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Foreign criminals could be housed in Norway's arctic ex-military bases

Nov. 18, 2013 at 10:38 AM

OSLO, Norway, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Foreigners who commit crimes in Norway could serve their sentences at former military bases in the arctic, a top Norwegian justice official says.

Deputy Justice Minister Vidar Karlsen said the plan was being considered to free up the country's overcrowded prisons for Norwegian inmates, The Local.no reported Monday.

A decision on whether to convert the former bases to prisons was "of the utmost priority," Karlsen said.

The idea was proposed by a county police chief in a newspaper article published Friday. Inspector Magnar Pedersen said the bases would be ideal to house foreign prisoners because "they have no family to visit them, they have no connection to Norway."

He said prisoners were escaping jails simply because local prisons had no space.

Bjorn Krogsrud, who directors Norway's southern prisons, said last week prisons in his region were at 100.2 percent occupancy.

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