Why Scandinavian Prisons Are Superior

Article comparing the United States’ approach to mass incarceration with that of the Scandinavian countries.

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It’s a postcard-perfect day on Suomenlinna Island, in Helsinki’s South Harbor.  Warm for the first week of June, day trippers mix with Russian, Dutch, and Chinese tourists sporting sun shades and carrying cones of pink ice cream.

“Is this the prison?” asks a 40-something American woman wearing cargo pants and a floral sleeveless blouse.

Linda, my guide and translator, pauses beside me between the posts of an open picket fence. After six years of teaching as a volunteer inside American prisons, I’ve come from the private college where I work to investigate the Scandinavian reputation for humane prisons. Read more...