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Should the US have a justice system like Norway's?

Should the US have a justice system like Norway's?

  • Yes

    Votes: 8 42.1%
  • No

    Votes: 11 57.9%

  • Total voters
    19

Viking11

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Norway has the most progressive justice system in the world. In Norway, fewer than 4,000 of the country's 5 million people were behind bars as of August 2014. That makes Norway's incarceration rate just 75 per 100,000 people, compared to 707 people for every 100,000 people in the US. On top of that, when criminals in Norway leave prison, they stay out. It has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world at 20%. The US has one of the highest: 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years. The maximum sentence in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, prisons mimic 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. Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where prisoners prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work.

living-room-holden-prison.png


To ease the psychological burdens of imprisonment, the planners at Halden spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations. According to a prison informational pamphlet, this mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk "brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space." Officials hope the art — along with creative outlets like drawing classes and wood workshops — will give inmates "a sense of being taken seriously." Photo taken 2010. None of the windows at Halden have bars.

prison1.jpg


There's also a recording studio with a professional mixing board. In-house music teachers — who refer to the inmates as "pupils," never "prisoners" — work with their charges on piano, guitar, bongos and more. Three members of Halden's security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway's version of American Idol. They hope to produce the prison's first musical — starring inmates — later this year. Photo taken 2010.

prison15.jpg


Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. The prison's exterior features earthy brown hues that help it blend in with the surrounding woodlands. Inside, however, the walls explode with color. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 different colors to create a sense of variety and stimulate various moods. A calming shade of green creates a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while a vivid orange brings energy to the library and other working areas. A two-bedroom guesthouse, where inmates can host their families overnight, includes a conjugal room painted a fiery red.

prison8.jpg


Norway's prison guards undergo two years of training at an officers' academy and enjoy an elevated status compared with their peers in the U.S. and Britain. Their official job description says they must motivate the inmate "so that his sentence is as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible," so they frequently eat meals and play sports with prisoners. At Halden, half of all guards are female, which its governor believes reduces tension and encourages good behavior. To help inmates develop routines and to reduce the monotony of confinement, designers spread Halden's living quarters, work areas and activity centers across the prison grounds.
 

WCH

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21 years MAX for murder??

How much did do you hate your MIL again?
 

Absentglare

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Realistically, our incarceration numbers would make such living arrangements prohibitively expensive.

But i think we can learn from their example. Prisoners are still humans, they deserve to be treated with respect. If you treat prisoners like dogs, you shouldn't be surprised when they start barking like dogs. The Stanford prison experiment showed this decades ago: people are a product of their environment.
 

PeteEU

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21 years MAX for murder??

Yes and no..

A person is up for release/parole after 21 years. The system of doctors, psychologists and police then evaluate if the person is fit enough to be released or is still a threat to society. If not, then he/she goes back into the can for another 4-5 years, and the process is repeated. Also in the end, it is up to the Justice Minister (aka the government) if the person is released. That is why Brevik will never ever be released.

In many ways it is a great way of doing things. You dont end up with "lifers" like in the US, where men/women have been in jail for 30+ years and are basically going to die there even though they are no threat to society at all. One of the main problems of the US prison system is the old age population is exploding due to the 3 strikes rule... which have put people in jail for non violent crimes and will put a massive burden in the long run on the prison system. The older a prisoner gets, the more care they need.
 

Chomsky

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Norway has the most progressive justice system in the world. In Norway, fewer than 4,000 of the country's 5 million people were behind bars as of August 2014. That makes Norway's incarceration rate just 75 per 100,000 people, compared to 707 people for every 100,000 people in the US.
Hey, if it works, why not?

Numbers don't lie.

Thanks for the post.

Realistically, our incarceration numbers would make such living arrangements prohibitively expensive.

But i think we can learn from their example. Prisoners are still humans, they deserve to be treated with respect. If you treat prisoners like dogs, you shouldn't be surprised when they start barking like dogs. The Stanford prison experiment showed this decades ago: people are a product of their environment.
To the bolded:

Then perhaps our incarceration levels are unrealistically high! :doh

21 years MAX for murder??

How much did do you hate your MIL again?
Considering the average time served for murder in my city was around 7 years, that might be fair. I once worked with a released murderer, and he did 6.5 years inside.
 

WCH

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Yes and no..

A person is up for release/parole after 21 years. The system of doctors, psychologists and police then evaluate if the person is fit enough to be released or is still a threat to society. If not, then he/she goes back into the can for another 4-5 years, and the process is repeated. Also in the end, it is up to the Justice Minister (aka the government) if the person is released. That is why Brevik will never ever be released.

