When you think of a television, a refrigerator, unbarred vertical windows that let in more light, and designer furniture in a room, resorts / hotels usually come to mind. However, many prisons in Norway, including the newest Halden Prison, include these amenities for all inmates. Continue reading for more pictures and information.

Prisoners share kitchens and living rooms every 10-12 cells, jogging trails, and a sound studio. There are cooking and music classes offered. Half the guards are women and guards are typically unarmed because guns “[create] unnecessary intimidation and social distance”.

Prisoners receive questionnaires that ask how their prison experience can be improved. The article says that although recidivism rates are calculated differently between countries, only 20% of Norway’s prisoners end up back in jail within 2 years (compared to 50%-60% in the UK and US). Prisoner governor Are Hoidal was quoted as saying, “In the Norwegian prison system, there’s a focus on human rights and respect. We don’t see any of this as unusual.”