In this episode we explore some of the following topics:
- What makes Norway's prisons the most humane, and in my view, the most innovative prisons systems in the world,
- How Norway went from a nation of pillaging Vikings full of violence, murder, and revenge to a country where peace and forgiveness came to triumph,
- How Norwegian prisons differ from the rest of the world and their U.S. counterparts and what they are doing that others are not,
- Why the U.S., despite being real "tough" on crime and punishment, has one of the highest recidivism and crime rates in the world and Norway one of the lowest,
- If there's something special about Norwegian people, their culture or socialization that makes them susceptible to rehabilitation,
- How Norway's prisons were plagued by violence and drugs 30 years ago, similar to their American counterparts,
- If Norways maximum prison sentence of 21 years is enough for the most violent crimes,
- If it's really true, what many foreign news reports claim, that Norways Halden maximum prison, is a posh, luxurious boutique hotel, where inmates have their own flat screen TVs and why that doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things,
- Explore the Bastøy prison island, where inmates have heated floors, sauna and five-star cooking classes and what that's all about,
- How we, as a society, reconcile the need for retribution and punishment for heinous crimes and the need for reintegration of criminals back into society,
- and finally, we see if my interview partner, Tom Eberhardt, really looks like the Norwegian Kevin Costner, as the international press claims.
- The punishment should be the time served, not to inflict pain or be punitive.
- Prison can happen to anyone! A petty altercation can quickly become a 10-year prison sentence.
- Most prison and justice systems haven't evolved from the middle ages.
- If we don't treat the inmates with respect, we will release angry and bitter people into society.
- Many countries such as the U.S. have high crime rates, over-crowed prison system, inhuman conditions, high recidivism rate - despite the death penalty as the harshest form of punishment.
- The solution, as often in life, is counterintuitive. It would seem logical and emotionally satisfying to punish people for their crimes.
- To keep people from coming back we have to make prisons look nicer and not scarier in the hope that inmates won't commit crimes again - so, essentially the exact opposite of what we're doing today. We really need this to change.
- Prisons in Norway not only look like a college campus, but also feels like people are there to learn and the staff are there to teach them something. They built their prisons to do exactly what they said they were going to do - to rehabilitate!
- It starts with how we treat prisoners, the behaviour and education of prison guards towards their inmates they are not only guarding, but more importantly, rehabilitating to become a good neighbour again.
- Norway's correctional system is a shining example of how to not only make society a better and safer place, but also give human beings a second chance - a chance to rehabilitate themselves.
- Evolutionary psychologists even argue that both vengeance and forgiveness are universal human behaviours. People can, and routinely do, forgive others, even in cases of severe crime. We humans are naturally born with both capacities: to blame and retaliate or punish, or to forgive and seek to rehabilitate. Which one we choose, is up to us.
- We need to evolve our justice and correctional systems to move away from retribution, and towards rehabilitation. The justice system itself can offer forgiveness, not on behalf or in place of victims, but on its own terms. And the justice system can be better designed to embody rehabilitation strategies.
- If Norway, a former nation of pillaging Vikings full of violence, murder and rape, can transform itself into a country where peace and forgiveness can triumph, similar to how Germany and Rwanda went from countries of mass genocide to countries of peace, so can any country!
- Criminals too, have proven that they can do wrong, let them prove that they can do something right and contribute to society.
Links & Resources Mentioned
Links from the Episode
- Bastøy Prison Island
- Halden Prison, maximum-security prison in Norway (also shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival Awards)
- The Marshall Project (Nonprofit journalism about criminal justice)
- Prison Law Office
- Vera Institute of Justice
- The Prison Gender Gap
Articles from the Episode
- Vox Media: How to make prisons more humane - A North Dakota prison official tries to take a page from Norway
- ABA Journal: I Did It Norway - Some American prisons are singing a European tune.
- The Washington Post: The 'world's most humane' prison system is so overcrowded, it's now sending criminals abroad
- TIME magazine: Inside the World's Most Humane Prison
- The Guardian: Inside Halden, the most humane prison in the world
- The Economist: Too many prisons make bad people worse. There is a better way - The world can learn from how Norway treats its offenders
- The Atlantic: How Long Can Connecticut's Prison Reform Last?
- The New York Times: The Radical Humaneness of Norway's Halden Prison - The goal of the Norwegian penal system is to get inmates out of it.
- Business Insider: I toured prisons around the world - and the system that seems the most relaxed is also one that works
- Yles: The Norden: "Why don´t you just give them the keys?"
- Reuters: Mass killer Breivik to study at Oslo University, from jail
- Inverse: "Companion dog acquisition" has a scientifically proven benefit
Books from the Episode
* These links contain affiliate/advertising links. If you click on one of these affiliate links and make a purchase, I will receive a commission from the corresponding online store. Our impartial podcasts are funded in part by affiliate commissions, at no extra cost to our readers. Your support really helps us out, creating even better episodes! ?
Videos from the Episode
- TEDx Talks: Lesson from a Governor - Prepare prisoners for life outside, Tom Eberhardt
- YouTube clip from "Where to invade next" (2015) featuring Tom Eberhardt being interviewed by Michael Moore
- YouTube: Bad Boys' Island - BASTØY
- YouTube: The Norden - Nordic Prisons - James Conway, retired Superintendent from Attica Correctional Facility in New York, visits four Nordic Prisons.
- Prison Dogs: A story of love, loss, and redemption, this documentary focuses on the impact of a unique dog training program that gives two of the most marginalized populations in our society - prison inmates and veterans - a second chance. Trailer (Rent of Vimeo)
Critical acclaim: nominated for three Emmy Awards (has won two) and has been nominated twice for the Academy Award (winning once), and has also won three Peabody Awards.
- YouTube (CNN): Prison inmate: We get puppies, ice cream and flower
Studies from the Episode
- Relapse Study in the Correctional Services of the Nordic Countries : Key Results and Perspectives - Research paper comparing recidivism rates in the Scandinavian countries
- University of Michigan: Estimating Gender Disparities in Federal Criminal Cases - Heated floors, sauna, tennis courts, horseback riding and five-star cooking classes.
