First Advisor

Richard Aidoo


Recidivism rates are high in most Western countries and, as prisons in these countries become overcrowded, the resources meant to enhance reintegration of inmates into society can be inadequate or nonexistent. On the other hand, Norway has one of the lowest recidivism rates among Western nations, at approximately 20 percent. Norway also has, along with other Scandinavian countries, a unique approach to its prison system. This paper discusses the exceptionalism associated with Norway's prison system and explores the reasons behind its low recidivism rates, with a focus on the encouragement of reintegration of inmates into society. With the educational opportunities and normalization techniques found in Norway's open prisons, this country’s prison system has rehabilitation at its core, a feature that has largely been embraced by a majority of the Norwegian population. Discussions in this research draw on open-ended survey responses from Norwegian respondents. The arguments connect opportunities created in the Norwegian prison system through education and normalization programs to the low recidivism rates found in Norway.



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