Who says doing time has to be a bad experience? The new Halden Fengsel prison in Norway is a criminal's dream: It boasts running trails, rock climbing, a recording studio, and offers cooking courses set in a sleek, Ikea-like facility.

It took 10 years and $252 million to build the prison, which is set on 75 acres of "gently sloping forest in southeastern Norway." It houses drug dealers, rapists, murders and other assorted bad people. But too avoid the prison seeming "too hostile," one of the architects, Hans Henrik Hoilund, blocked views of the prison's 20-foot walls with trees and a rounded concrete top. There are also oddly suggestive murals on the walls by graffiti artist Dolk.

Inside, prisoners can enjoy flat-screen TVs and college dorm-style refrigerators, all in the comfort of their own room. The rooms also have tall, vertical windows (without bars) to let in a maximum amount of light. And for conjugal visits (sexy time!), inmates' families can shack up in the prison's two-bedroom house. As the prison's music teacher, Charlott-Renee Sandvik Clasen, told Time magazine: "Our goal is to give all the prisoners - we call them our pupils - a meaningful life inside these walls."

[Gizmodo, previously]
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