A prison where inmates can enjoy sunbathing and trips to the beach has been dubbed the most comfortable in the world.
Bastoy prison island in Norway has been described as ‘cushy’ and ‘luxurious’ by critics who have questioned whether prisoners should be treated to such domestic comfort.
Up to six prisoners share accommodation in wooden huts on the island, plus a communal kitchen and other facilities.
Jobs on the island include working on the local farm, the bicycle repair shop or in the timber workshop.
They earn the equivalent of $8.88 a day and are also given a food allowance of up to $103 a week to spend at the supermarket.
In their spare time, the prisoners can visit the on-island church, school or library and to relax can head to the beach or play sports including tennis and football.
It’s difficult to imagine other countries adopting the same approach but with Bastoy boasting the lowest reoffending rate in Europe, they are clearly doing something right.
Prison governor Arne Kvernvik Nilsen believes treating the prisoners as human beings can help reduce reoffending rates.
‘I believe that we as human beings, if we are prepared to make fundamental changes in the way we regard crime and punishment, can dramatically improve the rehabilitation of prisoners,’ he said. ‘Bastoy is an ongoing experiment, but I really hope the results will benefit not only Norway but the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.’