Episode Transcript - Click to Expand
Note: This transcript of the episode was machine-generated and has not been edited for correctness. It's provided for your convenience when searching. Please excuse any errors.[00:00:00] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): So I, I feel quite proud to be a part of such a system. And as you mentioned earlier, politics isn't about, no rocket science, it's quite easy. We have a lot of research. We have a lot of knowledge on what works and not, we know at least what does that mean? Because you have been doing it for this, the middle ages.[00:00:16] And that is, treating people by behind bars for an unlimited period of time and treating them badly. That's the first thing we can do. And everybody knows that. Keep it up.[00:01:03] Host (David C. Luna): Welcome back to another episode of the innovation correctness podcast. My guest today is Tom Eberhard. Tom Eberhardt is the former governor at the famous best toy prison. Now he's a directorate for the correctional services responsible for the Norwegian American cooperation.[00:01:19] Some might remember the 2015 documentary where to invade next from Michael Moore. There Tom Eberhard is one of the prison guards, Michael more interviews. So what are some of the things that we will cover in this episode? for one, what makes Norway's prison? One of the most humane and in my view, the most innovative prison systems in the world, how Norway went from a nation of pillaging Vikings, full of violence, murder, and revenge, turn into a country where peace and forgiveness came to triumph.[00:01:44] How Norway's prisons differ from the rest of the world and their us counterparts and what they are doing that others are not. Why the U S despite being really tough on crime and punishment has one of the highest recidivism rate and crime rates in the world. And Norway has one of the lowest. If there's something special about Norwegian people there, culture or socialization that makes them more susceptible to rehabilitation, how Norway's prisons were plagued by violence and drugs 30 years ago, similar to their American counterparts.[00:02:12] If Norway's maximum prison, sentence of 21 years is enough for the most violent crimes. If it's really true. What many foreign news reports claim that how the maximum prison is a partial, luxurious putty Kotel, where inmates have their own flat screen TVs and why that doesn't matter in the grand scheme, Hema things, we'll also explore the famous past toy prison where inmates have heated floor sauna and five store cooking classes.[00:02:36] And what that's all about how we as a society, I reconciled the need for retribution and punishment for heinous crimes and the need for reintegration of criminals back into society. And finally, we'll see if my interview partner, Tom Eberhard, it really looks like the Norwegian Kevin Costner, as the international press claims.[00:02:54] No before we start this interview a few disclaimers, and I think it's only fair to disclose the fact that I might be [00:03:00] slightly biased on this topic. As I've worked as an active member for amnesty international for about 10 years there, I fought heavily against the death penalty. Probably one of the most severe punishment.[00:03:09] We as a society can give someone. So I just wanted to disclose that. So there's no conflict of interest, similar to why I do not support ads or sponsors on this part. Please keep in mind that the opinions expressed by Tom in this episode are his own and may or may not reflect the views of the Norwegian government or its correctional services.[00:03:27] And just a quick reminder. I want to make this podcast much more interactive. So what does that mean? You can either suggest a guest or topic or send your feedback via email, or even better as a voice message. This allows me to add your feedback to the podcast where all listeners profit from your feedback and my response, just go to innovation or correctness.com and click on either or suggest guest or topic or leave voice message.[00:03:51] Or if you prefer, just send an email to [email protected] Also stay tuned until the end where I as always tried to reflect on the interview [00:04:00] and extract the key takeaways for you without further ado, let's jump right into the interview. So before we go into detail, maybe you tell the listeners something about yourself.[00:04:08] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): No, I'm 51 years old. I've been working in corrections for 26 years. Now. I'm educated as a prison officer started off as a prison officer and really. Work my way up to be prison governor, as we call it in Norway. And I've been governor for 11 years of the last six of them in a prison called post pasta prison, which is an Island outside of it.[00:04:28] And I'm also have education in crisis management innovation.[00:04:32] Host (David C. Luna): All right. So we do have some overlap in innovation here.[00:04:35] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. We have other, I think actually having some skills in you. Innovation is quite useful when you are governing a prison because in the prison system, there is a big lack of innovation.[00:04:45] Host (David C. Luna): I can imagine. When I contacted the Norwegian PR department of the correctional services, I was actually quite pleasantly surprised by how welcoming they were with my podcast requests. I believe if I did the same in Germany, I [00:05:00] would probably got told off or had to fill out some. Formal requests. So I thought that was very, forthcoming and very welcoming.[00:05:08]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I think I heard that before. and I think this is about one of our core values, which is openness and transparency.[00:05:15] Host (David C. Luna): That's not something I would generally order the public would expect from a correctional facility. So during my research, I came across a source called business insider, and they claimed that you look like Kevin Costner.[00:05:26] Is that true?[00:05:28] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. that was a phrase in the book called incarceration nations by a lovely woman called bus dressing. Her she's a professor from New York, I saw that phrase and I was at first a little bit disappointed. Why didn't she say prep or just clinic, but, no, I think. in my opinion, that's much like it looks good.[00:05:46] Host (David C. Luna): Maybe there's a plot twist. And at the end of the podcast, you revealed that you're actually Kevin Costner,[00:05:52] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): that won't happen. Believe me.[00:05:55] Host (David C. Luna): What made you become a correctional officer? And is that the right one?[00:05:59] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yes, [00:06:00] normally called the prison officer or correction officer. I think that was maybe by chance.[00:06:04]I was finishing, my periods in the army. I served, seven months in South Lebanon, not a UN soldier, quite fed up of being in the army. And I started. To study economy. And one of my friends, her father, he worked for the salvation army and they were running a halfway house in Oslo. And he wondered if I was interested in taking extra hours a night at this institution.[00:06:29] I said, yes, why not? And the out, I liked working with people. Especially incarcerated people, talking to them felt the very interested interest in them stories. Their backgrounds were started also to work yes. Extra in the prisons, ULA prison, outside Oslo. And then, after. Yeah, or so I applied to go into the prison staff Academy.[00:06:47]slowly from there, I never[00:06:49] Host (David C. Luna): back. Interesting. So it tells them like, when I grow up, I want to be a correctional.[00:06:53] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. everybody wants to be a soldier policeman or a fireman, but never, ever personally, I think that's sad. First of all, I [00:07:00] think that the patient is quite good.[00:07:01] And also it has to do with. The fact that most correctional services throughout the world are quite unknown to people quite unknown to the taxpayers general public, which I think is actually quite scary because we're doing such a very important job for the taxpayers.[00:07:16] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. I think there's a lot of misconception around prisons in general.[00:07:20] The Norwegian prisons are considered one of the most humane in the world. And based on my accounts anyway, very innovative doesn't necessarily have to mean they use the new technology or have to, or use something that's completely, he knew. And also the Norwegian crime rates are extremely low.[00:07:36] And the recidivism rate, it is approximately 20 to 25. If percent compared to 60 to 70% in the U S depending what numbers and how they slice and dice those numbers, at least for 2014, if we just look at the numbers and. With the U S being really tough on crime and punishment. Shouldn't the U S have the lowest recidivism and crime rate and what's Norway secret sauce.[00:07:58] And what is Norway doing that [00:08:00] others such as the U S are not?[00:08:02]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): that's a big, complicated question. I think, first of all, I think deeply. Any man, any person is the need for revenge. When someone has hurt the loved ones or family members or some wrongdoing, as humans, we need to silent that monster in our stomach, that screams for revenge.