Stephen Fry and the QI panel on American Prisons- how many Americans are incarcerated, the racial rates of incarceration and the exploitation of prison slave labor by the military.
If you had to guess the scene in this photo, what would your answer be? A group of friends prepping lunch? Maybe a local cooking class?
If you guessed prison, then you guessed correctly.
Above, inmates at the upscale Halden Fengsel prison in Halden, Norway prepare food in a common room meant to be a meeting place for prisoners and guards.
From photographer Alex Masi’s Halden photo project:
Individual cells come with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and various comforts. They measure 12 square meters and are divided up into units (10 to 12) which share a living room and kitchen, similarly to a students’ dormitory.
The windows are not fitted with bars, but thick glass is used instead.
The prison - the second-largest in Norway - costs 165m Euro and accommodates 248 male inmates. Some 760,000 Euro were spent just on artworks, some of which commissioned to Norway’s most renowned street artist, Dolk.
The inmates can attend a vast range of formative courses at a official high school located inside the prison. Subjects can include languages, IT, science, catering, music, (there is even a professional sound studio) art and handicraft and several sports.
Interestingly, statistics show that in Norway only 20% of inmates (1 in 5) commit another crime and return to prison within two years of their release.
Read more on the Halden prison at Foreign Policy.
[Photo: Alex Masi]