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Norway's Pleasant Prison Philosophy - The Holiday Version of Alcatraz

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posted on May, 24 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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Bastoy prison in Norway which was founded in 1982 and is run by Arne Kvernvik Nilsen, the prison's governor and a former minister and psychologist, has no armed guards or fences and allow prisoners to have keys to their room.
It is a 1-sq mile island with views, beaches, tvs, and a mansion.
All the prisoners do have to check in during the day and have jobs or some get schooling.
"Inmates are forced to make choices -- to learn how to be better people." - Nilsen
"It's still prison," "In your mind, you are locked (up)." - said one inmate
"We should reduce the risk of reoffending, because if we don't, what's the point of punishment, except for leaning toward the primitive side of humanity?" - Nilsen showing his psychology side.

Here is the article:

www.cnn.com...

The numbers right now show that the number of reoffenders from this prison are less than any other.
So should this be the prison system we should adopt everywhere or is this simply just an anamoly?
As a psychology major, myself, I see where Nilsen is coming from not pushing them more toward the primitive side of humanity because they would have a good probability of resulting in more reoffenders.
However, I still have the feeling also that this may be an anamoly only working with certain prisoners and the system most likely only good there, since its an island.
Should we reopen Alcatraz and try it there?
Wow, how ironic that would be. It would be now the place prisoners would want to go to and would have prisoners learn how to be better and readjust back into society eventually.

What's every one else's thoughts on this type of prison and implementing its system in other prisons?




posted on May, 24 2012 @ 02:56 PM
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I believe that Norge's system is much better. As with much of Western Europe. We believe in rehabilitation, not treating criminals like animals. If you are treated like an animal and have to learn how to fight, lie, and cheat in prison just to survive, how does that make one a better person when they're released into the world?



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 03:09 PM
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reply to post by theUNKNOWNawaits
 


It's an interesting idea. Seems much more effective than the normal "cage the rage" mentality we have here in the US.

IMO, a persons criminal activity is a direct reflection of society as a whole. So the treatment must be two fold, on an individual level and on a societal level. If the individual is currently a threat to society, if they want to steal, rob, kill, exploit or injure others then they must be separated from society. They should be given compassionate methods of rehabilitative treatment while locked away,like CBT or some other therapy. If the individual committed a crime but is no longer an immediate threat, then they should be entered into some form of rehabilitative treatment, but not locked up. The second aspect of this equation is, criminal activity must be addressed at a societal level, as society being the major influence of these persons actions. Growing up in an abusive and exploitative environment/culture, one should not be labeled as "bad" or "evil" and locked away in an unforgiven system just because they in turn reflect that abuse and exploitation. They are a product of their environment who must now face responsibility for their own actions, but not for the entirity of society. If our political/governmental and economic policies encourage and/or promote violence, exploitation, conflict and corruption, then it is inevitable that the subjects under these systems will be violent, exploitative and corrupt.

Just my .02
Peace



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by theUNKNOWNawaits
 


I think this began in France, and now we have the same in Québec, Canada.

A woman like Karla Homolka ( she killed and raped her sister and many teenagers with her husband that she eventually ratted to strike a deal with the Canadian gov, once they were caught, so she wouldn't stay too long in prison.... They even taped themselves doing their crimes... ) was eventually sent there where she was imprisoned with her female lover for a few years, with cable and everything...

Seeing they are cutting money for schools and hospitals, I have to say I'm against it.

Where's the justice in that?



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 05:03 PM
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reply to post by brukernavn
 


I myself prefer most systems set up in Western Europe and Canada compared with the ones here in the United States. I definitely agree that prisons should be about rehabilitation, as I thought that was there point. However, sadly it seems like in the US we treat prisoners like animals. You are right it is hard for them to adjust when all they know is centered around what got them to prison and the life in prison. They are not usually ready for readjusting back into society.
So I heavily lean toward Norway's system being a better way. Though I feel there may be a better system in the middle. I worry to much about criminals taking advantage of this the wrong way when they get sent to this type of prison.

reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


You bring up a great point, that they are a reflection of society.
Jumping off your point of those prisoners not deemed an immediate threat should be put in some rehabilitative treatment. I agree and lean toward these kind of prisoners being in a type of prison similar to Norway's.
I do not think dangerous prisoners who could be immediate threats should be in that kind of prison though.
Also, based off your point they are a reflection of the society/environment they grew up in. Then we put these prisoners in an even worse environment, our prisons. They then become reflections of this environment. Overall, it does not sound like a promising prison system here in America.
I do however as mentioned above in my reply to brukernavn, worry that criminals (reflections of society) will take advantage of this prison system in the wrong way.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 05:11 PM
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reply to post by NowanKenubi
 


Interesting, I did not know that it started in France and that there is one in Quebec. This was the first I had heard of such a prison system.
That story you mentioned of Karla Homolka, is an example of the situations I worried could happened that I mentioned in my replies to brukernavn and LifeIsEnergy.
When they start taking advantage in a negative way of this kind of prison system like the woman in Canada did, it is a strong example of why this system is not the perfect or best one in my eyes.
Your are right to ask, where is the justice in that?
Their needs to be some system in between the ones in the US and the one in Norway. Obviously it would not be exactly in the middle, closer to the one in Norway since to is the better of the two systems.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 10:17 PM
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Originally posted by brukernavn
If you are treated like an animal and have to learn how to fight, lie, and cheat in prison just to survive, how does that make one a better person when they're released into the world?


