What Can Norway's Prison System Teach Us?
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

What Can Norway's Prison System Teach Us?

The United States prison system is ineffective and inhumane.

55
What Can Norway's Prison System Teach Us?

The U.S prison system was built on dehumanizing inmates. The institution revolves around punishment and works to permanently remove inmates from society, even if they are let out. Rethinking incarceration in the United States is long overdue, but where would we start?

Norway's prison system is built upon 1 simple concept: rehabilitation. Norway abolished capital punishment in 1905, and soon after abolished the death penalty. Their prisons are rehabilitation focused, the end goal is to help prisoners re-enter into society. Their prisons are effective; 80% of inmates do not end up back in prison. In the United States, about 67% of Americans released from prison are rearrested within 3 years, 75% rearrested within 5 years.

At Halden prison, Norway's second highest security prison, the closest thing inmates have to punishment is being physically separated from society as they serve their sentence. Halden holds 251 of Norway's worst criminals, including rapists and serial killers. While they're there, they spend their time in rehab, and they can take vocational classes, learn to cook, and take care of animals. During their time they are taught to change the way they interact with society, so they will not repeat their crimes. Upon release, they are provided housing, healthcare, employment and treatment for addiction. The skills they learned in prison will help them be successful in society. Unlike those trapped in the U.S prison cycle, they will be able to build a better life for themselves when they get out.

In the United States, once someone is released from prison, they are labeled a criminal indefinitely. It's been pounded into society that "criminals'' are bad, so naturally they should not have the same rights as everyone else. No one wants to hire a criminal. No one wants to rent an apartment to a criminal. No one wants to give you a good insurance plan. Also, you can't vote. As a result, you end up back in prison, where you are probably better off, because achieving stability outside of it is impossible.

To many, the concept of Norwegian prisons is ridiculous. They may argue that all the rehabilitation is too expensive; Norway spends $93,000 a year per inmate, as opposed to the $33,000 a year spent by the U.S. However, if the U.S adopted a prison system based on rehabilitation, it would lower their incarceration rate. As a result, they would spend about 45 billion less than they are now. America forgets that inmates are still people. The foundation of a humane and effective prison begins with something simple: treating people with humanity.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

Michigan Rain Vs. California Rain

Michigan rain vs. California rain (at Calvin College).

2106
Michigan Rain Vs. California Rain
ifunny

SO, I've just recently had the fortunate experience to be reminded just how Michigan rains. Now, before you roll your eyes at me, I HAVE EXPERIENCED RAIN (in regards of the the popular joke that Californians haven't). However, I have to agree; after experiencing one of Michigan's thunderstorms (with my college's sirens blaring in the background), it comes to mind just how different "rain" is between the two states:

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener

Ever wanted to check out EDM music, but didn't know where to start? Look no further! Start here.

6474
21 EDM Songs for a Non-EDM Listener
www.wallpapersafari.com

If you have been following me for a long time, then you know I write about two main things: relateable articles and communication media based articles. Now, it is time for me to combine the two. For those of you that don't know, I am a radio DJ at IUP, and I DJ for a show called BPM (Beats Per Minute). It is an EDM, or electronic dance music, based show and I absolutely love it.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

100 Reasons to Choose Happiness

Happy Moments to Brighten Your Day!

24988
A man with a white beard and mustache wearing a hat

As any other person on this planet, it sometimes can be hard to find the good in things. However, as I have always tried my hardest to find happiness in any and every moment and just generally always try to find the best in every situation, I have realized that your own happiness is much more important than people often think. Finding the good in any situation can help you to find happiness in some of the simplest and unexpected places.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me

This one's for you, Spock.

10277
6 Things Owning A Cat Has Taught Me
Liz Abere

Owning a pet can get difficult and expensive. Sometimes, their vet bills cost hundreds of dollars just for one visit. On top of that, pets also need food, a wee wee pad for a dog, a litter box with litter for a cat, toys, and treats. Besides having to spend hundreds of dollars on them, they provide a great companion and are almost always there when you need to talk to someone. For the past six years, I have been the proud owner of my purebred Bengal cat named Spock. Although he's only seven years and four months old, he's taught me so much. Here's a few of the things that he has taught me.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

Kinder Self - Eyes

You're Your Own Best Friend

11732
Kinder Self - Eyes
Pexels

It's fun to see all of the selfies on social media, they are everywhere. I see pictures with pouty lips, duck lips and pucker lips. I see smokey eyes, huge fake lashes and nicely done nose jobs, boob jobs and butt lifts. Women working out in spandex, tiny tops and flip flops. I see tight abs and firm butts, manicured nails and toes, up dos and flowing hair. "Wow", I think to myself," I could apply tons of make-up, spend an hour on my hair, pose all day and not look like that. Maybe I need a longer stick!"

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments