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Do you think these type of prisons would decrease recidivism rates in the United States?
Halden Fengsel Prison, located in Norway, received its first imates in March 2010. As you can see from the pictures and reading the article this place is no San Quentin. Halden Fengsel has nature trails, large and cushy cells complete with television and the like. There’s plenty of job training opportunities and college courses offered at the prison. Inmates even have personal fitness trainers, and are given a questionnaire where inmates are asked how their prison experience can be improved.
The guards have a much more personal relationship with the inmates, even going as far as eating dinner with them, counseling them and playing sports. The relationship between guards, staff and inmates in many American prisons appears to be much different from this speaking with people I have know who had served time in jail or prison.
The recidivism rate of criminals in Norway is at about 20%, where in America it’s more like 50% to 60%. This prison houses serious offenders such as murderers and rapists, so I’m not sure how lesser offenders are treated in Norway. My question is do you think this model would, or at least could, work in the United States at reducing recidivism rates?