Norwegian island prison offers alternative correctional strategy

A small island prison in Norway is taking a different path to traditional penal institutions.

The facility, known as Bastoy, aims to rehabilitate prisoners by enabling them to heal through regaining self-confidence, as well as establishing respect for others and themselves. They are able to do so by spending time on scenic pebble beaches, walking through pristine forests, playing music in the band rehearsal studio, relaxing in the sauna or exploring the library.

Those spending time at Bastoy reside in bungalows featuring cable television and enjoy meals with one-another in the Norwegian art-themed canteen. They are also able to utilise tools such as axes, chainsaws and knives as part of the work programme associated with the world’s sole ecologically self-sustaining prison.

The prison’s governor, Arne Kvernvik Nilsen, said: “I believe that we as human beings, if we are prepared to make fundamental changes in the way we regard crime and punishment, can dramatically improve the rehabilitation of prisoners and thereby reduce the re-offending rates,” reports The Daily Mail.

He went on to add: “Bastoy is an ongoing experiment, but I really hope the results will benefit not only Norway but the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.”

Despite controversy, Bastoy has raised some eyebrows by boasting the lowest re-offending rates on the continent.

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