Why You Want To Go To Prison In Norway. Yes, Want.[Photos]

You may hate you small apartment in America and you may not own a flat screen TV or be able to afford cable television but if you dont mind committing a crime that warrants a maximum security imprisonment in Norway that all can change.

When terror suspect Anders Breivik gets his inevitable 21 year prison sentence(no death penalty in Norway and max prison sentence is 21 years. I know, awesome right?) chances are he will be living better than you any apartment complex the average American could afford to live in. He’ll be living in Halden Prison, branded the most humane prison in the world.

Since most inmates will eventually return to society due to maximum 21 year sentences, Halden mimics the outside world as much as possible to prepare them for freedom. Rooms include en-suite bathrooms with ceramic tiles, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. Officials say sleeker televisions afford inmates less space to hide drugs and other contraband.

You might think your new dorm is pretty cool or maybe your apartment lobby is nicer than usual and you’re probably paying thousands for that luxury but  nuh uh, not at Halden. Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where everyone from rapists to mass murders like Breivik can prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work. Oh by the way, did I mention none of the windows at Halden have bars? Aahh Luxury…

What did you say? your apartment complex doesn’t have a sports complex? Well suck it up and go kill some people in Norway! In the Luxurious Halden, security guards organize inmate activities from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM giving them a chance for inmates to pick up a new hobby. It’s also a part of the prison’s “dynamic security strategy” — occupied prisoners are less likely to lash out at guards and one another. Inmates can shoot hoops on the above basketball court, which absorbs falls on impact (because God forbid a pedophile sprains an elbow), and make use of a rock-climbing wall, jogging trails and a soccer field. Are you f@*king kidding me?

So you’ve maybe kidnapped someone, shot up a youth camp, or stabbed a store clerk and then you decide, “you know what, maybe I wanna make music”. if so, Halden is the place for you. Because there’s also a recording studio with a professional mixing board with in-house music teachers who refer to the inmates as “pupils,” instead of “prisoners” because you know, we don’t want to stigmatize them. The instructors work with their “pupils” on piano, guitar, bongos and more. In fact, three members of Halden’s security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway’s version of American Idol. They have hight hopes to produce the prison’s first musical starring inmates later this year. It’s going to be called “I Can’t Believe This is Prison”.

Inmates need to be comfortable. That’s why Halden’s architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the prison, in order to minimize the institutional feel and in the words of one architect, to “let the inmates see all of the seasons.” There’s also benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail, you know, to take in the beauty of the seasons or play a relaxing game of chess.

The prison’s exterior features earthy brown hues that help it blend in with the surrounding woodlands. Inside, however, the walls explode with color. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 different colors to create a sense of variety and stimulate various moods. A calming shade of green creates a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while a vivid orange brings energy to the library and other working areas. A two-bedroom guesthouse, where inmates can host their families overnight, includes a conjugal room painted a fiery red. Because red is for passion!

Oh, and about the people running this joint you ask? Norway’s prison guards undergo two years of training at an officers’ academy and enjoy an elevated status compared with their peers in the U.S. and Britain. Their official job description says they must motivate the inmate “so that his sentence is as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible,” so they frequently eat meals and play sports with prisoners. At Halden, half of all guards are female, which its governor believes reduces tension and encourages good behavior.

Norwegian inmates lose their right to freedom but not to state services like health care. Dentists, doctors, nurses and even librarians work in the local municipality, preventing a subpar prison standard from developing. On-site, Halden boasts a small hospital and this state-of-the-art dentist’s office. Suck it Americans with no healthcare.

To help inmates develop routines and to reduce the monotony of confinement(you know how much that can suck right?), designers spread Halden’s living quarters, work areas and activity centers across the prison grounds. In this “kitchen laboratory,” inmates learn the basics of nutrition and cooking. Sometimes homemade orange sorbet and slices of tropical fruit line the table. Prisoners can take courses that will prepare them for careers as caterers, chefs and waiters.

For some reason I think Casey Anthony will be starting a family in Norway…

About Travon Free

Stand-up comedian, actor, and writer. Ivy League brains with none of the student loan debt. This is the home of my opinion. Everything I love. Everything I Hate. This blog is about TRUTH and INSPIRATION. I hope you packed your sense of humor...
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13 Responses to Why You Want To Go To Prison In Norway. Yes, Want.[Photos]

  1. uri dc says:

    How to get into Halden prison?,I want to know

  2. Silje says:

    There are two sides to everything. I have raged against the fluffy accommodations of prisoners in my country time and again, being Norwegian. “This is what they use my hard earned money on!”, “How is this going to teach them a lesson??” and so on. Then I got to know a former prisoner of Halden Prison. A few years later a friend of mine decided to become a prison guard. They gave me another view on it. It still is hard to swallow, but I think TYT made a pretty good show on their youtube channel about it.

