When it comes to prison time, the majority of countries place their emphasis on punishment rather than rehabilitation: it scares potential offenders, seeks justice for the victim, and it is cheaper. Places like Norway put their effort towards assisting inmates in getting the help they need so they can rejoin society. In fact, the max sentence for murder is 21 years. Norway’s infamous mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik got 21 years after killing 77 people, mostly teenagers.
It seems that the rehabilitation efforts are paying off since Norway boasts one of the lowest recidivism rates at 20%, while the US has one of the highest since 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years. In addition, only 75 per 100,000 Norwegians are incarcerated, giving them one of the lowest prison populations, compared to the 716 per 100,000 in America, which turns out to be the highest rate of incarceration in the world. This equals to an abysmal 2,220,000 people, or 0.91% (1 in 110) of the total US adult population in jail as of 2014. It is obvious our judicial system needs reform, just take a look at how Norway treats its prisoners.
Breivik lives in a “cell” like this. It comes equipped with a comfy mattress, a flat screen television, and of course… Ikea furniture from the neighboring country of Sweden.
Prisoners are not only allowed, but encouraged to go outside as much as possible. They even have personal trainers available to help motivate them.
Inmates can form their own band. The prison will supply you and your merry band of convicts with instruments and a professional recording studio.
The library comes fully stocked with DVD’s and magazines.
Prisoners mingle with guards while watching television in common areas such as this.
Halden comes with a state-of-the-art gym which includes a rock climbing wall.
The guards never carry guns and are encouraged to befriend prisoners. They even play sports on mixed teams.
Their dental package is better than mine too.
An inmate brushes his teeth in his private bathroom. Notice he’s wearing blue jeans? …must be nice.
Even though the reintegration of offenders to society in Norway seems promising, would you be comfortable letting out a mass murder like Brevik after 21 years?