Norway prisons operate differently from the rest of the world, there are no chains and shackles, no uniforms, no austerity- the prison guards don’t even carry guns! Prison in Norway is a lot like parenting- they remould the characters of murderers, drug addicts and rapist with love and trust.
They believe the way you treat people is how they become. Treat them like criminals, and they would act like one. Threat them like human beings, and they would be good neighbours in future.
The only punishment they get in prison is that their freedom is taken away from them, but within the prison walls, life is basically the same
This is Norway’s Minimum security detention centre- Bastoy Prison
Located Miles away from the main city it is a beautiful, scenic and quiet island filled with pine trees and rocky coasts, with views of the ocean that are postcard-worthy. They believe the prisoners are here to be rehabilitated not tortured.
The prisoners are allowed to work and earn a living. They take people on ferry rides across the Island, tend to farm animals that live within the Island. They live in Mini chalets, use their own kitchen and have a central store. There’s a beach where prisoners sunbathe in the summer, plenty of good fishing spots, a sauna and tennis courts. Horses roam gravel roads.
115 prisoners live in the prison all serving time for murder, rape and trafficking heroin, among other crimes.
When inmates come to his island jail, Nilsen, the governor, gives them a little talk.
Among the wisdom he imparts is this: If you should escape and make it across the water to the free shore, find a phone and call so I know you’re OK and “so we don’t have to send the coast guard looking for you.”
According to him, the Objective is to create an environment where people can build self-esteem and reform their lives. This prison, he says, gives them a chance to see they have worth, “to discover, ‘I’m not such a bad guy.’
Halden prisons is the Maximum security prison in Norway for serious offenders
This is supposed to be the prison, for tough criminals, rapist and Murderers , But the wardens have love not guns. The prisoners live in dormitory styled flats with their own keys. Each room is made en-suite with toilets and bathroom.
The flats consists of 10 to 12 cells that have a living room area, where flat mates interact with one another, cook and hangout with other in mates. There are no bars on the windows.
Security guards organize activities from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 in the evening. The inmates are allowed to study a course, play basketball, record in the music studio and use the library. Its part of the strategy to keep them occupied and busy so they have less time to lash out at each other or the guards.
For their work, inmates are paid. They get a stipend of 59 Norwegian kroner per day, about $10. They can save that money or spend it at the store
So does it work?
Well, take a quick look at the numbers: Only 20% of prisoners who come through Norway’s prisons reoffend within two years of being released, but in the United States were prison conditions are tougher- 43% of released inmates end up back in prison.
Well, let’s come back home- LOL. I mean in Nigeria people with long legs don’t go to jail- Ask Maryam Sanda and her rich mum.
So… who wants to prison in Norway- there is light, water and fuel.