In sentencing criminals, is Norway too soft? Or are we too harsh?
....“Western Europeans regard 10 or 12 years as an extremely long term, even for offenders sentenced in theory to life,” he said.
Today, there are more than 41,000 people serving life without parole in the United States compared to fifty-nine in Australia, forty-one in England and thirty-seven in the Netherlands. That’s according to a study released this spring, which found that we are “in the minority of countries using several sentencing practices, such as life without parole, consecutive sentences, juvenile life without parole, juvenile transfer to adult courts, and successive prosecution of the same defendant by the state and federal government.”
A different justice: Why Anders Breivik only got 21 years for killing 77 people
from the article by Max Fisher on The Atlantic:
Although Breivik will likely be in prison permanently -- his sentence can be extended -- 21 years really is the norm even for very violent crimes. The much-studied Norwegian system is built on something called restorative justice. Proponents of this system might argue that it emphasizes healing: for the victims, for the society, and, yes, for the criminal him or herself.
Ted Wachtel on Nils Christie's plenary at European Forum
from Restorative Practices Blog:
Today I attended the first day of the European Forum for Restorative Justice Conference that’s being held in Helsinki, Finland. It was nice to hear Nils Christie give a plenary speech. Nils Christie is now an 84-year-old emeritus professor from Norway whose famous article, “Conflict As Property,” defined the whole idea that governments and courts and lawyers steal our conflicts, and that we should have a right and an opportunity to resolve our own conflicts.
Norway builds the world's most humane prison
But how restorative is it?
Ten years and 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner ($252 million) in the making, Halden is spread over 75 acres (30 hectares) of gently sloping forest in southeastern Norway. The facility boasts amenities like a sound studio, jogging trails and a freestanding two-bedroom house where inmates can host their families during overnight visits. Unlike many American prisons, the air isn't tinged with the smell of sweat and urine. Instead, the scent of orange sorbet emanates from the "kitchen laboratory" where inmates take cooking courses. "In the Norwegian prison system, there's a focus on human rights and respect," says Are Hoidal, the prison's governor. "We don't see any of this as unusual."