15 Incredible Escape Tools Made by Prison Inmates

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Image: Marc Steinmetz

Sitting in a cell day after day with no tools and no access to the outside world would makes it very difficult to be creative, one might think. Yet there is no end to man’s creativity, and inmates in prison are no exception. Marc Steinmetz is a superb photographer who spent some time in the late ’90s photographing these tools that inmates many made for escapes. Above, for example, is a radio receiver found in an encyclopedia in the prison library.


Image: Marc Steinmetz

15. Saw

Confiscated in the therapy section of Hohenasperg prison, this ingenious device was made using a coat hanger and a jigsaw blade to make a saw. Perhaps giving inmates jigsaws to work with is not the best idea. Or at least count all the blades at the end.

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Image: Marc Steinmetz

14. Ladder from Bedsheets

We’ve all heard about the escape ropes made from bed sheets, but few of us have ever seen the real thing. This one is 16 meters long and made with dish towels as well as sheets. It was used in an escape attempt from the ‘Santa Fu’ jail in Hamburg, Germany. One man fell and the other one got to the roof; its seems he was climbing the wrong direction!

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