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 Post subject: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-20 10:06am
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Sith Acolyte
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I am sure some people are aware of this, but i don't know if anyone has discussed this subject yet.

A Time Article on them

Long story short, Norway's prisons are pretty mild, even for violent offenders. Prisoners live in rather comfortable conditions. Despite this Norway has very low crime and Recidivism rates. The way I see it this system is rather damning of people who claim the solution to crime is harsher punishments. What said people asking for amounts to having the state engage in pointless brutality.

But what are your thoughts on this?

Zor



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Last edited by Zor on 2012-10-20 12:34pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-20 12:11pm
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I would bet that one of the reasons the Norwegian prison system works for Norway is that it's Norway, socioeconomically. If your crime rate is low in the first place (and I seem to recall that Norway's is), then the same factors that lower the base crime rate will lower the recidivism rate.

People have lots of things to do that are safer/more lucrative than crime. There aren't so many mentally ill or drug-addled people wandering around- people who can become either likely criminals or easy victims. There aren't as many random gangs of teenagers and twentysomethings whose members cycle in and out of prison like a revolving door and create a subculture where going to jail is accepted or even a mark of honor.

None of which really contradicts the idea that this system works. But to make it work in a different context we'd have to think carefully about what we were doing.

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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-20 01:54pm
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Well, if it can work in a culture as diverse and inherently unequal as Norway's, it should work just fine anywhere, right?



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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-20 02:01pm
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One of the reasons Norway has a low crime rate is basically because they refuse to prosecute rapes and 80% aren't even reported (the conviction rate is under 10%, so most women don't even bother).

Have a very nice day.
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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-20 04:21pm
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What that article describes is de rigeur in the USA, as well. Something the two nations have in common can not explain any part of a difference in violent crime rates.

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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-21 01:31am
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fgalkin wrote:
One of the reasons Norway has a low crime rate is basically because they refuse to prosecute rapes and 80% aren't even reported (the conviction rate is under 10%, so most women don't even bother).

Have a very nice day.
-fgalkin



It is about the same in the US and Britain (worse in Britain). But you cant hide a body. So take a look at the murder rate.

Norway: .6 murders per 100k people
US: 4.2 per 100k inhabitants.

Hmmmmm



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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-21 01:45am
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Putting aside initial crime rates, being able to achieve low recidivism is a big thing. Those kind of outcomes have to indicate a successful system at some level.



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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-21 02:34am
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But as suggested, culture is a big part of it. If you have more career criminals or mentally ill criminals or organised criminals, soft systems may not work as well as they do in a civilised country. However, they may still work better than private criminal academies.



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 Post subject: Re: The Norwegian Prison System PostPosted: 2012-10-21 08:22am
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The point about culture and demographics is an incredibly important one. America has cities with populations higher than all of Scandinavia, and America has the largest diaspora from the Third World of any developed country (as well as the most heterogenous population overall). You're simply not even dealing with the same kinds of criminals and criminal organisations in any way. But yeah, a system like Norway's that seems to have been rebuilt from the ground-up for re-socialization is guaranteed to work better than the runaway amalgamated prison-industrial complex powered by inertia and private interests that America uses.

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