Halden – World’s most luxurious prison is located in Norway and it’s way better than your house. Trust us, we’re not kidding. This Norwegian jail is so spectacular, it even has its own TV series called “The Norden”.
Former warden in New York’s prison system, James Conway was invited to visit The Norden to witness the huge differences between the Norwegian confinement system vs the American one (and all the other ones for that matter).
James Conway worked for over 40 years in prisons from New York and when he visited Halden, the world’s most luxurious prison, and one of the most efficient as well, he was shocked about what he found there.
Halden is located in a magnificent place in Norway, up on a hill, surrounded by a beautiful and picturesque Scandinavian landscape, and the conditions here are out of this world. Basically, you will not believe that you are in an actual prison and that the people you meet are actual inmates.
Inmates at Halden live in beautifully-designed living rooms, they have their own rooms, Internet, they are free to walk outside whenever they want and besides gyms and a pristine cafeteria, they even have a music studio where they can create songs and rehearse.
The reason why Halden prison is so liberal is because of their Norwegian values. “One of the principles in the Norwegian Correctional Services regarding [is] normality, which means that you should serve in just as normal conditions as possible.” saysJan Strømnes, deputy head of Halden prison.
Although statistics prove him wrong, James Conway was still not sold on the Norwegian approach to the prison system: “If you put that much faith in [the prisoners] and that much of a luxurious environment for them to live in, let them have the keys,” he says. “Why have them in prison, anyway?” he asked.
Crime and prison statistics in America and Norway
- Intentional homicides:
United States: 6 per 100,000 people
Norway: 0.6 per 100,000 people
- Incarceration rates:
United States: 743 for every 100,000 (in 2009)
Norway: 71 for every 100,000 people
- Recidivism rate:
United States: 50%-60%