In many ways it is a great way of doing things. You dont end up with "lifers" like in the US, where men/women have been in jail for 30+ years and are basically going to die there even though they are no threat to society at all. One of the main problems of the US prison system is the old age population is exploding due to the 3 strikes rule... which have put people in jail for non violent crimes and will put a massive burden in the long run on the prison system. The older a prisoner gets, the more care they need.

So do they get sex-change operations on the public dime in Norway prisons?
 

Skeptic Bob

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My gut tells me they are too lenient. But you can't argue with results.
 

gdgyva

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Hey, if it works, why not?

Numbers don't lie.

Thanks for the post.

To the bolded:

Then perhaps our incarceration levels are unrealistically high! :doh

Considering the average time served for murder in my city was around 7 years, that might be fair. I once worked with a released murderer, and he did 6.5 years inside.

is that how much you value a human life

6.5 years?

not just no....hell no

you do the crime....you pay with time....20 years for murder 2

more for murder 1.....

and yes....i like and believe in the death penalty
 

Chomsky

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is that how much you value a human life

6.5 years?

not just no....hell no

you do the crime....you pay with time....20 years for murder 2

more for murder 1.....

and yes....i like and believe in the death penalty
I didn't place that value on human life - society did.
 

Chomsky

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and your opinion on the matter?

to me....way too short of a term for ending an innocents life
My opinion: In general, it should be longer; and obviously the individual circumstances determine the length and severity. I really can't see less than 15-20 years (served) for premeditated.

While rehabilitation is the ultimate goal, I see two immediate practical concerns: 1] Justice for the victim and their surviving families, and 2] preventative deterrent.

to the first, I think many survivors would find 6.5 years a slap in the face for the loss of their loved one. As to the second, is 6.5 years enough to deter murder? I dunno. It might be. But I don't feel 6.5 is enough in general, unless there's some strongly mitigating circumstance.
 

joG

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Norway has the most progressive justice system in the world. In Norway, fewer than 4,000 of the country's 5 million people were behind bars as of August 2014. That makes Norway's incarceration rate just 75 per 100,000 people, compared to 707 people for every 100,000 people in the US. On top of that, when criminals in Norway leave prison, they stay out. It has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world at 20%. The US has one of the highest: 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years. The maximum sentence in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, prisons mimic 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. Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where prisoners prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work.

living-room-holden-prison.png


To ease the psychological burdens of imprisonment, the planners at Halden spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations. According to a prison informational pamphlet, this mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk "brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space." Officials hope the art — along with creative outlets like drawing classes and wood workshops — will give inmates "a sense of being taken seriously." Photo taken 2010. None of the windows at Halden have bars.

prison1.jpg


There's also a recording studio with a professional mixing board. In-house music teachers — who refer to the inmates as "pupils," never "prisoners" — work with their charges on piano, guitar, bongos and more. Three members of Halden's security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway's version of American Idol. They hope to produce the prison's first musical — starring inmates — later this year. Photo taken 2010.

prison15.jpg


Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. The prison's exterior features earthy brown hues that help it blend in with the surrounding woodlands. Inside, however, the walls explode with color. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 different colors to create a sense of variety and stimulate various moods. A calming shade of green creates a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while a vivid orange brings energy to the library and other working areas. A two-bedroom guesthouse, where inmates can host their families overnight, includes a conjugal room painted a fiery red.

prison8.jpg


Norway's prison guards undergo two years of training at an officers' academy and enjoy an elevated status compared with their peers in the U.S. and Britain. Their official job description says they must motivate the inmate "so that his sentence is as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible," so they frequently eat meals and play sports with prisoners. At Halden, half of all guards are female, which its governor believes reduces tension and encourages good behavior. To help inmates develop routines and to reduce the monotony of confinement, designers spread Halden's living quarters, work areas and activity centers across the prison grounds.

I suspect that Norway is not a good comparison. Alone the homigenity of the society and population and the tiny size of populated areas make crime an exceptionally poor example for the US to try to follow. But besides all the obvious characteristics that make its criminal sector incomparable, its government recently said its social model is unsustainable, if it doesn't extend deep sea gas and oil exploration into the main cod grounds and risk environmental preserves.
So no. I think the idea will fly and I think that
 

Southern Dad

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Our prison system is already too easy. That's why there is a revolving door and the recidivism is so high here. It's supposed to be punishment. Our prisoners could always opt to move to Norway (after release, of course).
 

