Prison Inmates Break Out, Get Wasted, Then Sneak Back In

A group of four prisoners at a work release center in Australia's Berrimah jail are suspected of repeatedly sneaking out to get drunk and high, then breaking back in before correctional officers noticed.

According to Australia's ABC, the inmates would "from time to time" wait until the evening headcount, then jump a cyclone fence and meet up with accomplices from outside, who would help them acquire booze and weed. They'd come back a few hours later, and no one would be the wiser.

It would have worked, too, except for one little flaw in the plan: They were too drunk to keep it going.

On Sunday night, officers broke up a drunken fight between five prisoners over a contraband cellphone. Four of them were the alleged escapees.

A search of the area turned up "two empty bottles of alcohol, five mobile phones, phone chargers, a small quantity of a 'green leafy substance,' a cigarette lighter, and rolling papers," the ABC reports.

"It would appear that a couple of prisoners have jumped the fence but returned," a spokesman for the Northern Territory Department of Correctional Services said, "They may have been out for a while."

Police are now deciding whether breaking out of, and then back into, a correctional facility constitutes an "escape." In the meantime, the four men are cooling off in Berrimah's maximum security section, which should prove a bit harder to temporarily leave.

[H/T UPI, Photo: Wikimedia Commons]