[00:08:23] But the thing, in my opinion, you cannot. Run a civil society like that because the state government, they need to take two steps back to see what's in the general public's best interest here. And first of all, the death penalty is in humane and shouldn't be carried out anywhere and it doesn't help. you have a lot of countries.[00:08:44] In the role that executes people for criminality. And if you see those countries, they still have crime. And when even the capital punishment doesn't work that should, tell them something that you can stop it because it won't mean that you will have more crime, especially when you look to Norway, a country where a [00:09:00] lot of people are saying, claiming that our prisons are.[00:09:04] A hotel and that's, you almost get away with no punishment if you're caught for a crime, which is obviously okay. Oh, I missed. So I think you can, and not let you know hardliners and revenge set the guidelines for running prisons or set the bar for punishment. It's actually a lot of other factors that would, I don't think you can look your on into any country, more or less in the world.[00:09:28] And see that the way we punish people for crime, the way we are running the prison service are very much like the way we did it in the middle ages. It doesn't really change that much, but all the scientists, they will say that and agree that punishing people very hard for crime isn't in the best interest for the general public on the contrary one should focus on.[00:09:49] Rehabilitation building skills, building competence among the inmates. That's the factors that will probably lower crime and when the prisoners [00:10:00] are allowed to do while they're serving time in prison, I think that's a huge factor that would lead to less crime in the future. If the punishment is all about, revenge and punishment, giving them really a hard time, you will let people out on the streets that are probably a bigger danger to the general public.[00:10:18] That they were when they came into prison the first time.[00:10:21] Host (David C. Luna): Absolutely. I think this notion or this feeling of, I need to get revenge or I need to punish them is only natural, but I think we're born with both capacities to forgive or to rehabilitate. I think forgiveness in itself is a, is another issue.[00:10:36] I'm not sure I could forgive someone that, say killed my girlfriend, but I wouldn't want him to go to. with the death penalty simply because what you said as well, it's inhumane. And from my time at amnesty, people that in the U S especially there they're in death row for years, and they don't know when they're going to get executed.[00:10:56] So the question I would ask, actually have to you then is how do we as a[00:11:00] society then. Reconcile the need for retribution or punishment, say for a very severe crime, say a merger and the need for forgiveness or reintegration of criminals back into society. I think[00:11:13] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): for crime victim or a family close family member, I think the amount of revenge can probably never be enough.[00:11:20]Like you're saying, if someone , I will be really mad. Yeah. I would want revenge. I think that is fine. That's a natural, a feeling that we need as a species to survive. But as I said earlier on that the government needs to take two steps back because the government, they are in position either to forgive the crime North punish as a, as an emotion.[00:11:42] They need to see what's in the best interest for the society as a whole, for this crime. And they need to, I realized that the amount of punishment, according to, and I think probably, and luckily, most people out there haven't been to prison. Yeah. I've never, ever served time in prison, which I think here [00:12:00] it's a good thing because prison is a, it's not a very good place to be Norway, joked about it a lot.[00:12:06] Countries that are prisons look like hotels, but in our legislation is like the only punitive elements in the prison sentence is the loss of freedom. Other than that, we should keep focused on rehabilitation and resettlement into the society. And I think the, actually the feeling of the loss of freedom is very much underrated among people.[00:12:25] If you ask any person that actually have spent time in a prison, they will be very accurate on. What the loss of freedom feels like over the years, I've had several people, coming to visits. the prison can be made media journalists, curious people, and they go, for instance, the boss, the Island, the prison, and they will say, Oh, this is so much how can be disparate punishment.[00:12:45] And there were lost to him. How could this be punished and the muscle cell? you're here now. You see the nice nature you see normal housing. Try to stay here for years with no freedom. Then you will start to feel the loss of freedom. For instance, take our news. One of our [00:13:00] news prisons Halden prison, has been very much criticized it's joked about because they have onsite with ballroom, which is tiled with a heated floors.[00:13:08] Yeah, flat-screen televisions and internal computer system and all that thing. But if you go into that self, knowing that you're maybe we'll spend 10 years there in Lowville committed a crime and you stay in this cell for more than maybe a half to 24 hours of the day, then you will feel really that you have no freedom.[00:13:26] You have a very little bit, little freedom. Limited freedom, but you will really feel the loss of freedom on your body because after a while, the cell will feel much smaller, feel really bored. The people who are, isolated in their cells, they all explain that, you know how the walls are getting closer and closer to you.[00:13:45] That's, that's the experience they have. Because of the loss of freedom. So I think the feeling of loss of freedom is a very much underrated because it has nothing to do with flat screen television, tied floors, heated floors.[00:13:59] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. I [00:14:00] think that's one of the biggest misconceptions is at least the German philosophy of the prison system, at least.[00:14:06] I can speak in part of it. even though I've never been to prison. So the listeners can feel relaxed is the fact that the punishment is actually the freedom that is taken away and not so much how they are treated. So it's not like we're gonna treat you like shit and that's the actual punishment, but no, we're going to take your freedom away for a five, 10 or even 20 years.[00:14:25] And I think an important point that you mentioned is that prison has. More of a mediating effect, a someone that steps in similar to what courts do say, okay, you stole my car and I'm going to steal your car and say, no self Chester is not allowed. We as a government or as a prison system will step in and take a neutral stance.[00:14:45] And look that it's fair. And it's not just about revenge. Would that be a accurate?[00:14:52] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah, I think so. I don't think that's. The state, the government, they actually carry out the revenge on behalf of the victims and they will do [00:15:00] that in a fair rate. And I think they need to respect actually the poverty hub, because I think probably the, one of the strongest means or measure a government hub towards population is to take away the freedom because.[00:15:14] Within us as human beings, the need for freedom is so huge. So when we carry out a lots of freedom, we need to do so with the biggest amount of respect, because if we don't, we will release angry, bitter and really dangerous people to the society. And then we transfer the risk from the prison service till the taxpayers, which is really unfair.[00:15:38] Host (David C. Luna): I also read, and that was quite astonishing for me, is that the Norwegian prisons didn't really. Or operated very similar to their American counterparts up until 1998. They were also plagued with violence and drugs 30 years ago before there was a systemwide overhaul. Is that true? Why and what would change then?[00:15:57] Maybe you can elaborate for the listeners how [00:16:00] that development came to be.[00:16:01] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah, at least a contrite, but then maybe I'll have to go further back here. And as Once we used to be Viking, Norwegians, Swedes Danes. We used to rape our way through you're molesting people and everybody feared the Vikings, but then we stopped being Vikings for several reasons.[00:16:17]several hundred GS softer Weaver, apostle the second world war grave, or occupied for five years. A lot of the people who were sent to prison. That time for being part of the resistance or something like that. They later become quite central politicians in Norway, for instance, our prime ministers in the sixties and the seventies, they all had been to prison and concentration camps during the war.[00:16:41] And I think that experience developed something. Would you in them about incarceration policies about crime in general? So when we, in the last part of the seventies had a social democratic governments, we had a quiet at the time. She was considered to be a quite liberal minister of justice and the [00:17:00] government, they wrote a white paper to the parliament regarding our prison system, which at the time stated that within the prison service.