Prison in Norway. From Flat-screen TVs to Jogging Trails, Here’s Where Norway’s Mass Murderer Could End Up.
Here’s how photographer Alex Masi introduces the project at his gallery on PhotoShelter:
Can luxury prisons and a more humane approach to detention be a deterrent for crime in modern society?
The answer lies in Halden, Norway.
About a 100 Km south of Oslo, a state of-the-art prison considered by many the World’s most ‘luxurious’ has opened in June 2010, in a country already boasting criminal and rehabilitation systems of the highest standards.
Individual cells come with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and various comforts. They measure 12 square meters and are divided up into units (10 to 12) which share a living room and kitchen, similarly to a students’ dormitory. The windows are not fitted with bars, but thick glass is used instead.
The prison – the second-largest in Norway – costs 165m Euro and accommodates 248 male inmates. Some 760,000 Euro were spent just on artworks, some of which commissioned to Norway’s most renowned street artist, Dolk.
The inmates can attend a vast range of formative courses at a official high school located inside the prison. Subjects can include languages, IT, science, catering, music, (there is even a professional sound studio) art and handicraft and several sports.
Norway’s unrepentant mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik, is now under arrest. And he should count himself lucky for – if entirely undeserving of – a penal system in that country that is among the cushiest in the world. There’s no capital punishment, and the longest jail term allowed is 21 years (a caveat: if a prisoner is deemed to still be a threat, his sentence can be extended in five-year blocks indefinitely, though it’s highly unlikely, according to Norwegian officials). In Norway, rehabilitation is the guiding principle, not punishment – a somewhat difficult notion to swallow given the gravity and callousness of his crimes.
Prisoners spend a lot of time out of their cells; exercise is encouraged. And in Halden, not only is there clean air but personal trainers.
At Halden, the inmates can form their own band. And what’s more, they can lay down an album in the prison’s professional recording studio.
The prison boasts a state-of-the-art gym, complete with a rock-climbing wall. No word yet on whether there’s a class on tunneling.
A woman trainer is talking to a few inmates after a run in the yard of the luxurious Halden Fengsel, after the time they regularly spend carrying out physical exercise and learning about the human body in Halden, near Oslo, Norway.
Inmates are preparing some food in one of the common kitchen and living room areas established to be a meeting point between inmates and guards and to facilitate rehabilitation inside the luxurious Halden Fengsel, near Oslo, Norway.
Guards don’t carry guns and are encouraged to be outgoing and friendly toward the inmates — they eat together and play sports in mixed teams to create a sense of family, according to officials.
An inmate in his private bathroom — one of many amenities that make Halden feel more like a college dorm than a prison.
Dolk, a Norwegian Banksy-style graffiti artist, was commissioned to create art for the prison — at a price tag of $1 million.
The inside of a cell is seen at the Halden prison in the far southeast of Norway in this picture taken in 2010, released on July 27, 2011. Halden jail could house Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik, who killed at least 76 people in last Friday’s bomb attack and shooting spree, for decades, according to media reports. Breivik’s lawyer said on Tuesday his client appeared to be a madman, but it was too early to say if Breivik would plead insanity at his trial, expected to be a year away. (Reuters)
The inside of a cell is seen at the Halden prison in the far southeast of Norway in this picture taken in 2010, released on July 27, 2011. (Reuters)
A road leading to Halden prison in the far southeast of Norway is seen in this April 9, 2010 file handout picture released to Reuters on July 26, 2011. (Reuters)
Two men sit inside the chapel at Halden prison in the far southeast of Norway in this picture taken in 2010, released on July 27, 2011. (Reuters)
A man walks in front of graffiti inside Halden prison in the far southeast of Norway in this picture taken in 2010, released on July 27, 2011. (Reuters)
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