Jailbirds start up prison radio show

Norwegian prisoners will be transported out of their cells by a chance to make radio waves on Monday night, when the country's first prison radio station begins broadcasts.

Led by a former possessor of amphetamines, the Radio Inside show will inform and entertain listeners of the Radio Prime station in the border town of Halden in southern Norway with programmes put together by inmates.

“We won’t get permission to do complain-radio,” said prisoner No. 11/010, Robert Haslaas, to newspaper VG.

Haslaas said the station would strive to make interesting radio for people in and around Halden. The one-hour broadcasts will be complemented by online files.

Prison staff said participation could be a turning point for some law-breakers and could be the future profession of others. One participant was serving 13 years for his part in one of the most ruthless heists in Norwegian history, the Nokas robbery, in which a policeman was shot dead.

Yet prisoners in the progressive prison have showed remorse, and after the brutal massacre of young political hopefuls in July 2011, they collected their meagre prison pay and produced a special radio programme of support for the families of the gunman’s victims.

The radio station, said to be adorned with pictures of Elvis Presley in prison garb, is expected to play plenty of jailhouse rock on its mid-day shows.

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