Published: Jul 27, 2011
Recidivism Rate In Norway: Are Easy Prisons Why It's Low?
by Ann Warren

Norway, while substantially smaller than the U.S., has a low recidivism rate. Recidivism is the act of a person repeating an undesirable behavior after they have either experienced negative consequences of that behavior.

According to Time Magazine, "Countries track recidivism rates differently, but even an imperfect comparison suggests the Norwegian model works. Within two years of their release, 20% of Norway's prisoners end up back in jail. In the U.K. and the U.S., the figure hovers between 50% and 60%. Of course, a low level of criminality gives Norway a massive advantage. Its prison roll lists a mere 3,300, or 69 per 100,000 people, compared with 2.3 million in the U.S., or 753 per 100,000 - the highest rate in the world.

Shooter and terrorist bomber Anders Behring Breivik may get to go to Halden, Norway's latest prison. One of the most easy going prisons in the world. This place is more like an institution rather than a prison.

Prisoners, who barely seemed punished, get rehabilitated while watching flatscreens in their rooms, jogging trails, mini-fridges in their cells, large windows to let in more sunlight. There are giant gyms for sports. There are no bars at Halden. Prisons in Norway are more like 4-star hotels with all the features or a college dorm.

Every 10 to 12 cells share a living room and kitchen. The living room has wraparound sofas, birch-colored coffee tables, stainless-steel countertops in the kitchen. Prison guards do not carry guns. Many of the guards play sports and eat with the other inmates.

The max sentence is 21 years in prison, however that sentence can be repeated 5 times if necessary.

Is this the fate that child shooter and government building bomber Anders Behring Breivik deserves?

Thinkprogress.org writer Ziad Jilani seems to think so. "While many Americans may have an understandable emotional reaction to a country that strives to treat even the most heinous of murderers humanely, they should also be aware of the fact that Norway's criminal justice system appears to have produced a nation that is much safer and imprisons far less of its people than the United States or just about any other country."

News flash Jilani - Norway only has 4,974,800 residents and America has 308,745,538. You can't compare the two accurately when life there is so different. (c) tPC

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