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  • Certain things spring to mind when you think about prison...


  • Barbed wire, tiny jail cells, bars everywhere.


  • Well, not in Norway.


  • This is Halden prison, and it's the second-largest maximum security prison in Norway.


  • And it looks more like a resort than anything else.


  • But at 20%, Norway's recidivism rate is the lowest in Scandinavia, and one of the lowest in the world.

    挪威的累犯率為 20%,是斯堪地納維亞半島國家中最低的,也是全球最低累犯率之一。

  • This is how Norway changed how we think about incarceration.


  • While Norway's two year recidivism rate is the lowest in the world, America's is one of the highest.


  • A 2014 study found 67 percent of American prisoners released in 30 states were re-arrested for a crime within three years, and 75 percent were re-arrested within five years.

    一份 2014 年的研究指出,在美國三十個州的囚犯有百分之六十七於三年內都因再犯而又被抓進監獄,而百分之七十五的囚犯會在五年內再次被捕。

  • While it is tough to make direct comparisons, Norway is doing something right when it comes to incarceration.


  • And it may come down to a fundamental difference in philosophy of what a prison should be.


  • Norway banned capital punishment in 1905.

    挪威於 1905 年廢除死刑。

  • 80 years later, they did away with life sentences.


  • And in 2007, a shift in thought: a focus on "restorative justice," emphasizing rehabilitation and normality over punishment.

    而在 2007 年,思想發生了轉變:將重點放在「修復式正義」,與其懲罰囚犯,不如著重在教育改造他們。

  • What that means is when a prisoner is sentenced in Norway, the only thing they lose is their freedom, which is symbolized by these large prison walls.


  • Norway has two of what have been called "The Most Humane Prisons In The World."


  • One of them is Halden Prison, where prisoners can garden, learn to cook, and tend to animals.


  • They can also take vocational classes and prepare themselves for the outside world after they are released.


  • Halden holds 251 of its worst criminals, which includes rapists, murderers, and pedophiles.

    哈爾登監獄裡監禁了 251 名重罪犯,包括了強姦、謀殺和戀童癖的罪行。

  • In America, these criminals would be punished severely, kept in a small cell for most of the day with minimal time outdoors with all of their rights stripped.


  • The phrase "Don't do the crime if you can't do the time" applies here.


  • Retribution must be swift and sure for those who decide to make a career of preying on the innocent.


  • America's decades-long war on crime has resulted in 159,000 people currently serving life prison sentences.


  • But in Norway, almost all prisoners are released.


  • The maximum sentence is 21 years.

    最長的刑期頂多也只有 21 年而已。

  • At the end of the term, 5 year increments can be added indefinitely if it's assessed that the prisoner has not been rehabilitated.


  • Even the worst offenders, like Anders Brievik, who murdered 77 people in one of the worst massacres in history, is currently serving a 21 year sentence.

    即便重罪犯 Anders Brievik 曾殺了 77 人,是挪威有史以來最嚴重的大屠殺,也只被宣判 21 年的刑期。

  • Norway also supports prisoners after they are released: they're provided housing, employment, health care, and addiction treatment.


  • All of this does not come cheap.


  • Halden prison spends more than $93,000 per inmate per year, compared with just $31,000 on average for prisoners in the United States.

    哈爾登監獄每年平均花在一名囚犯上的錢超過了 93,000 美元,相較之下,美國則只需要花 31,000 美元。

  • But Norway incarcerates far fewer of their population.


  • As of 2014, just 0.08% of Norway's population was behind bars.

    好比 2014 年,只有 0.08% 的人正在服刑而已。

  • That's 75 per 100,000 people.


  • In the U.S., it's 707 for every 100,000 people or 0.7 percent.

    在美國,十萬人當中,有 707 位名囚犯,囚犯佔人口比為 0.7%。

  • And if the United States had the same rate of incarceration as Norway, it could spend as much as Norway does per inmate and still save more than $45 billion a year.


  • That's the budget for the entire Department of Homeland Security.


  • No matter how many numbers are crunched on comparing recidivism rates, or thoughts on punishment versus rehabilitation, it comes down to how society views its prisoners.


  • Nelson Mandela said "It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails."

    Nelson Mandela 曾說過:「據說沒進過一個國家的監獄,就無法真正了解這個國家。」

  • "A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but by its lowest ones."


  • If that's the case, Norway should be applauded for its humanity.


Certain things spring to mind when you think about prison...


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挪威把監獄變渡假村竟使犯罪率大減!原因是? (How Norway Reinvented Prison)

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    Annie Chien 發佈於 2019 年 12 月 15 日