[00:17:08] The prison guards no longer should be merely guards. There should be more like correctional officers instead of only guarding the prisoners. This last doctor help them. And the correctional service time, they develop a model called conduct officer bottle, but this was, in the early start of the eighties.[00:17:26] But the white paper wasn't released. Put in right place before several years afterwards. So we had in the eighties, a lot of riots towards the beginning of the nineties that we had two separate locations, two police officers killed. So the situation in our business was really bad. Most of our prisons were quite old, really out to date in a very bad state, also with a big lack of maintenance.[00:17:48] So I think both the governor different kinds of governments at the time in the eighties last bottle, the eighties, beginning of the nineties, The prison staff Academy for the department of justice worked very good in order to change [00:18:00] this the system. So the started to change the prison officer role.[00:18:04] They started focusing much more on rehabilitation. they started to, slowly build you did the prison infrastructure during Norway. It's quite peculiar because Norway is a very long country with a lot of small cities scattered around the coast and every small city has. On prison and probably the smallest one once had 10 to 15 cells.[00:18:26]and those prisons were very little cost efficient, efficient. So they started to close a lot of them and build bigger, but much better institutions. I think probably the biggest trends. Transition happened in the nineties because then really the, this white paper from the last part of the seventies really had a huge impact, even though it was issued some 15 years ago, there was among the prison officers.[00:18:49] I can't have a change of generations, the prison stuff academies, so that a lot more of their applicants to become a prison officer, the numbers Rose, in the last part of the seventies and eighties, [00:19:00] no one wanted to work in the prison in the, In the nineties, they had 3000 applications for, or a 175 waking positions at the prison staff Academy.[00:19:10] And the other employment rates in Norway was also very low. So yeah, it became for some reason, a very popular, occupation. So a lot of the people apply to go to the prison. Staff Academy already had a bachelor's degree, agreed psychology and sociology or criminology or things like that. We saw that the general staff population became more educated.[00:19:31] And I think a key issue to change any prison system is about the prison stuff. education and background, because if we don't change the prison officers and the prison culture, we cannot change the prisoners. That's not really.[00:19:45] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, absolutely. You touched on a point that wasn't. All too obvious for me is, but if I think about us prisons, most of the guards are, I don't like maybe they get to half a year of training.[00:19:55] And that's about it. Find that in stark contrast to how well educated Norway's prison guards are. That's true.[00:20:02] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I think probably, even though I'm not very objective, I would say that normally we probably have the best prison officer audit education in the world. Actually. Now, you will receive a bachelor's degree.[00:20:12] When you're finished at the prison staff Academy. So the quality of the education is quite good. And, they approached the prison officer role from, different kinds of angles. You obviously have self-defense, you will have a communication, you will have psychology, sociology, criminology, and that kind of.[00:20:31] Leads up to the fact that our prison officers are what we call them, that we saved up. They are generalists. They are a little bit of social workers. There's a bit of a guard, a little bit of a therapist there, all that into one prison officer. While in most other countries you will find that the prison officer is more or less a guard.[00:20:50] So we have decided to, Include a lot of other roles into the role of being a personal[00:20:55] Host (David C. Luna): yeah. If you look at prisoners or think about a prison guard, it's more about, he's [00:21:00] just a supervisor, he's there just to look after the inmates so they don't escape. But if I hear your description, it's more about shaping and making an impact because why else would I need all these.[00:21:11] Subjects that I need to study, I assume a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirements to become a correctional officer. Is that[00:21:18] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): yeah. When they are finished at the staff Academy, they have a bachelor's degree because it's now what are more or less two year education? I think that's a development that's been carried out for the last year.[00:21:28] 10 years or so, because we, when we started this transition, we saw that giving people education, the prison staff, giving them more skills would improve the prison or the correctional service even more. And the fact is last, you started to mention this stuff, a lot of in a lot of countries, You will have a course or maybe a couple of weeks where most of them educational we'll be shooting for instance, to work with people, you work with people with a lot of trauma and a lot of problems.[00:21:54] Yeah. You need to be educated in, health, corporate, those issues. So I think education [00:22:00] is, is very important, but also I think personality is, it's about who you are. Yeah. Recruits to become a prison officer, your personality.[00:22:08]Host (David C. Luna): one thing you reminded me of as well as with the police, it's the same in the U S they get about six months training a police Academy.[00:22:15] It's more like a military drill. And that is in stark contrast to, I think you need at minimum two years for , which is like, the entry level police here, you need two to three years training. Obviously it's a different society and I don't want to do America bashing, just highlighting, where country or society could improve.[00:22:33] But that's also in stark contrast, I think to, I believe it was Norway or Denmark where you have five years of training before you even become a police officer.[00:22:42] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. It's it's not normal. I think here are yours. So at the police Academy, you will have a bachelor's degree. So it's three years, but still, I think your point is quite good.[00:22:51] But I think the good thing about America is that they have started to change. They have realized all the problems and challenges they have in their correction [00:23:00] systems and they want to change.[00:23:01] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And America has the possibility on a very local level to vote out the sheriff. If you don't like them. One of the few country that allows that they just need to want the change and push through the reforms.[00:23:14] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): True others. I think for us, Europeans, such as such a thing is quite strange, to vote for our sheriff. Like it's a chief of police more or less. We don't have it up in any country in Europe signup.[00:23:24] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, that reminds me of the story almost 20 years now, I visited a distant relative in the U S and went on a ride along with somebody that was a police officer.[00:23:35] Yeah. And I got to experience first hand how corrupt a police sheriff can be. So we were sitting at dinner and the police sheriff, I was doing some more or less inappropriate things with under aged teenagers. Believe that too. The girls were under 16, obviously it was essential, but still, it was illegal and they were discussing or bragging [00:24:00] about how they pulled over this guy too, for the second or third time.[00:24:04] And now they're going to make him pay. obviously right. Just because you have all these rights and responsibilities as a society, doesn't always mean he goes in the right direction.[00:24:13]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): that is true. And I think in a lot of countries, also Norway, I think politicians, state are doing things.[00:24:20] They are forming opinions in order to get reelected, that does end up, the back spine of any politicians. It's all about, being elected. And I think that in Norway, Probably Germany in America, any politician who are addressing prison policies, crime, they will automatically more or less, try to address this revenge, feeling people, having their guts, to feed that monster because they know that will gather votes in order to be reelected.[00:24:44] And I think, and you've been in Norway, which is considered to be a very liberal country. Yeah. It's pretty hard to grill. They get elected to even to the parliament. If you are very public about that, you are soft on crime or considered to be soft on crime. That won't apply to, this gut feeling of [00:25:00] prevention in people's stomach.[00:25:01] And obviously you also ignore, we will find the brave ones that do that you say that we need to, be liberal also in our present policies, but the big majority of politicians that won't have an ambition to be reelected, they will almost always scream for more police and more stricter punishments.