Check out Norway’s Halden maximum-security penitentiary, where every prisoner gets a private bathroom, flat-screen TV, fridge, fluffy white towels, and a view of mountainous scenery through large, bar-free windows.
Prisoners are encouraged to spend almost all day outside of their well-apportioned cells — paid to, actually, about $9 a day. They mingle with college-trained guards and life-coach counselors, eat waffles and other foods delivered on white ceramic dishes, have constant access to fresh-brewed coffee, and can spend their time in couch-outfitted common areas, on the beautiful grounds, at classes or workshops, or even in the prison’s recording studio.
The cost of maintaining prisoners at Halden costs about $500 per inmate per night. Though the prison’s full impact can’t be measured yet, Norway has only 74.8 people imprisoned per 100,000 residents, versus 236 inmates per 100,000 in the U.S.