Located on 75 acres of pine forest, Norway’s Halende Prison is unlike any of the American prisons, smelling of sweat and urine. Here, inmates are respected and probably live a better live than they did on the outside.
Norway’s second largest prison cost 1.5 billion kroner ($252 million) and took 10 years to complete, but the result is truly impressive. The 252 inmates at Halende will be living in 12-square-meter rooms, equipped with LCD TVs, modern furniture, and 2-square-meter showers. Instead of the awful smell of most prisons, the only odors at Halende will be those coming from the modern kitchen, where prisoners take cooking classes.
The prison’s cultural center features a recording studio, library,winter garden, manufacturing workshops, fancy classrooms, state f the art gymnasium, as well as a laboratory. Halende cells and facilities are decorated with genuine paintings that cost a total of $1 million. There is even a separate, two-bedroom house, where inmates can spend time with their families, during overnight visits.
Are Hoidal, the prison’s governor, said the Norwegian prison system focuses on human rights and respect, so he doesn’t see any of this as unusual. Well, people must live a great life in Norway, because if that thing was built where I’m from, criminals would literally line up to rob or stab you, for a chance to live there. Seriously, that thing looks a lot better than any hospital or college dorm I’ve ever seen.