Following several recent prison inmate fights at four U.S. northern states, prison officials have decided to flood the common area prison grounds, create an ice rink and distribute hockey equipment to anyone wanting time out of their cells.
Advisors were called in from Canada to create the outside activity program, which seems to have drawn both criticism for potential effectiveness and praise for creativity. Mel Tunstell, chief exterior guard at the Minnesota State Correctional Facility says, "Most were opposed to the idea, until we told them they could carry hockey sticks and described the list of penalties they could draw on each other". Tunstell also serves as one of the on-ice referees.
Initial games saw nothing but penalties until a prize was offered to the winning team for each game. "If we win we get pie", said one inmate. "That keeps out of the box for the most part, unless one of them bastards takes a cheap shot at me, them I'm definitely gonna get 5 for fighting". Other penalties for slashing, tripping, spearing only require a two minute penalty during the game, but cost considerably more off the ice. "Where else can I assault a guy and not get 5 years added to my sentence. I love this game", says Minnesota inmate, Tim McClanahan.
Critics who were worried about the guards falling victim to inmates with sticks and protective helmets themselves, were answered by Tunstell. "I'm literally the only guy who can skate out there. They can't catch me, and I know how to board a guy if I need to". Non hockey fans were left to wonder what the hell Tunstell was talking about.