They are in prison because they lied and cheated big time along the way... Being in prison may reinforce those traits, not teach them. Or bring them to another level, if you prefer. But it was already in them.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 10:33 PM
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America probably won't adopt a system like this, unfortunately. The government just wants to get money for people being thrown in jail. This is mostly why drugs are illegal, too.



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 10:37 PM
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reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


We are wondering about the real effects of rehabilitation, in Canada, at least in Québec.

I think the real prisoners who really make amends and change their ways are way too low as numbers to say it is effective.

Recently, we had a story in the newspaper about a sheriff in the south of the US who was hard on his prisoners.
Making them sleep in tents and eating baloney at every lunch.

We all dreamed how it would be better to have it that way, instead of spending nearly 150 000$ on a prisoner every year, plus giving him/her a salary, allowing them to wed and have private moments with their partners at regular intervals AND giving them WAY MUCH BETTER food than we do our elderly who remained honest and hard working all their lives. I think an elderly is fed at 1.12$ a meal and prisoners' are at nearly 5$...

And I'm not talking about the money they receive if they are injured, even while committing a crime while the victims are left to pay their own bills, ruining literally many.

Human Rights should be primarily for honest people. If the criminal ones decide to trespass laws, why should they be allowed rights? I'm not advocating torture and mistreatment; if we say we are superior morally, we HAVE to act that way, but...

...they should have to really show they deserve to get them back. Now they know what to do and say when they are given the right to get out, before they have finished "paying their debts to society"...

And if you think I'm being harsh, there is a certain number of prisoners who think this themselves, and are furious to see how real lowlifes have it way too easy in prisons.

And they get to be processed quickly at hospitals...



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 10:40 PM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


That's one problem all right; people in prison who don't deserve to be help fill many pockets along the way, encouraging more like them to be sent to prison, and then, they let go dangerous people out who will kill in a week out of prison...



posted on May, 24 2012 @ 10:55 PM
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In figuring out a prison system, there has to be a reminder that some people are not reachable. They're going to continue practicing the "evil" that got them there. Most prisons should not be built with those types in mind.

I'd prefer a working system where you work your way through your time. 8 hours of hard labor a day.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:22 AM
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reply to post by NowanKenubi
 


That is true that this "evil" was already in them and may only be reinforced in prisons along the lines of those in the United States. However, this prison system is doing nothing to stop this reinforcement of bad behavior. The whole original point to prisons was for prisoners to be able to readjust back into society. Prisons need to go back to this outlook and take points from the system set up in place in Norway.

reply to post by arpgme
 


Good point and you are right in my opinion. I do not think there is a chance in hell that the American government would implement a prison system along the lines of the one in Norway.
Hence, why prisons in America are overflowing.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by NowanKenubi
 


I agree in the thinking that prisoners who really make amends and make changes are limited in numbers.
Good of you too bring $ into the discussion, as it is a huge influential factor in everything in our world.
I do agree with your moral human rights statement, however, I do not feel if you trespass some laws you should lose all rights. Some laws are jokes and with even most crimes I feel most criminals should not lose privilege to ALL rights. To me that is over the top and goes along the lines of the prison system set in place in the United States, which is clearly not working in results most beneficial.
I extremely and adamantly agree that prisoners should show they deserve the right to reattain their place as a citizen/person after they have "payed their debts to society."

Overall, I still lean toward a prison system similar to Norway's system. Though for me, it is not the best and needs to still be modified in certain areas.

reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Obviously, there will be people that can not be reached. This is normal and to be expected.
The big question is what percentage of prisoners are these people?
Does it outweigh the numbers of prisoners that truly could benefit more from a system like Norways' compared to the one that runs rampant in the United States?

I do definitely agree, that a prison system that involves working is beneficial. In my opinion it instill a certain kind of responsibility into the prisoner that will help the transition to readjusting to society later on easier for the prisoner.
At least, a lot easier that the mistreatment that is exemplified in the prisons in America.
edit on 5/25/2012 by theUNKNOWNawaits because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 08:40 AM
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reply to post by theUNKNOWNawaits
 


Part of our problem is that we keep people locked up that honestly, in spite of their "crime", have no reason to be separated from the rest of society. It's not the only problem we have, by far.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 09:33 AM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Agreed in the United States the way prisoners are locked up make it easy to compare it to animals in cages.
I do think though that a prison system should however involve some sort of locked up or freedom taken away for the serious acts of crime they have committed.
In the article, an inmate says, "In your mind, you are locked (up)." Although, I think a huge part of this system working at Bastoy has to be the fact it is an island. It is not some segment of a town or city where these prisoners are walking around, but on a rock where it is only them.
You are right that we keep people locked up that in spite of their "crime" have no reason to be separated from the rest of society. Although for some that is a necessary result due to their acts.
Are you suggesting we just let killers get a reprimand for the vile acts? I hope not and assume you are talking about the numerous people in prison for drugs in the United States that is resulting in full prisons and more money spent on the prison system.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:00 AM
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No, I'm talking about basic pilfering. If you stole from people, your reprimand should be about giving back to those people IN EXCESS of what you stole--whether it be time or money.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:17 AM
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I wouldn't mind something like this for non violent offenders, especially those who may have psychological issues at the root of their problems. Drug addicts and prostitutes, for example. It could help them rehabilitate in a peaceful and safe environment while allowing them to serve their time and break off from their harmful ways.

