If this is what it means to be imprisoned, I guess a lot of people will beg to be locked up for life! Well, it is not all countries of the world that embrace the ‘prison-equals-horror’ philosophy. While being jailed is one of the most dreaded life experiences, a lot of prisons are so welcoming that someone like me who’s from Africa would certainly mistake such for a resort!! They are so nice that they are far better than the homes of most of the convicted criminals. It’s no joke at all dear, such cushy and cozy prisons do exist. You’ll soon see for yourself as you read down this article. And mind you, that thought going on in your mind right now is absolutely wrong because the countries having these class of prisons are recorded to have the lowest crime rates ever!!! Here are Top 10 of the World’s nicest Prisons, so Consoling and Comforting beyond your wildest imaginations:
10. Her Majesty Prison Addiewell – Scotland
Her Majesty Prison is probably not meant for punishment but for rehabilitation. The modern decor is functional, as well as clean and comfortable. The prison has a capacity of 700, and holds male inmates who have been convicted, and some who are awaiting trial. Here, inmates are given 40 hours a week of purposeful activity aimed at building job skills to allow for a transition back to normal life.
9. Leoben Justice Center – Austria
This is one of the coolest looking prison in the world. The gym looks like something you’d see at an upscale apartment complex, and the furniture reminds us of something out of an IKEA catalog. The walls of the prison are made of wood, and shatter-proof glass, and some cells even have balconies (although they do include bars). The “pods”, or groups of 15, single-person cells include private bathrooms, and a shared kitchen and they look more like dorm rooms than prison cells. Single-occupancy cells also come with their own private kitchenette, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a private bathroom. The prisoners are also allowed to wear their own clothes. The idea is that the more normal life is inside prison, the less re-socializing and adjusting they have to do when they leave.
8. Aranjuez Prison – Spain
Aranjuez Prison is the only one in the world with cells for families. The spacious units, dubbed “five-star cells,” come with cribs, Disney characters on the walls and access to a prison playground. The idea is for children to bond with their jailed parents while young enough not to fully grasp the reality of prison, and to teach parenting skills to inmates seeking rehabilitation. Some parents have two toddlers in the prison, and the total currently stands at 32. A typical example is that of Victor Manuel Lozano who spends his days like most two-year-olds. He goes to nursery school, draws, rides a tricycle. The difference is he does it in prison, living with his mum, a convicted murderer, and his dad, a drug trafficker.
However, the kids don’t get to grow up in prison forever. They’re only allowed to stay until age 3, when they’ll be sent off to live with a relative or to social services.
7. Champ-Dollon Prison – Switzerland
The conditions of life in Champ Dollon Prison could go for that of a 3-star hotel or a standard dormitory. The cells are meant to contain three occupants with attached toilet and bathroom, shelves, tables and other convenience facilities. The atmosphere is just clean, calm and peaceful, nicer than the homes of most of the inmates and staying here, one would hardly be obsessed with the jail term.
6. Pondok Bambu Prison – Indonesia
At Champ Dollon, it’s another story altogether! The rooms are decked out with designer furniture, karaoke machines, fridges, bathrooms, and personal climate controlled air condition, and a beauty salon that offers haircuts and spa treatments. And their promotional video includes a nifty jingle about peace, love, and harmony, as well as tearful inmates thankful for their incarceration. If it is for comfort and luxury, Pondok is to be reckoned with. The only requirement is that you’ve got to have a healthy bank account enjoy life to the full here.
5. JVA Fuhlsbuettel Prison – Germany
JVA Fuhlbuettel is Hamburg’s luxury prison for long serving inmates. Renovated and reopened in 2011, it was actually designed to serve as a home far from home. The cells are spacious and each include a bed, couch and the unique fascinating combination shower and toilet. Prisoners have machines to do their laundry and a small conference room. The inmates enjoy moderate luxury.
4. Sollentuna Prison – Sweden
The only thing that makes Sollentuna inmates prisoners is that they cannot leave the prison and live their normal lives with the outside environment – friends, families, etc. As for every other area of life, the Sollentuna prison offers living comfort in abundance. Here, inmates have access to a fully loaded gym. So they need not do rough workouts which characterizes other ordinary prisons to keep their bodies in shape. They are also able to cook their own meals, and watch TV on their own couch.
3. Bastoy Prison – Norway
Founded in 1982, Bastoy Prison is located on a lush, 1-square-mile island of pine trees and rocky coasts, with views of the ocean that are postcard-worthy. The prison houses 115 inmates and has been labelled one of the most liberal prisons in the world. The prison is working to become the first ecological prison in the world. Inmates live in wooden cottages, and work on the prison farm.
Prisoners live in communal houses with televisions, kitchens, living rooms and private bedrooms. Everyone has a job and must report for work at 8:30 am and again at 3:30 pm. During free time, prisoners can go horse riding, fishing, play tennis, cross-country skiing, running or swimming at their own private beach. Bastoy is more like a camping resort than a prison.
2. Cebu Prison – Philippines
The Cebu prison is not on this list, necessarily for luxury facilities or comfort but for its recreational life unusual for prisons. Officially known as the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, the Cebu inmates have dancing sessions as its major means of rehabilitation. Being a prisoner here is more like being enrolled into a choreography school. Some of the videos are posted online for public view and occasionally, the dance shows are watched live by people who are able to attend. The prisoners dance away their sorrows and almost forget they’re prisoners in the thrills.
1. Halden Prison – Norway
Halden Prison is a maximum-security prison in Halden, Norway. Established in 2010, it was created with a focus on rehabilitation that is reflected in its design. Halden Prison was built with 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner ($252 million/£15 million) and was constructed over 10 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, the prison mimics the outside world as much as possible to prepare them for freedom. At Halden, rooms include en-suite bathrooms with ceramic tiles, mini-fridges and flat-screen TVs. It feels more like a resort than jail, and prisoners here enjoy freedoms that would be unthinkable elsewhere. If you ever have a glance of this prison, you can’t help but go home thinking of the most suitable crime to get you a ticket to that paradise called prison!
There are only 3,600 people in prison in Norway, compared with 2.3 million in the United States, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Relative to population, the U.S. which have some of the most horrible prison conditions has about 10 times as many inmates as Norway. The maximum sentence in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years.
What do you think of the provision of luxury facilities in prisons? Do you think it’s a good way to curb crime or on the contrary promote it? Let’s have your opinion on the comment session.