Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Norwegian prisoners do organic porridge in world's first 'green jail'

By Claire Soares, The Independent, September 4.

From Alcatraz to Robben Island, offshore prisons are nothing new but Norway's version has a special claim to fame. It bills itself as the world's first ecological jail.

Bastoey Prison, located on the island of the same name about 50 miles south of Oslo, has solar panels, heats its buildings with wood-waste rather than oil, operates a strict recycling policy and is almost self-sufficient in terms of food.

If inmates at this prison do porridge, it is organic porridge. For it is not only recreational drugs that are banned, pesticides are too. All the potatoes, beans, grains and berries grown in the prison garden are 100 per cent organic. The prison receives grants from environmental groups, and any food that doesn't get used in its own kitchen is sold to other jails.

"You can either make prison pure punishment or you can try to make inmates into good neighbours, to do something positive. Our main objective is to prove we are a prison that reduces recidivism and the ecological approach is part of that strategy," said Mr Per Eirik Lund, the prison's deputy governor.

read more (The Independent)