The World's Friendliest Prison

United States
June 21, 2012 8:32pm CST
Everyone here knows that Norway has an awkward prison system, right? They have no death sentence, and there's only about 3600 prisoners right now. Well, there's this prison called Bastoy, which is an island cut off from the Norwegian mainland. Now, here's the special part: if a normal prison was a chicken coop, then Bastoy would be a free-roam farm. Here's how it works: the prison is more of a rehabilitation center. There's a beach, many good fishing spots, a sauna, and some tennis courts. For shelter, the prisoners have wooden cottages, as well as a white mansion on a hill. The grub's decent, too; they say they have "everything from chicken con carne to salmon". Of course, some people are complaining about it, saying that these methods don't work, and the relative "niceness" of a prison has nothing to do with the improvement of the behavior of an inmate. Officials still say that their methods make a difference; the only punishment given is the taking away of the inmate's right to be a free member of society. What do you think about this prison? I believe it's a nice change from a conventional prison; it really enhances the definition of a "rehabilitation".
3 people like this
12 responses
@crossbones27 (19579)
• Redlands, California
22 Jun 12
Hell, its better than my life were do I sign up. I want to be rehabilitated. All seriousness, If it works I am all for it. I am about results. They would have to be forgiven by the person or people they have done wrong. For serious crimes like rape and murder. I would leave it up to them to decide their punishment but only after their emotions have cooled down, and the person who is charged with the crime takes responsibility. Not none of that fake responsibility either. Real genuine responsibility.
• Australia
22 Jun 12
The Irish Brehon laws, which weren't stamped out by Britain until around HenryVIII, gave each person an honour price which depended on his/her position in society, It could be quite hefty proportional to the time. Murder would cost you several times the victim's honour price, and if you didn't have the money (or cattle) and your clan couldn't raise it, you had to work for the victim's family as a serf until the price was paid. For truly heinous crimes, the ultimate punishment was to be put in a coracle with no paddle and towed out to sea. If you survived, it was obviously God's will. No imprisonment or execution. This all went hand in hand with the freest culture since early times for women, with female doctors and judges at a time wheb the rest of Europe had them chained to their kitchens, and the Christian religious houses (Catholic) wer conhospitae, or mixed gender with marriages and children. These are so much more civilised ways of dealing with crime. The result was demonstrably beneficial to the society, and it wasn't until the retaliatory law style of the rest of Europe, Penitential Law, was forcd on the Irish that crime bcame a problem. Lash
• Redlands, California
22 Jun 12
To be honest and I am just speaking for myself here. I think this is just another way religion gets us in trouble. Lets face it we are flawed beings. Many people do not believe in evolution. So it is hard for them to fathom how long it has taken to evolve to this point. They cannot see that some of these strife's of the horrible cruelty of life has played in our genetics. They say a baby can hear everything going on around them from their mothers belly. How do you not figure over millions of years that stuff of unimaginable cruelty is still not in your DNA. Why do you think we are all whack jobs? Of course I am mostly speaking for myself. That does not make it right but all the more to understand how life really works and why all people are the way they are. You can't fix anything until you understand it.
• Redlands, California
22 Jun 12
Oh I forgot plus a majority has to do with your current surroundings and the environment you grew up in to go with what I previously said. Just want to have everything covered.
• United States
22 Jun 12
What kind of laws do I have to break to stay there?
• United States
22 Jun 12
I was wondering the same thing, PhillyDreamer. In fact, I was wondering if this might be my new retirement plan.
• United States
22 Jun 12
Tell me about it. I might have to become a criminal in Norway.
• United States
22 Jun 12
Sounds like a plan. We could rob a lutefisk shop.
@polaris77 (2028)
• Bacau, Romania
22 Jun 12
I think that for those who committed minor offenses this type of prison can indeed represent a good method of rehabilitation and it could have positive effects on those who participate in such programs,but I hope that only inmates who committed minor crimes have access to such a modern and unconventional prison,because if a crazy and ruthless murderer like Anders Breivik had access to such facilities,it would be a terrible offense to the families of those young people who were killed by such a maniac,so I partially agree with this innovative type of prison,I think it can have beneficial effects on some categories of inmates,but its use should be restricted to those categories.I don't think that there can be any rehabilitation for serial killers and other monsters like them.
• United States
22 Jun 12
All prbisons should be like this one. People would want to change their actions for the better.There would also be less fight in this prison system.
• Australia
22 Jun 12
Their murder rate is proportionately one eighth of the US, the arrest rate 10% of the US rate, and recidivism is 20% compared with 57% in the US. Even allowing for the fact that larger populations always have higher rates (crowding being a major element in much crime), that is an impressive set of figures. Lash
• Italy
22 Jun 12
I cant believe that such prison system is existing where prisoners are getting much more quality life than poor country free humans. I like Norway very much and I am planning to shift there from last 2 years. This new information has enhanced my ambitions in a more speedy way. Norway is the coolest country in the world.
@carnival (52)
• Indonesia
22 Jun 12
the idea of a prison is to make someone reflect on what they did and wont do it again. i highly doubt that this prison makes a difference for the better, the one in there is probably the rich criminal who pays to be in there and still doing crime all they want. if all prison is like this then i will do as much crime as i can, go to these prison and live a nice comfortable life, without giving a thing about morality.
@BabyCheetah (1913)
• Australia
22 Jun 12
Wow where do I sign up? I'd love to live rent free and have all my meals prepared for me each day. And no house work or cleaning dishes either sounds good. I'll just spend my time at the beach or playing some tennis :) This wouldn't work in other countries though, I could just imagine prisoners over running the place and just breaking out. They mustn't have done anything that bad if this system works for them :D
• Bangladesh
22 Jun 12
Would anyone explain on how the cutting off the right to be the member of a society applies for what typa criminal and how does it mend him or her?
@Suzieqmom (2763)
• United States
22 Jun 12
Sounds like a nice place--has anyone done any studies about the recidivism rates of former inmates of this facility? It would be interesting to see how many of its visitors were actually rehabilitated and how many committed additional crimes. Do you know if they allow repeat offenders or is this a one-shot deal?
@celticeagle (118255)
• Boise, Idaho
22 Jun 12
I think that for a certain type of offender this could work. For the hardened and psychopathic ones---No! No way! But for the ones who made a mistake and realize this could do some good. Ofcourse some people are going to gripe. Always someone. But I hope this is able to help those that aren't bad off and they can get back to productive lives.
@PageTurner (2827)
• United States
22 Jun 12
Hello tigershark I think that the possibility of rehabilitation is real under these conditions rather than under the conditions of most of the prisons in the USA.