[00:25:18] I think that's in a lot of politicians. Praxbind[00:25:21] Host (David C. Luna): Poplar. So we've talked a lot about the prison systems. Maybe you can, before we can continue to explain to the listeners that haven't been to prison yet. Hopefully describe what a typical Norwegian prison and the whole intake process looks like.[00:25:36]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): in no way, if you do a crime, you are caught by the police. You will be tried in a court. Firstly, you will be at least mightened you to, to be a remand, prisoner, pretrial, or do you go to court? To see if the police are allowed to set you in prison until the court case is closed, they do. So you will go to prison to be a remote prisoner in Norway.[00:25:56]we've mixed both remote prisoners, pretrial inmates, [00:26:00] and convicted inmates. It's not really a big difference in our country. you will go to court, they'll either be acquitted or you will be given a prison sentence in Norway. We have chosen a path that looked at many countries, other countries, sorry.[00:26:13] Don cause when you're in court for him and you will be issued out maybe at two years, and if the prisons are full a hundred percent full, you won't be sent directly to prison. You will be settled with your prison sentence and they will say that you will be given a notice in the mail to present yourself on.[00:26:28] At this and this prison when there's a free cell. So we normally have choose chosen not to overcrowd our presence. Instead we have developed what we call a prison coop so that if the that's you're given the court is it's very severe. A lot of years you will go directly to prison. They will find on them to sell.[00:26:45] Then you will, the first day in prison, you will be registered. You will be shown the older rules and regulations that apply for the prison. And when you are a convicted inmate in Norway, you have an obligation, either divert or go to school. That's [00:27:00] a, you will do from. Eight o'clock in the morning or three o'clock in the afternoon, then it's called free time.[00:27:05] Spare time. Then you might be in, or it might be, outfit socializing rooms to keep our library, a living room, or like that together with other inmates. And then you typically. Will be locked in your cell at eight, 13 evening until the next morning when you're waking up seven, that is more or less, the standard 24 hours in the region.[00:27:26] Host (David C. Luna): Okay. So they don't spray you down with hoses as you see in Hollywood.[00:27:29] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): No, they don't add it on topic. that reminds me of something, which I think is very important when you're talking about prisons and prison policies is that people, they tend to get their knowledge from. How prison works by seeing TV series and films produced in Hollywood that, are a part of building stereotypes, both of who the inmates are.[00:27:49] You build stereotype types about who the prison officers are. I think when you ask the general public, who, what kind of person is the prison officer? Probably they will be portrayed as [00:28:00] a Hollywood figure it like a. corrupt, low educated person. whenever did you see a film and you saw a prison officer portrayed in a very good way, probably, maybe in one film.[00:28:10] And that's the, the remodel with Tom hacks is my favorite and probably that's the only one prison officer that ever has been portrayed as a positive figure in Hollywood. All the others are. portrayed as a corrupt bribe, being a people, which is not the fact in most countries.[00:28:26] Host (David C. Luna): What other misconceptions are there? I assume there's more misconceptions about the prison system and correctional officers.[00:28:33] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. I think, as consultants, as a prison officer or, people have. Quite typical, views of who they are. And I think the same goes for prisoners. People are, sent to prison.[00:28:46] For instance, I have a son he's seven years old and I've taken him to, my present several locations. He's very eager to go there. this is, I have to say a low security prison and whenever he is there, he's having a lot of fun. He's talking to the inmates, they're making him lunch, [00:29:00] joking with them.[00:29:00] And so on. But he never, ever reflects that disguise are criminals or thieves. Like he likes to be. So we'll never relieve the prison for the day. You've lost that very word of the teeth because in his mind, the guys he was interacting with in the prison, they were not tiffs or criminal because they looked like anybody.[00:29:18] And if you ask, I think, any small child age before 10 years old, to, to draw a prisoner, then you will see all that stereotypes can be indirect volts. they will be drawn like a ugly, they will look dangerous. I know. And really, look mean, but I think when you go to any prison in any country, you will see that.[00:29:37]they look like everybody else. They are as good looking, bad looking. Yes. You don't really, and a gallery guy after, and also as a shock to someone maybe also more or less behave, quite normal. And I think when you see media, newspapers, you will see, a lot of disturbance going on in a lot of prisons, it's riots, it's wildland and so on.[00:29:58] And I think that has to do more [00:30:00] with. The conception of prison, the conception of, institutions rather than people in them. Because I think I like to use an example of myself when I was young in the like 1990s normally had a conscript army. So I had to go to the army after I was finished at high school.[00:30:16]and I remember my girlfriend at the time, she was driving me to this army. Camp, outside Oslo that was going in there. It was lovely weather. We were sitting in the car, outside the Gates and she was saying goodbye and so on. She was going to Mississippi, but I didn't look at her at all. I just looked into the army camp and saw all these guys in uniforms with weapons, running back and forth.[00:30:36] And I was so intrigued that I thought, very soon going to be a guy like that. I'm going to be a soldier. And I was thinking, what is it like behind that gate? What is the culture like, what do I need to do in order to be accepted and be one of the crowds? So I went into the army camp and just, within a couple of weeks, I was throwing from being this, normal high school guy.[00:30:59] And [00:31:00] I was transforming myself to the guy who, put a poster of half dude women on my locker was very much into weapon uniforms and, Are must have, and that is about me trying to be a part of the existing culture. No. I was, as humans we want to blend in, I think the same goes for prison.[00:31:17] If you are being sentenced in the court, you sit in the van from the court, go to prison, you see the prison gets open. you had never, ever been to prison before, and I bet the what's on your mind is. You're thinking, what do I need to do to survive in this prison for 10 years? Because as humans, we want to feel safe and we want to fit in.[00:31:37] So yeah, you go to prison and if they go to prison and when in the prison, culture is quite hostile is a lot of violence and expectations of you as a new inmate. Is to be a part of that culture. And if you want to survive, you blend into that culture. And I think that's why a lot of prison culture in a lot of countries are quite bad because you never, ever [00:32:00] changed up.[00:32:00] Culture is always bad. It's very hyper masculine in a male prison. People who normally. Are not, a big danger or very meaningful outside the go into this culture and they're starting to adopt that kind of culture. So I think in a lot of cases, that prisons are transforming people, bull Nick in a negative way, The positive. So I think, for instance, going back to the example with my son, I remember him coming to Boston. Once we had this open day, people were there to visit the prison anyway. But it could come. And I saw him, every inmate knew that this was my son, so he was somebody. So we went to a couple of guys in the kitchen and asked, can you make me a sandwich?[00:32:39] And I said, of course. And he was there beside them. It was four guys. And I stood there and I was watching them. And I thought that, Now, these four guys are making myself a sandwich and they all served long sentences for killing people. But at the same time, I was not afraid of that. And I thought probably now my son is in the safest place.[00:32:57] He will ever be because if someone would [00:33:00] try to do something to my son, he would have about four guys, defending it. And this is about that. Most people in prison are not necessarily, a huge danger to other people, even though they have been a huge danger to some individual. Before they went to prison.[00:33:14] For instance, if you see the crime rates in Norway for Virgil France, you will see that from the seventies, that the rates of murder has declined quite much. it used to be like in general, about one murder a week 52 in a year. I think now we are between 25 and 30. So we don't have a lot of killings murders in Norway.[00:33:34] And if you look into these cases, you will see that most of these people convicted for murdering it's not premeditated murder. So the murder was never planned. It happened. You'll see the majority of those killings were committed in drugs, alcohol highest at a rage or psychiatry. So there is. You don't think that occurred, that put people in a situation where they, for instance, murdered someone, but people tend to think [00:34:00] that people in prison, especially killers, murders are like cannibal nectars.