Unlike other prisons, these have achieved great results by doing what you least expected.
Prisons were born with the purpose of rehabilitating, but most have failed in their purpose. I once saw the German movie "The Experiment", very good indeed. In this film the prisoners and the policemen enter into a super destructive dynamic. It was at that moment that I asked myself: What is the point of prison? Why has this system not worked? How would jail be better if we had the opportunity to change it?
These are the questions that the prison system is asking today on a global level. However, each prison is taking a different direction and the results are being quite amazing!
Implementing Creative Workshops
If I could contribute to creating the best prison in the world, I would start by choosing the implementation of the workshop “La Pandilla Del Actor” (Actor's Gang) in which prisoners wear costumes and makeup to act out a comedy and improvise. This is based on the incredible story from the movie "The Shawshank Redemption."
The actor, Tim Robbins has had this program rolled out in various prisons and it has had incredible results. In a study conducted in December in California, it was found that those who started this course of action had an 89% reduction in infractions and fights in prison.
We all have the same rights
The best prison in the world is on the island of Bastoy, where inmates can play skiing, cook, play tennis and even have their own beach to relax.
In addition, everyone has the right to study and even to vote! Although it is true that they seem too many rights for people who have committed very cruel crimes, the Norwegian system contemplates a “gradual transition” within the prison, in which prisoners go from high security prisons to smaller ones where they are offered these Benefits. This in order to facilitate their rehabilitation and that they rejoin society as soon as possible.
Do you think it's crazy? Well, consider that criminal recidivism in this country is the lowest in the world! Only 20% returns to jail, unlike the United States where the index is 76%. Not only do they manage to give a more human side to the term "punishment" but they also save a lot of money by not keeping so many people in prison.
Design Is Everything
In the city of Leoben, Austria, there is a beautiful jail, which has rooms and private kitchens, as well as a gym and ping pong tables.
The facilities are similar to those of a five-star hotel. It is made of a glass and wood frame. It was created by the famous architect Joseph Hohensinn, in order to give a different meaning to life in prison.
There the prisoners have the feeling of freedom, since the jail is designed so that during the day the natural light of the sun enters, while at night it is illuminated from within. They have panoramic views and huge windows that give them the feeling of being far from a prison system.
This design makes inmates more relaxed, which in turn results in fewer problems or internal fights.
Strengthening Family Ties
Sometimes we believe that because someone hurts us, it is best to keep revenge against them. The reality is that we all need to forgive and be forgiven. Even the worst criminals in the world. The best prison is one that understands this and looks out for the interests of the family. In the Madrid VI Penitentiary Center, they have a family module in which they allow inmates to live with their partner and with children up to 3 years of age. This was created in the 1990s in order to motivate parents to develop family ties and thereby help them to rehabilitate.
If we think about it, the children are not to blame for their father being in jail and this is a way to maintain ties and not cultivate a hatred of children towards society. Honestly, there is nothing more powerful for the mind than human affection and this initiative is a way of remembering it in prison.
Giving a Second Chance
What we have to do is get away from that once concept of "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." We know that today more and more lynchings are emerging in Latin America; more desire to take justice into your own hands.
We want the people who did us wrong to pay for the damages. But this only means that the prisons are overcrowded, that children are increasingly close to crime and that those who leave prison have no opportunity to integrate into society.
It's not about getting hurt and going to the extreme, but about finding new ways, designs, and experiments that work, whatever is most convenient for everyone.
It turns out that we are not the only ones with problems: For Bad Situations, Call This Psychologist