Whoever said crime doesn't pay? Norway's luxury Halden prison may very well be nicer than your home.
The sleek, modern complex took 10 years (plus 1.5 billion kroner- that's $252 million) to build. It holds 252 inmates, and each cell features a private bathroom, flat screen TV, personal refridgerator and no-bar windows. The amenities also include running trails, rock climbing, a recording studio, culinary courses, and murals by graffiti artist Dolk.
Conjugal visits? Not a problem. Inmates can shack up with their significant other in the 2 bedroom guesthouse on site. The prisoners (drug dealers, rapists, murderers, etc.) are called "pupils" at Halden.
Via Time Magazine:
"Halden embodies the guiding principles of the country's penal system: that repressive prisons do not work and that treating prisoners humanely boosts their chances of reintegrating into society.
'When they arrive, many of them are in bad shape,' Are Hoidal, the prison's governor, says. 'We want to build them up, give them confidence through education and work and have them leave as better people.'
Countries track recidivism rates differently, but even an imperfect comparison suggests the Norwegian model works. Within two years of their release, 20% of Norway's prisoners end up back in jail. In the U.K. and the U.S., the figure hovers between 50% and 60%. Of course, a low level of criminality gives Norway a massive advantage. Its prison roll lists a mere 3,300, or 69 per 100,000 people, compared with 2.3 million in the U.S., or 753 per 100,000 — the highest rate in the world..." (Read more).