[00:34:04] And in my 25 years in the Norwegian prison service, I had really met many people like him. I meet more or less normal people that past being in a situation where they, for instance, Kill someone. Most of them, they regrets like health to say so, but they cannot undo the crime, but they were drunk. They were drunk or had some kind of a psychiatric issue there on that.[00:34:26]I think that has to be taken into consideration when we think of prisoners that the general prison population is not like Hannibal Lecter. They are normal people more or less than I'm done. normal stuff.[00:34:39] Host (David C. Luna): And I think you raised a very important issue is art imitates life and life imitates art.[00:34:45] And the only way to break that cycle, because you also mentioned that essentially violence breeds violence. If I get into a very masculine, violent culture, it's very likely that I'll pick up those skills in quotes and not [00:35:00] be a better human being. And the only way to break the cycle is to lead by example and saying, we need to.[00:35:05] Lead by example, like Norway is doing and opening up, making it more transparent, like taking your kids to prison and saying, look, these aren't the rapist in the movies. They made a huge mistake and now they're paying for it.[00:35:17] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Exactly. And I think also the fact that, we need to tell the general public that, prison that can happen to anyone.[00:35:22] And also I use some example of prisons. If you have a son is going to college or university, he's in a bar, he meets this other guy. Which is, really wasted, drunk is aggressive. and suddenly your son are being hit. He's defending himself and he hits this guy on the job. He falls backward and it hits his suddenly dies.[00:35:41] And suddenly your son has killed someone and he will be going to prison. And if you ask him. the father and what kind of presence do you think we should give yourself in order? that he could come out on the other side of the prison sentence and be, still a good person.[00:35:55] And I've never, ever met anyone who says that, put him behind bars, lock him up, but [00:36:00] trouble medic. And I think people need to know about everybody in prison is someone's son, someone's father someone's mother. So we need to stop, humanizing the people that we put in prison because they are human beings.[00:36:13] Host (David C. Luna): You remind me of a, actually a prominent example here in Berlin. That just happened not too long ago. Where in a 50 zone, there was a SUV and the driver. Killed, I think three or four people, two kids I believe, or something like that. And apparently, that's the story where they looked at the evidence as he had some type of epilepsy and accidentally stepped on the gas and then, killed quite a few people, that can happen by accident.[00:36:37] It's very tragic and I'm sure he didn't do it on purpose. And I think maybe that's a big misconception, is they okay. Everybody that killed someone did it on purpose and now they need to be punished to the fullest extent.[00:36:48] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): True. I don't think you, Nan is decided to, you will have a lot of that. Those examples.[00:36:52] And I think challenge for any societies to, think of these people that do bad things, they are still human. And if we think [00:37:00] of them are still human, I think we also would start to think otherwise when it comes to punishment, because obviously any society needs to have a functional court system, prison system or neat, and this is why they need to be regular, also by, the sorts of policies, but we need to make that kind of punishment.[00:37:17] Something that is useful for the whole society. And actually we can take the child's while people already present to work with them. So that bad thing doesn't happen again to other people.[00:37:26] Host (David C. Luna): Okay. So let me challenge you. Maybe there's some listeners out there and said, okay, I'm bored treating people or inmates like humans, and that we should be fair to them and take away their freedom.[00:37:36] Why don't we just lock them up? Like the U S does for say, if they committed three murders for 180 years or three life sentences, why not higher? I don't know. What is the maximum sentence in our way,[00:37:48] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): 20 years of life,[00:37:49] Host (David C. Luna): 21 years. Why am I not 60? for somebody that killed 20 people?[00:37:53] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. it's a good question.[00:37:55] Because for instance, for the relatives of the murder victims, when it, when will it [00:38:00] be enough punishment? Probably never. And that's understandable if that happened to, someone I love, I will feel the same, but I think at some point, any civilized States and the civilized government should take those.[00:38:13] Two steps back and think we need to have a system that, people think of as fear we need to have a system that is from governmental point of view seems fair. And if you put, for instance, people in give them like 160 years of prison, obviously it's a difficult diet long before you're released.[00:38:31] First of all, I think, the cost. Of economical cost of putting people to prison. It will be, sky high also, I think, I believe in, giving people chances and obviously for really severe crime, murders and vers, the threshold for that church should be higher. that's natural, but I think for instance, in Norway with, the highest sentence you will get estimated one years.[00:38:56] I think if you take two steps back and think 21 [00:39:00] years back in your own life, that will, for most people seem like a really long time. And if someone should tell me your youth, now you're going to a prison for 21 years, 21 years. That's so long time. But when you start to measure it, for instance to America, 160 years or all the constants, like 50 years, it seems not as much, but I am quite convinced that for the individual going to prison 21 years really feels like,[00:39:26] Host (David C. Luna): yeah.[00:39:26] If I had imagined being locked up for 20 to 30 years and I get out and. Don't know what a smartphone is, how to use it and what Netflix is. And similar to the movie demolition man was selected Sylvester Stallone, where they get put on ice and then wake up in the future and they don't know how to use anything.[00:39:43] It's just completely everything's new. That's pretty cruel or a cruel punishment.[00:39:48] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. We actually had that discussion yesterday, in the director Turner, because presence in a way, if you have served 10 years in the prison and the day you went to prison, you probably had your mobile phone on you.[00:40:01] [00:40:00] Exactly. That's my point. So when you're released after 10 years, and you will go and find your mobile phone and you will see a phone that you it's no longer. Usable. You're not used to, for instance, when you are communicating with the government, the state welfare office or something, not that people do that by computers.[00:40:19] Now people do that by the internet, but internet communication with the government, governmental agencies has changed so much just in 10 years. It's go so fast. So we are now even in our country, in the danger of releasing people from prison. Or actually technological dinosaur. So we, I think we need to change that[00:40:38] Host (David C. Luna): just if I go into myself and I would put myself in their situation, that would cause lots of frustration and would actually make it harder for me to reintegrate.[00:40:46] If I'm, if I know nothing, I'm like, I feel so stupid. I don't know how to use a telephone. I don't know how to use this and that. And nobody's helping me. And that would, I think, would make reintegration even harder. And assuming that lead to another crime, just because I'm just so fed up it's at some point.[00:41:00] [00:41:00] Yeah.[00:41:00] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): That's a, I agree with you. Just now, for instance, if you have a bank account, you can use all this, to transfer money electronically. But yeah, the last time you were in the back was like 10 years ago, you were used to probably go with fiscally into the bank to get them on the order ATM machine.[00:41:17] But now it's even several places where you cannot use cash anymore. being a technical, the logical Dean or the dinosaur, it's a, it's quite a dangerous also because. The only more or less one of the few places left where cash is usable is someone, criminal and marmots.[00:41:34]Host (David C. Luna): that actually would lead me to following question, which would be shouldn't.[00:41:38] We then lower the prison sentence because time taken away in our current environment, cause it moves much faster. Much more of a punishment than say in the seventies to the eighties, not much has changed relatively speaking to 10 years from, I don't know, 2010 to 2020. Yeah.[00:41:57] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): It's a good question. I haven't really given [00:42:00] that much thought.