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.
In Texas, prison inmates have to pay $100 a year out of their personal account to see a doctor for a sickness that is not an emergency or a chronic illness. If they don’t have the money, half of all future funds deposited into their account are put towards the debt.
In 1957, in order to rehabilitate convicts, the Woodlake road camp prison in California began an experiment. The project was called “Operation Sleep” and was based on sleep learning program. Inmates heard the soothing voice of a psychiatrist, while they were sleeping.
“Listen, my inner self, remember and obey this creed of life: Live relaxed, completely and utterly relaxed… Love, rule my life. Love God, my family, and others… Have faith… work with others… Face life without fear, be calm, unafraid… Know myself and my faults… live without alcohol… Alcohol is a poison. I do not need alcohol. Abstain with ease. Alcohol is repulsive to me…
I am truly happy. I give my life to my family, to my friends, and to the world. I am filled with love and compassion for all, so help me God.”
Unfortunately, there is little to no data on, whether the experiment reformed criminals. According to the superintendent of the prison, inmates were very cooperative, but they couldn’t know the outcome for sure; until after facing the temptations of freedom again.
In 2008 two judges were found to be accepting money from two juvenile detention centers in return for increasing the number of residents, offenses were as minimal as mocking a principal on MySpace, trespassing in a vacant building, or shoplifting DVDs from Wall-mart .
Private companies that control prison phone calls charge over a $1/minute, apply large connection/usage fees…and work to ban inmate visitation.
Prisons across America serve certain inmates a one-dish meal called “nutriloaf”, which was specifically designed to be bland, flavorless, and unappealing.
Salvador Dali made a painting for the prisoners at Rikers Island in NYC that hung in the prisoner dining room for 15 years, when it was moved to the prison lobby for ‘safekeeping’. In 2003, three prison guards and a warden stole the painting.
If Louisiana was its own country, it would have the highest incarceration rate in the world.