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Riding Lessons for Imprisoned Bankers Canceled

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Riding Lessons for Imprisoned Bankers Canceled

Icelandic horses

Photo: Geir Ólafsson.

For now, imprisoned bankers at Kvíabryggja prison must hold their horses.

Riding lessons planned to be given to them by the Agricultural University of Iceland were canceled last night, according to Vísir.

The lessons were to begin November 7 and last through April 3, a total of 16 days of instruction. A stable at a nearby farm was to be used for the lessons.

Björn Þorsteinsson, president of the Agricultural University, told Vísir, “It’s not ours to decide the prerequisites. These prisoners are not dangerous on a daily basis. It’s different if you have violent prisoners and a lesson in using a chain saw in the woods, then I don’t think people would be excited.”

No particular number of participants was need for the lessons to be given, but the fewer the students, the higher the cost.

The expected cost of giving the lessons was ISK 2.69 million (USD 20,000, EUR 19,000), and if there were five participants, that would mean ISK 538,000 (USD 4,000, EUR 3,800) per person. “School supplies”―horses, that is―were to be provided by participants.

Providing the money, as well as such lively school supplies, might have been an issue for the average prisoner, but then, again, those who signed up for the lessons don’t fall into that category. For them, money was never an issue.

The reason the lessons were canceled had to do with equal opportunity for prisoners.

Páll Winkel, prison director, explained, “We don’t want to prevent the education of prisoners, but we must take into account that they’ve lost their liberty. Besides, equality remains a constant theme in our work―always and everywhere.” It was the decision of the Prison Adminstration to cancel the lessons.

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