[00:42:02] Haven't maybe that's the point at first? You say the transition in any society goes much faster than just on the other hand,[00:42:09] Host (David C. Luna): the technology. Yeah.[00:42:10] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): But on the other hand also, the life expectancy in age is also going up. So I think maybe that, at softer zero, I don't know, but I think probably that is a big challenge or any government, to find the right balance of prison sentences, the length of prison sentences of, on one hand, it should be focused.[00:42:29] The, it should be humane. It should be not so many years so that, it would ruin the government on the other hand, Should be an off. So it feels fear to the victims of crime. So we need to be balanced. That's tricky.[00:42:43] Host (David C. Luna): So maybe you can, because we touched on a lot of, on the Norwegian prison and the U S maybe you can explain how the Europeans prison are similar, how they differ.[00:42:52] To the ones in Norway and just give us like the key differences maybe between just the Nordic countries and how they differ.[00:42:59]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I think [00:43:00] within the Norwegian countries, I think we have learned a lot from each other. I remember when I was at a prison staff Academy in the middle of the nineties, we learn a lot from, the Swedish level.[00:43:10] So we steal, from, from Sweden. We steal from Denmark, they steal from Austin. I think that's quite good. so I think our tree system it's. It's three different systems or have more similarities that we have differences, which I think is good. Going further out in Europe. I think you will see more differences.[00:43:29] I think probably the biggest difference is probably the role of the prison, the way they do the job, the way they treat the inmates, which is obviously based on, the culture in the system. And I think probably in the Nordic countries, I think the thought of that prison sentence should be, more than just loss of freedom.[00:43:49] We should be more about rehabilitation resettling into the society than just a loss of freedom itself. It's more a Nordic thought than what you will find for drought in Europe. But the peculiar thing is that a lot of these prison buildings, they look exactly the same. So I think it's not so much about, press the sign.[00:44:09] It's more about how you decide that human capital.[00:44:13] Host (David C. Luna): Since 2013, there are officially tours organized by the prison law office and Vera Institute of justice, which I haven't heard of before. Where officials from at least a dozen U S States have toured prisons in Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. You participated in these tours.[00:44:30] And if so, what were your impressions? What were the topics that were plaguing these participants, especially from the U S the most. And do you have some like memorable moments that you can or want to share?[00:44:41] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. I've been involved in those tours. My first year, as the governor at Busta Island, those tourists know are organized by an organization called Amanda.[00:44:51]Rich's has no religion from the university of California in San Fran. They also used to work closely with the prison law office. And, but now they have changed ways. They still work [00:45:00] closely, but they're not organized together anymore. nevertheless, they have a brought American politicians, prison managers.[00:45:07] Police officers, union representatives from different kinds of States in America to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and the Netherlands. In order to try to give them you angles, prison policies, different kind of tools they might use in the various prisons in America. And. Has been quite interesting to be a part of a ment at their work.[00:45:31] And now I've just two weeks ago, I believe from my job at Busta prison to oversee the brick. Would you be Dement, from the director, here in Norway, which is quite a quite interesting challenge. they're, they've started off with quite small States in America. I think. Probably the first States were Alaska Hawaii, North Dakota, Oregon, and so on.[00:45:55] And I remember that because I also worked quite closely with developing the [00:46:00] corrections in both Romania and the Czech Republic. But when I first met this, American colleagues, I was struck of hope. Oh on the Stover, how open their verb? What did the scribe for the really need for change in the American prison system?[00:46:14] Pretty desperate, at least some of them, because what we were being told us in the region is that in America, probably the one thing that both the Republicans and the Democrats could agree on is that some, something needs to be done about the American correctional system, because they had two and a half million.[00:46:32]incarcerated people. They have, obviously a lot of different prisons and they spend, billions of dollars every year to lock people up and they say, does it work? because I have a lot of whiners in these prisons, a lot of disturbances. So they really felt the need for change.[00:46:48]some of the people that bought, brought to Norway, was quite skeptical before that they went there. I haven't thought What could the Norwich learn us? There's nothing wrong with our system, but that they, I was allowed to, walk around [00:47:00] prisons in Norway. And I think some of them were quite shocked on what they saw.[00:47:03] Really the big majority was quite positive. The shop, about, what is it. Possible to do in the prisons. And actually I think what's struck the most was the kind of relations that prison officer had with the prisoners, the good culture, the good climate, that was in our prison. That was, I think, quite shocking to them, especially when they were come out to my prison, Busta Island, they were even more shocked up, because for them, it seemed like a nice Island within, with nice buildings.[00:47:28] So they saw all these people, working with the community on the Island. And they were not really able to tell who were inmates and who were stuff, because everybody was so friendly to them. Remember this guy from one of the States in America, he was a union representative and we were going into the agriculture to department, at pasta.[00:47:49] We were stopping there to talk with inmates and, it was a big group of Americans, about 30 of them. And it was this guy who came over to the Americans. He spoke English fluently. And it was [00:48:00] talking to this, a union representative and they, this American guy, he asked him, have you ever been to an American prison?[00:48:06] He said, no, I have not, but I've, I'm from Holland, but I've spent 15 years in the Mexican president. This, started to have a very nice, chat for about 10 minutes. We had to move to another building. So when I say, okay, we need to go this Dutch guy here. He said to this American union, it doesn't.[00:48:24] Okay. Thank you for the talk and, Part of them on the backend, all the rest of the group, they looked at this and they were completely silent because these were shocking to them. They were awaiting this union representatives reaction to the Pat on the back and he stood there and he was thinking for four seconds.[00:48:40] Then he went over to the dispatch guy and shook his hand and said, thank you for the conversation. All these other guys stole the Americans in the group. Wow. Know, asking them later. why the wall what's happened there? And they said, this guy has worked it like, 25 years in as a prison officer and a union representative.[00:48:57] And he has never, ever shoot an inmate sound [00:49:00] ever. So this was the first time that they actually saw that. So I've seen a lot of incidents like that, where the people coming are so surprised on what they see in our prisons, the relationship the prisoners have with the staff that they're. satisfied the low number of violence and also the way we.[00:49:18]we're high security prisons deal with potential violent incident. I think because also it's also taken them by surprise. Now, when we are very organized in our work with Amanda, the different kinds of States that we see that what the American wants more of is, they will warden knowledge about.[00:49:36] It's what we call dynamic security. They will want more knowledge on how we communicate a deal, what inmates, and they also want more information about our contact officer's scheme. So that goes for a lot of States, is the States like North Dakota, Oregon has really changed much in their system in a impressively short while.[00:49:57] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, one example I'm going to post in the show. [00:50:00] Notes is a short documentary about it's 30 minutes called the Northern Nordic prison. We're a hardcore retired governor of a maximum security prison from the New York state, the U S visits, Nordic prisons. And yeah, they're India's to Swedish maximum prison system.[00:50:17] And he walks around and all he sees is threats or their knives and cayenne pepper wouldn't be allowed in our kitchen. So they go into this open. Area this communal area. And one of the prisoners doesn't want to be filmed. So he covers his face and the American a retired governor says, that wouldn't be allowed and we would punish him.