HomeTravelWithout Bars, this is the Prison in the World’s Safest Country
Without Bars, this is the Prison in the World’s Safest Country
31 July 2022
Prison is always synonymous with a scary atmosphere. But it’s a different story with this country, the prison makes inmates confused because it looks like a hotel.
Inside the World’s Toughest Prison is a documentary tv show netlfix which tells about various prisons around the world. Guided by a host who is an ex-convict and documents Halden Prison in Norway.
As the safest country in the world, many people are curious about what kind of prison there is. Is this country safe because the prisons are scary?
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On the other hand, Halden Prison is far from scary. Located in the city of Halden, about 130 kilometers south of the city of Oslo (the capital of Norway), this prison is very ‘beautiful’.
From the outside it appears that this prison is surrounded by towering concrete walls. The security is also very tight.
Halden Prison Photo: (BBC)
But once inside, the inmates will be shocked. Not by force, the warden on duty will immediately invite the inmates to shake hands, then the handcuffs will be opened.
Are Hoidal, Halden Prison Chief explained that prison is where they are sentenced. But what is their right to life must not be forgotten.
“They, the inmates are human. They have made mistakes and must be punished, but don’t forget that they are also human,” he said.
Halden Prison is more like an apartment than a prison. There are no iron bars, prisoners are left to sleep alone in one room which contains a tv, mattress, refrigerator, desk, cupboard and clean toilet.
There is even a large window that gives light to each room. The inmates were free to go in and out of the room and do activities in the building. Instead of being locked in a room, prisoners are locked in a building.
Every day, inmates have a training schedule to choose from. They can join cooking classes, practice bands, workshops to yoga. This training prepares the skills for prisoners after being released from prison.
“We do not deprive the prisoners of their freedom. They get the rights they deserve like Norwegians in general,” said Hoidal.
What is unique, this prison only provides food once a day. If you want to eat more, please cook yourself. Every week, inmates have a special schedule for shopping at the supermarket at Halden Prison.
That’s where they buy groceries. Their money comes from working after passing skills training. The money is entered in the card, so the system is cashless.
A good environment will make a good human being. That’s what it looks like in Halden Prison. The inmates there are well aware that they committed a crime and want to change.
Even though they look happy, deep in their hearts there is regret that still looms. When asked what it’s like to live in a prison without bars, this is their answer.
Skills training at Halden Prison Photo: Istimewa/Dok. www.thistoryinstitute.com.
“This prison is very good, there are no iron bars and can even do anything. But one thing to remember, we still can’t go anywhere, can’t get out of this building. We’re locked up, we’re still in prison, ‘ was the answer of one of the inmates.
Halden Prison can accommodate up to 258 inmates with 190 prison officers and 100 other staff employees. The detainees there are mostly cases of drug smuggling and murder.
Through humane prisons, the recidivism rate in Norway is much reduced. Recidivism itself is the tendency of individuals or groups to repeat mistakes even though they have been punished for the act.
Halden Warden, Are Hoidal. Photo: (BBC)
The figure is only 20-30 percent in the last five years. If you compare it with other countries in Europe, the UK for example, the figure is 50 percent in a year.
Prison, once again is not a place of revenge. For Norway, prison is a place where people change. A place to reflect and repent, then continue to live like humans.
“If we treat prisoners as animals, it means that later we will release animals to the streets. But here we don’t, we free humans,” concluded Hoidal.
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