Norway’s prisons show the way to lowest re-offending rate in Europe

by Annalisa Lista - 2013.02.26
Norway’s prisons show the way to lowest re-offending rate in Europe
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The rate of re-offending among prisoners in Norway is just under 16% - the lowest rate in Europe. So what's the secret of success for Norway's prison service? The answer is simply offering a normal life style, which allows reintegration through work, social life and free time. The prison of Bastoy is an example of an institution where people live in a community, with six inmates sharing a six-bedroom wooden cottage, each person has a room of his/her own. Inmates wake up early to work every morning and earn the equivalent of £6 a day doing a variety of jobs, from farming to repairing bicycles to working in the laundrette. There is a monthly fee of about £70 for buying goods in a local supermarket. For those who want to study, go to mass or play an instrument, there is a library, a school a church and a guitar teacher – who was himself once an inmate at Bastoy. Psychologists say that offenders need a realistic second chance, which is only possible by giving them respect and dignity.

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