This is no San Quintin. In scenic Norway one will find the most modern, aesthetically pleasing, and overall cushiest prison ever — Halden Prison. Time Magazine writes about the prison:
The cells rival well-appointed college dorm rooms, with their flat-screen TVs and minifridges. Designers chose long vertical windows for the rooms because they let in more sunlight. There are no bars. Every 10 to 12 cells share a living room and kitchen. With their stainless-steel countertops, wraparound sofas and birch-colored coffee tables, they resemble Ikea showrooms.
Inmates also have jogging trails, a sound studio, football pitch, cooking classes (actually educational opportunities of all sorts), rock climbing wall, gym, and a well appointed luxury library. There is even a nice little two bedroom house on the grounds so that inmates can have their families visit and stay the weekend – it is important they have their privacy after all.
What really gets most people though is that although there is a 20 foot high concrete retaining wall which is obscured by trees for cosmetic purposes, the prison has no bars and plenty of windows to let the light in and create a soothing environment. Guards don’t even carry guns because that could create an uneasy or hostile setting for the prisoners that retards their rehabilitation.
The idea is that by treating prisoners humanely – even if they were less than humane in regards to their victims – they can be rehabilitated and reintegrated into society. The big question is whether or not it works. That is the $250 million dollar question. Does their belief that prisons need to focus on human rights and respect actually translate to real rehabilitative change in criminals?
The mural commissioned to be painted on the prison walls was alledledly done for a cost of $1,000,000.
The library. This is nicer then my old high school library.
Recording studio. This is nicer than the recording studio in my apartment.
The communal kitchen. Nice.
A bedroom like this would go for $1,500 a month in Manhattan.
Nice gym. How about climbing a wall? Not sure if a climbing wall is a good idea in a prison?