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Worlds Nicest Prison

The prison from Norway looks like a hotel or a fancy college dorm room; there are a gym standard and private bedrooms, which is just outside Haiden Norway. There is no barbed wire, lots of greenery, and striking contemporary art. Inmates even have pretty great views out of their cell windows; It's all part of a plan to make prisons more humane- through design. The underlying philosophy behind humane prison argues that prison's look and feel should not be a punishment. The sentence is taking away the Everyday freedom life shouldn't be a sentence.


The first thing designers focus on is the underlying architecture of prison buildings. In most prison architecture, facilities are consolidated into adjacent buildings. A courtyard design uses a rectangular building around a central outdoor space. In a telephone design row of buildings are stacked like a ladder. Radial designs have corridors out from a central hub, like spokes on a wheel, while these layouts are useful for moving lots of inmates around efficiently. They restrict prisoners to identical indoor hallways day after day, and tight quarters can unintentionally create tension and conflict. So humane prisons are often laid out in a campus design, where facilities are split between separate buildings, with a surrounding perimeter wall.

At Norway's Halden prison, housing, education, and visiting are located in different locations. This would mean most inmates have to start their day with a commute- mimicking life in the outside world and providing easy access to outdoor physical activity, moreover, unlike other layouts, which have windows that look out to the prison itself. Campus design gives inmates a rich view of their surrounding environment. This access to nature also helps inmates track the passage of time. The inmates felt that they were in a diving bell. They were disconnected with time and space. Spending time outside and seeing days and days sessions pass through windows helps reduce this problem. Plus, the grounds of humane prisons are usually landscaped carefully. At Halden, tall birch and Pine trees dwarf the buildings and dark the perimeter wall, lending what designers call an "Anti-authoritarian" feel to the campus: inmates are never made to feel intimidated the architecture itself.


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