America’s prison system is considerably different than prison systems across the world. While some people believe our system does exactly what it is designed to do, others argue that our system is failing. Leann Bertsch, the Prison Chief of the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (NDDCR), believed her state system was broken. Accordingly, she traveled to Norway to study its prison system and, hopefully, to learn what she could do back home in North Dakota to help her prisons better serve the citizens of her state.
After reading Slater’s (2017) Prison Break article (https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/07/north-dakota-norway-prisons-experiment/), which discusses both the Norwegian prison system and the Prison Chief Bertsch’s application of those principles in the NDDCR, discuss the following points:
- What is your opinion of Leann Bertsch’s attempt to model the North Dakota state prison system after the Norway prison system?
- Do you believe the Norwegian prison model is working the same in North Dakota as it is in Norway?
- What are the possible benefits and consequences of modeling the NDDCR state prison system after the Norwegian prison?
- Are these benefits sustainable over time?
- Do you believe the consequences could eventually lead to long-term problems?