Halden: most humane prison in the world

halden prison
When we say "cold, but the standard" we all know what that mean (for those who do not know, in all cold countries, it's a high standard of living). Welfare society in northern Europe, beset by ice and polar nights, but very functional and tidy on a human scale. However, we did not know how far it goes.

Introducing the Halden, for many estimates most humane prison in the world. It is located in the same name place in Norway. If you finish in this fleabag, you would not feel sorry for a single moment. Conditions are better than in most houses. In fact, so good that it's rude.



To make it easier to prisoners psychological burden imposed by prison life, planners in Halden prison spends millions of dollars for paintings, photographs and light installations. One of the attractions is mural of the Norwegian graffiti artist DOLK - which, they say, "brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space." Officials hope the art, along with creative workshops in drawing and making wood, seem to be prisoners feel serious and important.


The maximum penalty in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, prisons aim to prisoners, as far as possible, prepare for freedom. In Halden the prisoners have a very decent rooms with bathrooms, mini fridges and flat-screen TVs. Officials say a sleeker TVs, prisoners give less space in which they can hide drugs and other problematic stuff.



Every 10 to 12 cells share a common kitchen and living room, where inmates prepare meals and rest after the day's work. No window in Halden have bars.


Guards organize prisoners activities from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm. This is a chance for inmates to choose a hobby and a job, but is also part of a dynamic security concept in jail: tied up with work, prisoners do not have time to get organized for a pigsty.




The prison has a studio with professional equipment for sound mixing. There are also instructors who "students" (never called them "prisoners") teaches playing piano, guitar, Bongo, and many other instruments. Three members of the prison security even competed in the Norwegian version of the "Idol".  




Architects in Halden raised by more than 28 acres of forest, surrounded by a wall height of six meters. The goal of this environment is to minimize the sense of being in prison and to allow prisoners to see the changing of the seasons. There are also trails for jogging and exercise benches.


 
The exterior of prison is painted in brown shades to fit into the surrounding nature. Inside, however, it happens explosion of colors. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 varying colors to stimulate different moods. For example, soft shades of green create a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while live orange encourages creative energy in the library. Two guest rooms in which prisoners receive their relatives on lodging, painted in fiery red. 



Norwegian prison guards undergo two years training at the Academy and enjoyed a privileged status as their colleagues in the U.S. or the UK. Their official duties say that they have to motivate inmates to their sentence make sense and meaning and make rehabilitation possible. Hence the common practice is to guard the prisoners are often engaged in sports activities and have lunch together. Half of all women guards because management believes that it reduces tension and encourages good behavior among prisoners.



Norwegian prisoners lose their right to freedom, but not on state benefits like health care. Dentists, doctors, nurses and even librarians working in local government and at the same time contribute to the development of prison standards.



That prisoners got into a routine in terms of restricted freedom, but also to be spared of the monotony, they can choose between apartment blocks, working sections and centers for a variety of other activities. Thus, in "the kitchen laboratory" have the opportunity to learn the basics of the science of nutrition and cooking, which qualified him for a career chef or similar occupations when they went out to freedom.   

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