Norway’s Halden maximum-security penitentiary opened in 2010 and features private rooms each with a flat-screen TV, private shower and toilet, fridge, fluffy white towels, and a view of mountainous scenery through large, bar-free windows. But wait, there’s a method to their madness.
The posh confinement is part of a larger, far different philosophy towards the penal system than what is found in America. The maximum sentence is 21-years (no death penalty) and prisoners are actually paid around $9 a day to spend their time outdoors hanging out with life-coaches and eating waffles – yes, really. Though not enough time has passed to properly gage the successfulness of this program it’s been pointed out that only 20% of Norwegian ex-cons commit repeat offenses within two years of release – as opposed to America’s 60% recidivism rate.
It’s also worth noting however that in Norway there are 74.8 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents, versus 236 inmates per 100,000 in the U.S. So the hardnosed tough-on-crime approach in America applies to a far greater sampling of people.
(Source: The Week)