for organic farming and allowing inmates to watch movies, go cycling and use local beaches, has no fences and is often held up as the ultimate symbol of Norway’s emphasis on humane incarceration policies.

The inmate, a man in his mid-20s, was not considered a danger to the general public. He went missing during the night, and a surfboard and shovel belonging to the prison were found on the shore of the mainland about 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) away.

“It sounds spectacular when it happens this way. But if it hadn’t been a surfboard, it could have been something else. It’s not so hard to find a floating device of some sort on the island,” prison chief Tom Eberhardt told Reuters.

With serial killers, rapists and drug traffickers typically among the criminals serving time on the island, doing farm work, cooking and other practical tasks, the emphasis of the prison is to prepare them for an eventual return to normal life.

Many of the 115 inmates began serving their sentence in a high-security prison and then applied for transfer to Bastoy. A screening procedure is used to pick those considered best suited for the experience.

The small, picturesque island is connected via a dozen daily ferry departures, mainly for employees and visitors. Escapes are rare, and when an escapee is caught, it’s unlikely he will be allowed to return to Bastoy.

“There’s no return ticket if you run away,” Eberhardt said.

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