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Of prison islands & freedom

This article is fascinating. Please read it and tell me your thoughts? Mine under the cut.



There's something to be said about rehabilitating criminals in such a way that the propensity to recidivism is reduced, but I think I find the lack of "penalties" to be mildly disturbing.

I won't lie; I'm from the school of 'an eye for an eye' and am especially supportive of harsh punitive measures against rapists. The concept of the prison island of Bastøy in Norway is revolutionary yes, especially coming from where I am which is South East Asia and basically...well, let's not open that particular can of worms right now, shall we? But it is disconcerting to me. No bars? No scheduled break time? The prisoners are expected to learn responsibility?

The question in my mind that keeps echoing is how is this punishment?

Taking a step back, and especially looking at the case of Raymond Olsen as studied in the article, it does seem to be a form of mental and emotional punishment. The concept of freedom without bars and taking responsibility for your own meals as such scared Olsen back into requesting a transfer to a traditional prison with bars and gun-toting wardens.

It seems the idea of Bastøy, the more I study it, is ingenious. The layman's view that I have suggests that criminals happen because of individuals refusing to be responsible as responsibility defined by social and economical norms by the majority of society. They re 'shirking' their duties by taking the 'easy way out'. And here is Bastøy telling them 'sorry, no running away from that here'.

While yes, I did start off feeling apprehensive, I think I can be swayed over to support such an idea. In the end though, that niggling question is raised; where do we draw the line?
Print it in Moleskine MSK format

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