But not for rapists, murderers, or other severe violent offenders. That is not justice for the victim or their loved ones to have the one responsible sent off to a work resort.

True, prison should be for rehabilitation in most cases but in others it is also a punishment and to protect society by removing the offender.

So I wouldn't mind giving this a shot but not for violent crimes.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 10:57 AM
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reply to post by CynicalDrivel
 


Ok, I figured that was what you were referring to. I wholeheartedly agree on that. That reprimand seems better for both sides to the situation overall, then locking them up.


reply to post by AshleyD
 


Exactly! I feel that this system would be the most effective and proper for humanity if it was a prison that only non violent offenders went to.
Severe violent offenders such as murderers and rapists in my opinion should not be getting such freedoms in a prison system like they are in Norway's.
However, their system number wise on reoffenders seems to be working. I would be interested to see those numbers though broken down categorized by the type of their crimes such as murder, rape, prostitution, drug addicts, and thieves.
Overall their numbers are good but a better system might be able to be configured when looking at what kind of prisoners are benefiting from this system and which ones are not.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by NowanKenubi
reply to post by LifeIsEnergy
 


We are wondering about the real effects of rehabilitation, in Canada, at least in Québec.

I think the real prisoners who really make amends and change their ways are way too low as numbers to say it is effective.

Recently, we had a story in the newspaper about a sheriff in the south of the US who was hard on his prisoners.
Making them sleep in tents and eating baloney at every lunch.

We all dreamed how it would be better to have it that way, instead of spending nearly 150 000$ on a prisoner every year, plus giving him/her a salary, allowing them to wed and have private moments with their partners at regular intervals AND giving them WAY MUCH BETTER food than we do our elderly who remained honest and hard working all their lives. I think an elderly is fed at 1.12$ a meal and prisoners' are at nearly 5$...

And I'm not talking about the money they receive if they are injured, even while committing a crime while the victims are left to pay their own bills, ruining literally many.

Human Rights should be primarily for honest people. If the criminal ones decide to trespass laws, why should they be allowed rights? I'm not advocating torture and mistreatment; if we say we are superior morally, we HAVE to act that way, but...

...they should have to really show they deserve to get them back. Now they know what to do and say when they are given the right to get out, before they have finished "paying their debts to society"...

And if you think I'm being harsh, there is a certain number of prisoners who think this themselves, and are furious to see how real lowlifes have it way too easy in prisons.

And they get to be processed quickly at hospitals...


So basically you are calling for more of the same, a system that doesn't work. 78% of first and second time offenders re-offend, that is not just a terrible statistic, that is an utter FAILURE! There is no such thing as rehabilitation in the current system. And as a correction, the average cost of a prisoner in the US today is $40k a year, not $150k like you said. Still, I agree, it is a ridiculous number to spend on not rehabilitating people.

And to your Arizona point. Besides the fact that it has the fastest growing imprisonment rate in the western half of the US (basically they are locking everyone they can up to expand the industry), per Arizona Corrections own statistics, it also is in the top 10 states for re-offenders, top 3 for mental health issues of prisoners, top 3 for prisoner death and/or serious injury and top 3 for human rights violations. Basically, it is one of the worst examples you could give for a working judicial correction system. And not only is your friend Joe Arpaio currently under federal district court mandate to fix the unconstitutional conditions in the Maricopa County Jail which jeopardize the health and safety of prisoners, but he is under criminal investigation by the Arizona Supreme Court for human rights violations and is being hotly contested by the ATF, FBI and DEA, who all say he is breaking rules and causing a crisis in the state. Not a good example at all.

Human rights is for humans, period. Not "good" humans, not "wealthy" humans, or "Israeli" humans, or "worthy" humans, but HUMANS, period. If someone is a danger to society, as I said before, they should be separated from society. But even they should be given the chance at compassionate and effective methods of rehabilitation, unless of course they don't want it. If they don't want rehabilitation, and are a threat to society, then sure, lock them up with minimal means for survival. But to spend $40k a year on each prisoner, many whom have the potential to be rehabilitated, to just lock them up in warehouses where violence, aggression and fear are the only means of rehabilitation, is not only illogical, but destructive to our society as a whole. These guys/gals come out even harder, more pissed and ready to do damage than they did before they went in.



posted on May, 25 2012 @ 06:18 PM
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reply to post by AshleyD
 


Forget justice, it's plain prevention. Most of the serials or mass murderers/rapists can only be stopped by putting an end to them. Only guarantee (hence why Ted Bundy got out). But since most don't have the stomach for the death penalty, the next best thing is making sure they stay in as high a security prison as possible.



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