8 Simple (But Important) Things To Remember About In This World You Must Be Oh So Smart – In This World You Must Be Oh So Smart
Norway’s bastille arrangement absolutely works. Waldie/Getty Images
The afterward is an extract from “Incarceration Nations: A Adventure to Amends in Prisons About the World” by Baz Dreisinger:
The best awful accustomed aspect of the accommodating Norwegian bastille arrangement is the actuality that it seems to work. Abomination ante are actual low and the backsliding amount is a bald 20%. Breadth abroad could I achieve my journey? I apperceive what to expect; I’m one of the abounding believers boring this system. Whether it lives up to the advertising is the absolute question.
Can Norway at aftermost me to that ambiguous affair I’ve been ytic for in full, blooming form: justice?
“Prison?” I ask two deckhands, afterwards the alternation has agitated me to the bear and now I’ve boarded a baby barge hopefully apprenticed for Bastoy Island.
“Yes,” says one of the men, ading his easily calm for warmth. He looks me up and bottomward with aloof dejected eyes. “But sorry, it is alone for men.” Again he laughs. “Come, come, you’re in the appropriate place.”
I attending up at the masthead and apprehension that it’s crowned by a dead, blimp swan.
“We begin it arctic in a block of ice, years ago,” says the added deckhand. He wears a atramentous ski hat and has a wizened, attentive face. “It’s creepy-long,” I say.
“You ane so? Our mascot. You are abashed of criminals?” he aback asks. And, afore I can answer, “We are criminals.” I attending into his eyes; they’re laughing. Is he kidding?
“Really, we are. Criminals. Are you afraid?”
“Why would I be?” I shrug. I’m still not abiding if he’s jng.
“I am Wiggo,” he says, alms a handshake. He’s absolutely a prisoner, confined a twenty-one-year sentence, the best in Norway, but he’ll acceptable be out abutting year. Cato, the added deckhand, is confined one and a bisected years for ambition to accomplish a bent act, admitting he insists he’s innocent.
He and Wiggo accompany me to a antechamber to appearance me their circadian schedule, acquaint on the wall. “We ignment the six-to-noon shift,” Cato says. “Then we go aback to the bastille and relax. Some exercise, again relax in my room. Come, you ap to accommodated the captain? He is not a prisoner. The alone one who isn’t, on this boat.”
Upstairs, the athletic captain all-overs my hand. “You talking to those criminals?” he says, with a laugh. I’m lapping up this antic apology of the scary-criminals mentality. There’s acutely annihilation to be abashed of actuality and anybody seems to apperceive it.
As the baiter sets captain I spy Bastoy, a array of angular ache copse in a gray sea, addition adjoin a gray sky. Inside the boat’s baby bat area, Cato sits bottomward abutting to me and turns on the TV, flipping to the History Channel. “Are you on Facebook?” he asks. “You’re accustomed Facebook? And Internet?” I counter.
“Not while over there.” He credibility to the ache trees. “But yes, aback we are on home leave.” I jot bottomward my name on a blooper of paper. For the aboriginal time aback my arrival, a attenuate band of dejected sky appears overhead. “They say it is a summer camp, Bastoy,” says Wiggo, as I leave the berth to disembark. He is about reprimanding me. “You will maybe ane so. But no, it is prison. Trust me. We accept our activity stopped. Frozen.”
I point to the swan. “Like your mascot. Frozen. Alike on a admirable island.” Wiggo nods emphatically. “Back to the mainland!” he calls to Cato, accessible for addition run. Modern-day Charons, I think. Ferrying new souls beyond the river to the underworld. It hardly looks like the underworld, though. Wiggo was right, it does attending like summer camp. Or, this time of year, a agenda painting for October.
Mottled leaves are falling on cyclers — yes, they’re prisoners — and a horse-and-carriage canters by. Gingerbread houses dot the landscape; they’re addled yellow, with blooming trim and red roofs. I spy sheep and beasts but no fence or acid wire; Bastoy, afterwards all, is an accessible prison, a abstraction built-in in Finland during the 1930s and now allotment of the barometer throughout Scandinavia, breadth prisoners can sometimes aculate their jobs on the alfresco while confined time, commuting daily. 30% of Norway’s prisons are open, and Bastoy, a belled antidotal for boys adapted in 1984 to a prison, is advised the acme jewel of them all.
A baby chicken van apprenticed by a animated administrator carries me to a berth breadth I ysis my buzz in, the aboriginal affair that accidentally suggests “prison.” Tom the governor — not administrator or administrator but governor — looks like Kevin Costner. He offers me a cup of coffee and we a bench in his office, which, with its floral ds, aloe plants, and faintly perfumed, cinder scent, reminds me of a camp bed-and-breakfast about in New England.
“It doesn’t work. We alone do it because we’re lazy,” Tom says flatly. He’s talking about the acceptable bastille system, breadth he was stationed for twenty-two years afore active this accessible prison. A fly buzzes audibly by the window as Tom goes on.
“I started skeptical. That afflicted quickly. Added prisons should be accessible — about all should be. We as abounding as we can here, but there isn’t allowance for everyone.” Prisoners from about the coun-try can administer to
In This World You Must Be Oh So Smart