Our country’s prison system is failing. We have one of the highest recidivism rates in the world at 76.6 percent. Prisoners will return to prison within five years, compared to Halden Prison in Norway at 20 percent, the lowest in the world. Out of 5 million people, fewer than 4,000 are in Halden. Why? Because they believe in “restorative justice.”
Prisoners are treated like people, with no freedom. The inside has been nicknamed “Utopia” because there are no cells, just dorm rooms like college with a kitchen, climbing wall, theater, music sound studio with several instruments to choose from, just to name a few amenities.
They have a five-goal system: Retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, restoration and rehabilitation. They teach life skills and vocations, where they learn woodworking, assembly workshops, recording, gardening and people skills.
We should change to something that is proven to work and is “cost effective.” The best part is that it shows that people who made mistakes because of drugs or being with the wrong people at the wrong time in a robbery (not murder or violent rape) that they are humans not animals and a positive attitude will create positive results! This is a no-return prison system!
Carla LaLonde, Coarsegold