PeteEU

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So do they get sex-change operations on the public dime in Norway prisons?

No clue, but considering the low amount of inmates there are, the chances of an offender that needs one is rather low :)
 

PeteEU

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Our prison system is already too easy. That's why there is a revolving door and the recidivism is so high here. It's supposed to be punishment. Our prisoners could always opt to move to Norway (after release, of course).

Your prison system is too easy? LOL. It is a massive billion dollar business and that is why there is a revolving door. Any and all excuses to put people in prison is more money to the prison industry...
 

Winchester

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Norway has the most progressive justice system in the world. In Norway, fewer than 4,000 of the country's 5 million people were behind bars as of August 2014. That makes Norway's incarceration rate just 75 per 100,000 people, compared to 707 people for every 100,000 people in the US. On top of that, when criminals in Norway leave prison, they stay out. It has one of the lowest recidivism rates in the world at 20%. The US has one of the highest: 76.6% of prisoners are re-arrested within five years. The maximum sentence in Norway, even for murder, is 21 years. Since most inmates will eventually return to society, prisons mimic 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. Every 10 to 12 cells share a kitchen and living room, where prisoners prepare their evening meals and relax after a day of work.

living-room-holden-prison.png


To ease the psychological burdens of imprisonment, the planners at Halden spent roughly $1 million on paintings, photography and light installations. According to a prison informational pamphlet, this mural by Norwegian graffiti artist Dolk "brings a touch of humor to a rather controlled space." Officials hope the art — along with creative outlets like drawing classes and wood workshops — will give inmates "a sense of being taken seriously." Photo taken 2010. None of the windows at Halden have bars.

prison1.jpg


There's also a recording studio with a professional mixing board. In-house music teachers — who refer to the inmates as "pupils," never "prisoners" — work with their charges on piano, guitar, bongos and more. Three members of Halden's security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway's version of American Idol. They hope to produce the prison's first musical — starring inmates — later this year. Photo taken 2010.

prison15.jpg


Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. Halden's architects preserved trees across the 75-acre site to obscure the 20-ft.-high security wall that surrounds the perimeter, in order to minimize the institutional feel and, in the words of one architect, to "let the inmates see all of the seasons." Benches and stone chessboards dot this jogging trail. Photo taken 2010. The prison's exterior features earthy brown hues that help it blend in with the surrounding woodlands. Inside, however, the walls explode with color. Halden hired an interior decorator who used 18 different colors to create a sense of variety and stimulate various moods. A calming shade of green creates a soothing atmosphere in the cells, while a vivid orange brings energy to the library and other working areas. A two-bedroom guesthouse, where inmates can host their families overnight, includes a conjugal room painted a fiery red.

prison8.jpg


Norway's prison guards undergo two years of training at an officers' academy and enjoy an elevated status compared with their peers in the U.S. and Britain. Their official job description says they must motivate the inmate "so that his sentence is as meaningful, enlightening and rehabilitating as possible," so they frequently eat meals and play sports with prisoners. At Halden, half of all guards are female, which its governor believes reduces tension and encourages good behavior. To help inmates develop routines and to reduce the monotony of confinement, designers spread Halden's living quarters, work areas and activity centers across the prison grounds.

Almost makes me want to go to jail.
 

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Almost makes me want to go to jail.

no doubt.... I'd have killed for an apparent like that when I was growing up.... that's a nicer place than a lot ( millions) of free people live in.


I dunno, I don't mind the idea of prisons not being beautiful resorts to pass your days in, playing bongos and guitar...it seems to me that being in prison is supposed to be a punishment for committing crimes.

I don't see a need to provide this level of comfort and recreation to convicted criminals ( though we surely can make some changes to get away from housing humans like animals) .... i think we simply need to reform our criminal justice system so we don't throw the wrong people in prison like we do now.
 

Thrilla

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Your prison system is too easy? LOL. It is a massive billion dollar business and that is why there is a revolving door. Any and all excuses to put people in prison is more money to the prison industry...

Prisons, private or public, are irrelevant to the "revolving door"... that a matter of criminal justice, on one hand... culture on another.

prison don't make people commit crimes, prisons don't arrest or convict people.... prisons just house convicted criminals.
 

DA60

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21 years maximum for murder is ridiculous.

I don't care how many reviews are made afterwards...a really smart fellow could probably beat a review board if he had kept his nose clean inside.

And it is not about punishment - I do not care about punishment. I care about protecting society.

