You won’t believe what this is – until we tell you!! “The Story of Halden Prison”

Norway’s Halden Prison – Yes, you read it right! This amazing place is a PRISON

The thought of this word ‘prison’ itself brings bars, in-humaneness, torture, criminals, punishments and what not into my head. But this prison in Norway changed my entire perception of a prison. Have you ever imagined a prison this well furnished and maintained? The local inhabitants perceive this as an employment opportunity rather than a bad thing.

Well, Yeah! The Halden prison is located in Halden, eastern part of Norway built with $252 million dollars over a span of 10 years. This prison’s design was projected by the Danish Erik Møller Architects and the British HLM Architects, selected through a competition held by the Department of Justice and the Norwegian Directorate of Public Construction and Property.

The Halden prison is a maximum security prison which hosts highly dangerous criminals including rapists, murderers and pedophiles

The main motto behind designing this prison is to create a rehabilitation place with comfortable and modern amenities. This is to stimulate the environment of a village making the prisoners feel like being a part of society, with the thought “the smaller the difference between outside and inside the prison,  the easier for them to enter freedom after prison“.

Talking about the facilities in this prison, each prisoner gets an individual cell  furnished with a flat TV screen, bed and furniture. There is a choice in everything, the food one eats – one can even choose to buy ingredients to prepare ones own food, one can pursue any hobby from painting to recording in studio. Additionally, this prison comprises of a gym, library and an indoor playground. Prisoners are allowed to meet their families, friends or partners twice in a week for 2 hours. There are two types of visitors lounge, one is for families with large rooms well set and arranged with toys and the other with a sofa, sink and cupboard with sheets, towels and condoms for single-person visits

Norway being one among the countries with high GDP, where death sentence and life imprisonment are  banned even for the cruelest of crimes, would not mind to spend  $93,000 for each inmate per year for their maintenance.

To sum up Halden prison in one line – World’s the most humane, smart and posh prison, without bars, unarmed security, well-furnished cells with  gym, playground and library facilities for prisoners is Norwegian’s way of rehabilitating the criminals. 

Lavanya Tatikonda
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