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PHOTOS: Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

Last updated on: July 29, 2011 11:11 IST

Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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Halden prison could be the home, if convicted, of Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik who killed dozens of people in a bomb attack and shooting spree.

But it could be home that Breivik would love to spend time in. Halden prison is one of the world's most luxurious prisons.

Halden, Norway's second largest prison with a capacity of 252 inmates, embodies the guiding principles of the country's penal system: that repressive prisons do not work and that treating prisoners humanely boosts their chances of reintegrating into society.

One trip to Halden will make you realise why it's the envy of other prisons around the world. Let's take a sneak peek into the prison.

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Image: The inside of a cell is seen at the Halden prison
Photographs: Reuters
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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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Individual cells come with an en-suite bathroom, a flat-screen TV and various comforts.

They measure 130 square feet and are divided up into units (10 to 12) which share a living room and kitchen.



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The windows are not fitted with bars, but thick glass is used instead.

Noted the fully furnished washroom in one of the cells?



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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Halden Prison inmates have access to a gym with a rock climbing wall, public lounge and kitchen

Halden also features jogging trails in nearby woods and a freestanding two-bedroom house where inmates can host their families during overnight visits



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The Halden facility has a number of occupational training centres, including a recording studio and a teaching kitchen.


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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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Some 760,000 Euro were spent just on artworks, some of which commissioned to Norway's most renowned street artist, Dolk



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The actual cells look like glorified dorm rooms and there are communal kitchens and living rooms for the inmates to chill out and decompress after a long day of reflecting on killing innocent people.



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The maximum sentence in Norway is 21 years, though this can be extended indefinitely in five year blocks as long as the prisoner is deemed a "high risk" for repeat offence

Two men sit inside the chapel at Halden prison



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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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.



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The well-stocked library at Halden contains not only books but magazines, CDs, and DVDs. 

Prison guards don't carry guns -- that creates unnecessary intimidation and social distance -- and they routinely eat meals and play sports with the inmates



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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The prison has a recording studio 'with a professional mixing board' and 'in-house music teachers'.

The inmates get to play guitar, bongos, the piano and sing.

"Three members of Halden's security-guard chorus recently competed on Norway's version of American Idol," TIME Magazine says.



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Inside Norway's luxurious Halden jail

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To avoid an institutional feel, exteriors are not concrete but made of bricks, galvanized steel and larch.

And while there is one obvious symbol of incarceration -- a 20-foot concrete security wall along the prison's perimeter -- trees obscure it



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