Halden Prison - Luxury detention in Norway { 48 images } Created 19 Sep 2010

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 12mq 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.

The full-length feature story(*) considers whether the people involved feel that this notable investment is likely to achieve its main goals:

-the full rehabilitation of inmates during their prison term and their reintegration into civil society smoothly;

-the effective prevention of further crimes by the same offenders.

Interestingly, statistics show that in Norway only 20% of inmates (1 in 5) commit another crime and return to prison within two years of their release.

Halden Prison is set to push the number to a new low, but is the same care and investment effectively affordable to all?

(*) TEXT AVAILABLE - Please write to alex@alexmasi.co.uk
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