In the United Kingdom, several prisons have restaurants that are fully run by inmates at the prison, including chefs and waiters. These restaurants are also open to the public and rank highly on Tripadvisor.
In 1966, during his second stint in jail, Charles Manson refused release and requested to stay in prison. He’d spent half of his 32 years behind bars, and saw it as his home. Authorities refused and released him. He quickly formed the family.
In Halden prison in Norway, guards are encouraged to interact, play sports, and eat with the inmates. This is to prevent aggression and create a sense of family. Despite being a maximum security prison, every cell has a flatscreen TV, an en-suite shower and fluffy, white towels.
A maximum-security prison in Uganda has a soccer league (run and played by prisoners), with an annual soccer tournament. The tournament is taken very seriously; they have a uniforms, referees, cleats, and a 30-page constitution. The winning team gets prizes such as soap, sugar, and a goat.
In 2013, a prisoner in Sweden escaped “because he had a toothache and wanted to go to the dentist.” He broke out prison, visited the dentist, and turned himself back in where he received an extra day to his month-long sentence as punishment.
Nutraloaf is a food served in prisons in the United States and Canada to prisoners who have misbehaved. Due to its lack of flavor, it has been banned in several states where food cannot be used as punishment.
At a prison facility in Nuuk, Greenland some inmates reportedly hold the keys to their own cells (to afford them privacy), and others may leave the premises during the day to go to work or school. Perhaps surprisingly, inmates are even allowed to go hunting with rifles to shoot birds and seals.
At Norway’s maximum-security Halden Prison, prisoners are paid 53 kroner ($9) per day to leave their cells, which are equipped with a video game console, mini-fridge, and a window with no bars. Guard stations are tiny and cramped to encourage them to interact with the prisoners.
Brazil will offer inmates in its crowded prison system a novel way to shorten their sentences – cutting four days for every book they read.
Housing a prisoner in California costs $75,560. That’s more than a year at Harvard.