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. Continue reading »

Oslo Bomb Attack: Massive Explosion Hits Norway, At Least 87 Dead

An injured woman is helped by a man at the scene of a powerful explosion that rocked central Oslo July 22, 2011. A huge explosion damaged government buildings in central Oslo on Friday including Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg’s office, injuring several people, a Reuters witness said. The blast blew out most windows on the 17-storey building housing Stoltenberg’s office, as well as nearby ministries including the oil ministry, which was on fire. (REUTERS/Morten Holm/Scanpix) Continue reading »