When we think of prisons, our thoughts are filled by images of iron bars, dingy hallways, awful food and gloominess, and overall sadness in the air. But what if not all prisons conform to that picture in our head? In fact, there are some prisons around the world that are so well maintained and luxurious you might be tempted to stay there!
Here are 5 of the world’s most comfortable prisons that change the way we look at correctional facilities:
1. Bastoy Prison, Norway
This picturesque prison is located in Bastoy Island in Oslofjord. It has a housing capacity of a little over 100 inmates. All inmates within the prison complex enjoy various luxuries like personal laptops, tennis, horseback riding, fishing, and sunbathing. With stylish cottages with spacious bathrooms to live in and plush farms to work on, the inmates at this minimum-security institution probably often forget that they’re in jail.
2. California Prison, USA
This is one of America’s most luxurious prisons. This facility reportedly charges inmates an enormous $155 per night to stay in the unused jail. It is very different from the average prisons as inmates get to enjoy various entertainment programs on a widescreen HDTV in addition to gaming tables, bathrooms, cells, beds, and showers. This California prison can accommodate up to 96 prisoners, despite having just 54 beds.
3. HMP Berwyn Prison, UK
The HMP Berwyn is located in the UK and is considered to be one of the coziest prisons yet in the United Kingdom. Inmates here get access to a phone and laptop. They also have a personal bathroom each in their cells.
This correctional facility can hold up to 2,100 inmates. They are called “men” instead of prisoners in order to not de-humanize them. They are treated with such courtesy that the guards knock first before entering their rooms. The laptops in their possession are used to order meals for the whole week, arrange visits, and also do the weekly shopping. They also perform tasks related to their studies.
4. JVA Fuhlsbuettel Prison, Germany
JVA Fuhlsbuettel in Hamburg is one of the most luxurious and comfortable prisons for long-serving inmates. It was previously a castle that was renovated and reopened in 2011. It houses very spacious cells that have a bed, couch, and a combination shower and bathroom. It also houses a recreation center and has a small conference room.
5. Justice Center Leoben, Austria
Something out of a travel pamphlet, this is a quaint European residence for non-violent offenders. The Justice Center prisons provide each of its inmates a single cell. The cell contains a private bathroom, and kitchenette, plus a television. They also house a fully-equipped gym, basketball court, and outdoor recreation area. All this would make for a significantly cushy sentence.
It is important to note that prisons are supposed to be less about punishment and more about rehabilitation. Better housing conditions and opportunities to get alternate means of livelihood will ensure that offenders do not relapse into crime.