Thursday, July 28, 2011

Completely beyond our ability to understand

I've been intriqued by commentators talking about the fact that the Norwegian mass murderer could potentially spend only 21 years behind bars. This fact, it seems, is completely beyond the average American's reasoning ability. Then Foreign Policy mag does this cynical piece, The Super-Lux Super Max. If this piece makes it into American mainstream media, it may well cause some heads to explode.

But what the mainstream media assuredly will not mention, just as the Foreign Policy article failed to do, is what one of the comments to the article does mention -

"The incarceration rate in Norway is 59 inmates per 100,000, compared to 737 per 100,000 in the U.S. Within two years of their release, 20% of Norwegian prisoners end up back in jail. In the U.K. and the U.S., the figure hovers between 50% and 60%. The 'humane' prison system is not a result of naivity, but a conscious and scientifically informed policy aimed at rehabilitating inmates and preparing them for a life without crime."

Another commentor then notes that this prison is actually the last phase of the rehabilitation process for prisoners who will soon be released. But, that fact wouldn't fit into the narrative that FP was trying to create.

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