Norwegian penal practice has been recognised globally as exceptional due to its humanistic conditions and low rates of imprisonment. This two year research project was carried out by Dr Sarah Lewis, in collaboration with the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth. It used creative methodologies to explore what prisoners and practitioners believed to be the most important aspects of prison practice, with respect to personal growth. The aim of the project was to capture the successful ingredients of prison practice, from the perspective of prisoners and staff. The project took place in a high-security prison, a low security prison and a halfway house, with the central aim of tracing the inmates journey from sentence to release. This project focused on prison practice that facilitates personal growth and both practitioners and prisoners formed the research team, in order to gain a clear perspective of quality practice in Norwegian Prison. It was an appreciative inquiry, focusing on those aspects of the organisation that promote personal growth. In addition to this, a report was written for each prison to articulate the key findings and critically examine how practice could be developed in the future.
Reading books is a way in which inmates can master something. It is also a means by which people can connect with each other.
I value the relationships with staff. We believe in mutual respect, cooperation and working flexibly in a nice environment. We strive to be good role models.
I value how staff value inmates. They show this in the little things, like a smile or opening a door for someone.
I value people that can see what I can do and those that help me develop. I value being treated like a normal person and with respect. When this occurs, I do not feel like I am in prison.
You are at a crossroads when you come to prison. It is where you decide which path to follow.
Animals make me totally relaxed.