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11 photos of prisons from around the world that defy American stereotypes of ‘hard time

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11 photos of prisons from around the world that defy American stereotypes of ‘hard time

From Bolivia to Norway, many prisons paint a different picture of incarceration than America’s attitude of psychological torment.

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 (Bernat Armangue/AP Images)

In the US, prison is synonymous with punishment.

That’s not the case in all countries around the world, where many prisons are built to rehabilitate even the most violent offenders.

The amenities in these places can get pretty swanky — relatively speaking. Think pristine basketball gyms in Norway or pool tables in Wales.

Here are just a sampling of prisons around the world that redefine what it means to be locked up.

In Finland, Suomenlinna Prison has no barbed wire to keep inmates within its borders. Instead, there is a small picket fence. For that reason, it is often called the “open prison.”

In Finland, Suomenlinna Prison has no barbed wire to keep inmates within its borders. Instead, there is a small picket fence. For that reason, it is often called the "open prison."playIn Finland, Suomenlinna Prison has no barbed wire to keep inmates within its borders. Instead, there is a small picket fence. For that reason, it is often called the “open prison.”

 (Criminal Sanctions Agency, Finland)

Source: This is Finland

In nearby Norway, Halden Prison lets inmates cook, play video games, shoot hoops, and sleep on plush beds. Rooms look more like college dorms than cells. The idea is to treat convicts like people, so they will re-enter society in a healthy mindset.

In nearby Norway, Halden Prison lets inmates cook, play video games, shoot hoops, and sleep on plush beds. Rooms look more like college dorms than cells. The idea is to treat convicts like people, so they will re-enter society in a healthy mindset.playIn nearby Norway, Halden Prison lets inmates cook, play video games, shoot hoops, and sleep on plush beds. Rooms look more like college dorms than cells. The idea is to treat convicts like people, so they will re-enter society in a healthy mindset.

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 (Trond Isaksen / Statsbygg)

 

Source: The New York Times

Like Halden, the Otago Corrections Facility in New Zealand looks more like a teenager’s bedroom than a prison. There are health facilities and a library designed to keep people feeling like members of society.

Like Halden, the Otago Corrections Facility in New Zealand looks more like a teenager's bedroom than a prison. There are health facilities and a library designed to keep people feeling like members of society.playLike Halden, the Otago Corrections Facility in New Zealand looks more like a teenager’s bedroom than a prison. There are health facilities and a library designed to keep people feeling like members of society.

 (Department of Corrections NZ)

 

Source: Otago Daily Times

San Pedro Prison, located in La Paz, Bolivia, has for 20 years served as a kind of micro-city for 3,000 inmates and their families. Drug trade keeps families afloat financially, and the prison hotel gives guests a place to stay.

San Pedro Prison, located in La Paz, Bolivia, has for 20 years served as a kind of micro-city for 3,000 inmates and their families. Drug trade keeps families afloat financially, and the prison hotel gives guests a place to stay.playSan Pedro Prison, located in La Paz, Bolivia, has for 20 years served as a kind of micro-city for 3,000 inmates and their families. Drug trade keeps families afloat financially, and the prison hotel gives guests a place to stay.

 (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Source: The Daily Beast

Austria’s Justice Center isn’t like most prisons, architecturally speaking. It was designed by Joseph Hohensinn to let in ample light. There are two inscriptions by the entrance, each affirming inmates’ right to dignity and humanity.

Austria's Justice Center isn't like most prisons, architecturally speaking. It was designed by Joseph Hohensinn to let in ample light. There are two inscriptions by the entrance, each affirming inmates' right to dignity and humanity.playAustria’s Justice Center isn’t like most prisons, architecturally speaking. It was designed by Joseph Hohensinn to let in ample light. There are two inscriptions by the entrance, each affirming inmates’ right to dignity and humanity.

 (Wikimedia Commons)

 

Source: Mimoa

Spain’s Aranjuez Prison lets parents and children stay with their incarcerated family members. With Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, and a playground, the goal is to prevent kids from realizing, as long as possible, that a parent is behind bars.

Spain's Aranjuez Prison lets parents and children stay with their incarcerated family members. With Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, and a playground, the goal is to prevent kids from realizing, as long as possible, that a parent is behind bars.playSpain’s Aranjuez Prison lets parents and children stay with their incarcerated family members. With Disney characters on the walls, a nursery, and a playground, the goal is to prevent kids from realizing, as long as possible, that a parent is behind bars.

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 (Bernat Armangue/AP Images)

 

Source: Associated Press

Pondok Bambu Prison, in Indonesia, is a women’s prison that makes luxury rooms available for purchase; however, some inmates also bribe their way into these rooms illegally.

Pondok Bambu Prison, in Indonesia, is a women's prison that makes luxury rooms available for purchase; however, some inmates also bribe their way into these rooms illegally.playPondok Bambu Prison, in Indonesia, is a women’s prison that makes luxury rooms available for purchase; however, some inmates also bribe their way into these rooms illegally.

 (Ramdani/AP Images)

 

Source: Al Jazeera

If not for the heavy locking doors, Her Majesty’s Prison (or HMP) Parc, in Wales, could pass for a public school. It offers numerous classes, a gymnasium with hot showers, pool tables, and ping-pong tables.

If not for the heavy locking doors, Her Majesty's Prison (or HMP) Parc, in Wales, could pass for a public school. It offers numerous classes, a gymnasium with hot showers, pool tables, and ping-pong tables.playIf not for the heavy locking doors, Her Majesty’s Prison (or HMP) Parc, in Wales, could pass for a public school. It offers numerous classes, a gymnasium with hot showers, pool tables, and ping-pong tables.

 (Channel 4)

 

Source: HMP Parc

Sollentuna Prison, located in Sweden, lets prisoners cook their own meals and spend large chunks of their day watching TV or using the weight room for exercise. Like Norwegian and Finnish prisons, the facility upholds Nordic values of rehabilitation.

Sollentuna Prison, located in Sweden, lets prisoners cook their own meals and spend large chunks of their day watching TV or using the weight room for exercise. Like Norwegian and Finnish prisons, the facility upholds Nordic values of rehabilitation.playSollentuna Prison, located in Sweden, lets prisoners cook their own meals and spend large chunks of their day watching TV or using the weight room for exercise. Like Norwegian and Finnish prisons, the facility upholds Nordic values of rehabilitation.

(Kriminalvarden)

 

Source: RtoZ

Switzerland’s Champ-Dollon Prison had grown overcrowded in recent years, so the country put $40 million into an upgraded new wing. The upgrades overhauled prison cells to create more comfortable and spacious rooms.

Switzerland's Champ-Dollon Prison had grown overcrowded in recent years, so the country put $40 million into an upgraded new wing. The upgrades overhauled prison cells to create more comfortable and spacious rooms.playSwitzerland’s Champ-Dollon Prison had grown overcrowded in recent years, so the country put $40 million into an upgraded new wing. The upgrades overhauled prison cells to create more comfortable and spacious rooms.

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 (Champ-Dollon)

 

Source: iTimes

Likewise in Norway’s Bastoy Prison, inmates spend their sentence on a private island complete with farming, fishing, skiing, tennis, and horseback riding.

Likewise in Norway's Bastoy Prison, inmates spend their sentence on a private island complete with farming, fishing, skiing, tennis, and horseback riding.playLikewise in Norway’s Bastoy Prison, inmates spend their sentence on a private island complete with farming, fishing, skiing, tennis, and horseback riding.

 (Bastoy)

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