Like going to prison?

For once, I have an English speaking news article. This one is about the Norwegian prison on Bastøya, an island just outside of Oslo.

“On Bastoy prison island in Norway, the prisoners, some of whom are murderers and rapists, live in conditions that critics brand ‘cushy’ and ‘luxurious’. Yet it has by far the lowest reoffending rate in Europe.”

What I love about this article is how it portraits the inmates and the people who work there. The author doen’t use dramatic words and phrases and that’s nice in an article about a prison.

“Before he transferred to Bastoy, Petter was in a high-security prison for nearly eight years. “Here, they give us trust and responsibility,” he says. “They treat us like grownups.””

And you know what? The reason for the success of the prison is that they use what we call “the scout method”.

Two nice quites from Lord Baden-Powell, the man who started the scout movement are:

  • “The more responsibility the Scoutmaster gives his patrol leaders, the more they will respond.”
  • “An individual step in character training is to put responsibility on the individual.”

What I’m trying to say is, people grow and develop when you trust them and give them responsibility. Of course, you have to help them along the way, but you have to let them do it themselves. Go Bastøya! (but notice that people have to apply to go there, because you yourself have to be motivated to make a change in your life)

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