    The first one is probably what Mr Free used as a source for this blog:

    The second video sheds a light on what the after effects of the Norwegian Royal Treatment of Prisoners are:

    Take a look – maybe it isn’t just stupid after all. Combined with stricter immigration laws (to weed out people coming to Norway to exploit the system), I would be able to support the building of more of these prisons. Because contrary to what many believe, not all of Norway’s prisons are as nice as Halden…😉

    Think of it this way: is it actually possible to be raped and shanked and still strive towards education and peace instead of crime and violence? If you went to prison and actually wanted to do better for your self; wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get therapy, education and a warm smile to prepare you for the outside world when you’ve paid your dues?

  3. Julianne says:

    He is not living in Halden prison, he`s in Ila prison. ( http://www.op.no/Innenriks/article6203546.ece )

    I live in norway, so i should know :p

    Please check your facts before you publish next time.

  4. j says:

    Hilarious article. Come see Detroit and be sure to roam around at night to see all the sights. There’s usually an average of at least 1 murder per day here. If you actually think giving these people a nice place to live for most of their life is going to rehab them I say you’ve lost your freaking mind. The average house in Detroit is a joke. Look up Detroit real estate. Homes are on sale for $500. Who wouldn’t be willing to kill someone to get some free classy housing if they lived in such a place. Shoot, I would have been committing crimes left and right if a place like Halden existed here. Would have been a lot easier than being completely broke, struggling through college, and living in the dump I do now. Our prisons do their job, not because they rehab, but because they keep the honest people honest. The main problem is that the really bad criminals should never be put back in society or allowed to reproduce- they should be buried in the ground where they can’t spread their way of life.

  5. Eilin says:

    This is actually a great idea in theory, but the thing is that people take advantage of it.. People come to Norway from places all around the world where their life’s are miserable. They apply for rights to live in our country, and when denied they can’t be sent home according to norwegian law until they decide themselves that they want to. So instead of going back home to their own country they would rather commit a crime and go to a norwegian prison, seeing how this is luxury compared to going back.

    I believe that this system can work, and I’ve seen it work.. But the Norwegian government is to naive to see the flaws in the system and thats why it gets taken advantage of by illegal immigrants..

  6. Jeremy says:

    Here is the thing, we have a different culture in the U.S. We could build a thousand places like this and transfer our inmates tomorrow, and it honestly wouldn’t make much of a difference. They would just be more privileged crooks, rapist, and murderers. The ones that act out, would continue to do so, guards would be killed on a daily basis, and thousands would be breaking laws just to get a break from everyday life for a while! This, would be vacation in America!

  7. Australian Jails are nothing like this! That is like a secure hotel rather than a jail for serious offenders. Lovely photos and a very good post.

    Thank you.

  8. Eric says:

    Wow, rehab instead of warehousing. Why would we want to do that? Oh that’s right, 99% of convicts will be released someday and be our neighbors. Maybe teaching social skills and life skills does make sense.

    • Joel says:

      So true. I am sure that rehabbing this guy who decided to go shoot up a camp full of kids is going to turn out great in 21 years.

  9. Kevin James says:

    Dude I think it’s brilliant. American prisons are shit and this is worth looking into the statistics of ex-cons re-entry into the system in Norway vs America to see which works better. It’s a fact that a large portion of new criminals become worse after suffering through American prison systems, getting raped, shanked, and joining a gang, this could help alleviate the long term effects associated with our systems, no?

    • Travon Free says:

      Actually I totally agree with this method but america would never buy into it because were all about punishment even though we claim prison is to rehabilitate. My degree is in criminal justice and I remember in my corrections class we discussed these methods and it really comes down to states not wanting to spend the money for actual rehabilitation. Different types of criminals need different types of rehab but we just throw them all in a cell and think they’ll learn their lesson. Not true which is why over 60% reoffend and end up back in prison. Not to mention all the things we deprive convicts of once they’re out of prison leads them right back to a life of crime. You can’t vote, get a job, get a passport, get a car dealers license if you wanted to sale cars for a living, they make it extremely hard to get your life on the straight and narrow if that’s what you wanted to do and I know first hand from people going through it right now, people who just want to make an honest living but can’t because of prison records. Our system is completely broken.

      • jwadvocate says:

        Sorry guys, but most people would look at this and say, as the author alludes in a pretty hilarious manner, “Wow, I live an honest life, and I still live in a shit-hole, but I’m paying tax money every year so that murderers, rapists and thieves can live better than I do? This… does not compute. At all.”

        I know the Norwegian system is not representative of most systems, and that the American system has a long way to go, in terms of getting its goals straight.

        But this is just laughable. There are ways to incarcerate and rehabilitate offenders humanely, without it resembling an extended European vacation.

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