Would you like to get away from the stresses of the daily life for the next five to ten years? Then Norway’s new Halden prison/spa is for you!
Halden Prison holds 252 inmates, making it the second-largest prison in Norway. The prison cost 1.5 billion kroner ($252 million) and took 10 years to complete. It's a gorgeous, ultra-modern structure right near the Swedish border, comprised of cells that are arranged in units of 10 to 12, much like a college dorm. Except these cells are actually better than most dorms, since every cell comes with a private bathroom and a flat-screen TV, as well as a view, the windows don't even have bars in them.
But what about facilities, you might ask? My college dorm had a foosball table, and a vending machine! This prison can't match that, right? Wrong. Halden has a gym, training room, chapel, library, family visiting unit, football field, a school, and most unbelievably a sound studio. But it's the design that's most strikingly different from American prisons. Halden doesn't shy away from bright, cheerful colors, and actually spent about $1 million to hire a graffiti artist named Dolk (sort of their version of Banksy) to paint beautiful murals all around the grounds.
It's all aimed at rehabilitating, rather than necessarily punishing, criminals, which is a noble exercise and all that, but it's sort of personally embarrassing to me to know that a prison is more luxurious than some of my past apartments.