To many people, the goal of prison is to make prisoners’ lives a living hell. The idea being that if someone lands in jail, they deserve anything that happens to them, be it rape, assault, and even murder. We don’t care that they get sub-optimal health care or maggot infested food. And we imprison more people than any other nation on the planet to boot. Even North Korea has had its prison populations drop over the past several years, while the United States’ rate continues to climb. And the US prison system results in two-thirds of former prisoners returning to prison once released.
The American system is, in a word, broken.
By comparison, the prison system of Norway has less than 1/10th the per-capita prison population, and has a recidivism rate of only 20%. And, the Norweigans are proud of their system.
Norwegian TV show, “The Norden” took a look at their prison system, and
invited Attica Correctional Facilities’ now retired superintendent
James Conway to take a look, and compare the prisons in the United
States, Norway and Sweden. And what he found was night and day from how
his prison in upstate New York, is run. He visited several facilities
across Scandinavia and found all of them, even the maximum security
facility, run far different from what he was used to.