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World’s Most Humane Prison

Fabian Sales Rojas

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The United states has one of the higher incarceration rates in the world at 716 per 100,000 but there is one country that has managed to bring their incarceration rates to a surprising low, Norway with a 75 per 100,000 people incarceration rate they have one of the lowest incarceration rates.

You may think that this is because of extremely harsh punishment methods in norway, actually that is something that the United States is doing wrong, the Norwegian prison system relies on rehabilitation rather than punishments which is why Halden Maximum Security Prison is the most humane prison in the world.

Opened on the 8th of April, 2010 this prison Is Norway’s second largest prison, this prison can hold up to 252 prisoners. Since this is a Maximum Security Prison this prison holds some of the most dangerous prisoners in Norway, holding Rapists, Murderers, Child Molesters, Drug Offenders, and Sex Offenders.

But although this is a maximum security prison probably the most concerning thing is that there is no real protection other than security cameras, Halden Prison actually has no barbed tape, electric fences, towers, or snipers. Instead the prison relies on Surveillance Cameras, safety glass, and a 6*1.5 kilometer concrete steel wall. But there are no cameras in Cells, Cell hallways, Common rooms, classrooms or Workshops.

More surprising is that in the Prison Violence is very rare and almost exclusively happens in Cell Unit A with the most recent fight between a guard and prisoner being in 2011.

Each Prisoner gets a cell with a 10 sq Meter Area with a flat screen tv, desk, mini fridge, toilet and shower, and an unbarred vertical window. Along with this every 10-12 cells share a common area designated to their group which includes a kitchen and a living room, in their living room they get a couch a flat screen tv and a game console, in the kitchen they are given stainless steel silverware, Porcelain plates, and a dining table.

Although The Prison DOES provide food inmates are allowed to cook their own meals, often the inmates share meals with other inmates and even the guards, Inmates are able to go to the prison grocery store and purchase ingredients, how do they get money?

Well unlike many prisons this prison encourages inmates to leave their cells and pays each prisoner 53 Kroner daily for leaving their cells, along with this prisoners can do various jobs in the prison to receive extra money if they choose to save up.

The prison also has a “Activities House” where from 8am to 8pm inmates can practice on jog trails and a soccer field, woodworking, cooking, and they even music classes in the mixing studio where the inmates can record music and each month the songs made by the prisoners are played on the local radio station, along with this the prison also has a library with books, magazines, CDs and DVDs. Also the prison also has a gym with rock-climbing wall and last but not least the prison also has a chapel. And to improve the prisoners experience the prisoners receive questionnaires asking how their prison experience could be improved which the prison actually takes into consideration.

According to the Guardian the prison smells like freshly brewed coffee, Cell Unit A often gets large stacks of Heart Shaped waffles a while after the guards get lunch.

Its kinda funny how some of the most dangerous criminals in Norway are in this prison yet it feels so Comfortable.

Many of the prisoners who have been released from this prison have actually returned as fully functioning members of society and learned a lot from their time in halden prison, also it is worth mentioning that every prisoner in halden prison will be released down the line.


What Do You Think About Halden Prison? Do You Think It’s Unfair To The Victims Of The Prisoners Or Do You Think It’s A Good Way To Stop Crime

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World’s Most Humane Prison