In my opinion, if you are capable of murdering another person - especially an innocent person - then you will ALWAYS be capable of murdering an innocent person. And you should never be allowed back into society no matter what a shrink says or how much medication you are on.
And I do not believe in parole or shortened sentences for good behavior. If you are given a 5 year sentence, then you should have to serve 5 years no matter what...not a day less.
I also think that all criminals should serve 100% of their time in solitary (outside of visitors from outside). The last thing criminals should be doing is spending time with other criminals. I spent a short amount of time in prison and all I learned was how to be a better criminal. And that is pretty much what other ex-cons I have known thought.

And finally, I do not think prisoners should be treated poorly in prison. But they should have to work for extras. But if they work hard enough then they should be able to have a reasonably comfortable life incarcerated.

Note - I do NOT believe in the death sentence.

But 21 years maximum for murder is utterly ridiculous, imo.
 

Van Basten

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We need some reforms here and there along with getting rid of private prisons, but we don't need to go all Norway with it.

Some of their sentencing practices are far too lenient to the point of being unethical.
 

beerftw

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Hey, if it works, why not?

Numbers don't lie.

Thanks for the post.

To the bolded:

Then perhaps our incarceration levels are unrealistically high! :doh

Considering the average time served for murder in my city was around 7 years, that might be fair. I once worked with a released murderer, and he did 6.5 years inside.

The real question is why in your example rape is a higher offense than murder. Stick your penis in a woman get 20 years, blow her head off and plead insanity, get 5 years in a looney bin unless you screw up your defense.
 

Fearandloathing

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Realistically, our incarceration numbers would make such living arrangements prohibitively expensive.

But i think we can learn from their example. Prisoners are still humans, they deserve to be treated with respect. If you treat prisoners like dogs, you shouldn't be surprised when they start barking like dogs. The Stanford prison experiment showed this decades ago: people are a product of their environment.



It all depends on whether your system of justice is geared toward punishment, or revenge or, to deter crime, and when it happens ensure the criminal doesn't do it again.

What is interesting is that countries with progressive sentencing also seem to have incredibly low crime rates compared to the US, where the "criminal" will always be a criminal or "felon", insuring his chances of getting ahead in the world are pretty much nil. Multiple life sentences and accumulative 90 + years sentences obviously are NOT a deterrent, as the US crime rate remains the highest in the industrialized world.

In the early 70's, Canada began a discourse on whether to ban the death penalty. The last execution, by hanging, had been in 1957, so the Liberals of the day sought to end the practice. The right went crazy. There would be no deterrent and Canada would turn into Detroit.

It was by coincidence 12 or more years later to do a series on crime, which showed that since the death penalty was removed, murders have dropped off, and capital murder [killing a cop] was almost non existent, and to include in that documentary one of the same doomsayers who predicted were headed into a slaughter.

I have since come to the conclusion that most crime is drug related, if you allow that alcohol is a drug, which should lead to treatment, not prison, or maybe both. There are very few 'professional' criminals outside of gangs, and there I maintain you can ignore jail if you want to, and take all his money and toys and earnings into the year 2345.

In gangs, we know going in there is no deterrent. Gangs arise out of poverty, frustration, defeatism and with the full 'knowledge' they will die young. And that's where the "correctional system" needs to change. These kids get brainwashed into thinking doing time is a good thing. This is where should be the major focus of all resources in a four pillar approach: prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement; with enforcement for users meaning treatment.

The gangs can only be beaten if their source of recruits dries up.
 

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The real question is why in your example rape is a higher offense than murder. Stick your penis in a woman get 20 years, blow her head off and plead insanity, get 5 years in a looney bin unless you screw up your defense.
I have no knowledge of rape sentencing, nor did I touch on it in my posts.

I have no idea what your talking about here.
 

beerftw

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I have no knowledge of rape sentencing, nor did I touch on it in my posts.

I have no idea what your talking about here.

I AM REFERRING TO YOUR CLAIM OF 7 YEAR AVERAGE, for murder, which is quite often lower than punishment for rape or drug dealing in america. I am just referring to why murder is so low on the punishment scale, when it is the highest of crimes.
 

Chomsky

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I AM REFERRING TO YOUR CLAIM OF 7 YEAR AVERAGE, for murder, which is quite often lower than punishment for rape or drug dealing in america. I am just referring to why murder is so low on the punishment scale, when it is the highest of crimes.
No idea, but it should rank at or near the top, I suspect.

And drug dealing is a whole 'nother thing. (I'm anti War on Drugs)
 
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