[00:50:35] So if he likes taking long morning walks, we would take that away from him, like for at least a week. And the Swedish guard, she remarks. that's very, that's a very old way of thinking. That's like the child rearing in terms of punishing your child. What I found really sad is that retired prison governor, he didn't see the effectiveness of the whole system.[00:50:56] And that's what I also tell my clients when they get feedback for their idea [00:51:00] from users and customers is you might not like the feedback, but at least acknowledge that it might be much more effective, even if you don't like it. So he didn't really take any useful things back with him, which I found really sad.[00:51:13]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I think that has to do with the, with culture. if you're working in a culture which operates in a certain way for decades, you're a part of a system operated that way in your whole career. And then you go and your probably without much explanation, you are put on camera and showed something completely else.[00:51:34] I think it's quite, yeah. Easy to it. It'll be taken by surprise because I, in my expense , the huge majority of the Americans. That amend has brought to Norway are very positively surprised and that the ideas in an instant, and if it could be quite small things, but small things, a small, positive things in a huge system, how big impact it could be.[00:51:57] Something like that. For instance, we had this visit from [00:52:00] going in prison that was quite pressed up on Buster Island. We had a kind of a local democracy where. Inmates selected to a consult with staff members to tell people, and they were allowed to have discuss, and decide upon some matters in the prison.[00:52:15] And they liked the ideas. They went back to their person and establish something like that, which for this prisoner was a big, Revolution. And I think that's a good thing about working with Americans is that they are, so when they are in this change mode, a change goes quite fast because they are not that much bureaucracy when they're going into something, they do it, sober.[00:52:36] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. They tend to be more pragmatic or Germans say, okay, we need to analyze this for 200 years and then we'll have the perfect system versus if I deal with it. American client that's more. Okay, let's do this. What do we need? Who do we need to empower to get this thing rolling? And then we'll just try it and maybe they'll fail and then you'll have the German mentality of, Oh no, we, we can't fail.[00:52:56] That'll haunt us for our life. And how So you mentioned, [00:53:00] passed away Island, and if the listeners are not familiar with it, they might be read things like, Oh, they have heated floors, sauna, tennis courts, horseback riding, five-star cooking classes. And they're like, You're kidding.[00:53:10]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): so what are some of it is we don't have a horseback rider ride, the horses, they worked on the fields we used to for transportation with the wagons and carriages.[00:53:20] And the housing is quite simple of reached the standard. Yes. We have heated floors, especially in the bathrooms because our climates really tells us that is a very good solution because it's, in this Island it can be like minus 20 degrees in the store. So it's not. Think really luxury about it.[00:53:36] The Island is steroids pretty. It's nice when it's sunshine in the summer. And that's when the media comes to data when they are allowed to come. But what we really should do is come to the Island in January. what is minus 20 degrees,[00:53:50] Host (David C. Luna): the time that's uncomfortable.[00:53:52]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I know. So does it feel for the inmates as well?[00:53:55] And even though in the summer when it's nice, you can also end the inmates there. And Austin, do you feel that you have, you lost your freedom on the solid and they will say yes, because they cannot leave the Island. They cannot have visits from the law once when they want to the freedom they have ms.[00:54:10] Quite limited. To the Island. And there's a cure for you that starts up with two 30 as[00:54:15] Host (David C. Luna): well. And then he may go this Island,[00:54:18] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): they have to apply. The normal thing is that they applied to go there from post degree with the prison. When it's getting near the end of the, the center. It could be like anything from six months to five years.[00:54:29] So it really depends on. and so on. So now I have to apply to go there.[00:54:34] Host (David C. Luna): And what led to this very, fairly open and special prison on pasta[00:54:39] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Island? I think that the history of dollar is actually quite bad. It used to be a reformatory for Boyce until the 1980s. Then it was converted to a prison because as I explained earlier on, we had this system with not our crowding or prison, but instead we had.[00:54:55] People in the prison queue waiting to go into the seventies and eighties, this [00:55:00] cure was very big, so they needed new prisons. So what did they, it was start, they had this Island that was at the time empty because they have closed well, the reformatory for young boy. So they converted this institutional audit into a prison.[00:55:11] The beginning, it was a. Apartment underneath Oslo prison, but after some years it was established as an open prison, and, independent prison of the lift, the ministry of justice. But the thing is, was that the number of staff on this Island was quite low and they started to do receive, inmates with a lot of long sentences, even though they still came there, on the last part of the sentence.[00:55:32]but the problem is. The number of stuff. so this was started thinking, how can we, make use of the inmates in a more cost efficient way because we don't have the staff now. So they decided to too, yeah. Convert the prison, from just being a prison on an Island. To be more of a prison Island where you have to say prison village, prison, community that actually make use of all the Island with a company culture department.[00:55:59] And the functions that you will actually find in a normal village with a shop by cafeteria and so on. So now it's more or less. A prison village, which are run by both staff and inmates together, that's more or less a result of the lack of prison officers.[00:56:17] Host (David C. Luna): And how many escapes have there been? Probably some of the listeners will be wondering.[00:56:21] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. Good question. I think we see that statistically, you will have one escape maybe for every fifth year or something, but what's. Important to remember is that this is a low security prison. All the inmates who are there are being, risk assessed that if they should escape, they are no longer considered to be a threat to the society or an individual anymore.[00:56:43] So if they managed to escape the Island, which is quite hard because you draft a Steeler boat or swim, you are. The wanted list by the police. It will be a band for several days. So escapes, there is not that normal. It doesn't happen a lot. Then I think for the majority of the [00:57:00] inmates, they want to be there.[00:57:01] And just finish off the set while getting you, knowledge and competence.[00:57:05] Host (David C. Luna): Now we don't want to leave the listener in the impression that every prison it's like pastorial Island. So if they look up a maximum security prison in Norway, like Hudson breed, things like it's a posh, luxurious particular hotel where inmates have their own flat screen TV.[00:57:23] Maybe you can. Dispel some of those myths or in general, do you agree with that sentence?[00:57:29] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): No. One, first of all, I think, it's a huge difference from Holden prison, which is one of our newest prisons to the majority of the regional high security prisons. one of the big myths. it's, the boutique hotels, the nice furniture.[00:57:43] And I think going to those prisons, the thing is the furniture is completely normal. I think in Norway it will be considered to be a kind of, a Penta standard. but it's new and it's even though we are a prison, we don't. Buy ugly broken furniture because it's in Mexico Newsome. We [00:58:00] buy view.[00:58:01] Okay. Usable furniture. And if it looks nice is good. it's sad. But I think the big thing for us is that the furniture is useful. And I think it's also very. Good to have, for instance, art on the wall, normal art that you could buy in any big furniture store. We don't have monk paintings in the prisons if we thought that, but, it's normal things we put into the prison and the reason for doing so is that one of our leading principal for the correctional services.[00:58:29]pick on the principle of normality and that principle States that the everyday life in prison would be as close to the normal love life on the outside as possible. And in the sentence, the only thing the prisoners are the braid from is freedom. They're not depressed from having normal furniture.[00:58:48] Donald in the sentence says something saying that they're not allowed to do play football in their spare time and so on. So we need to look, try to reach, create. The everyday life, even in our high security [00:59:00] prisons, as close to the everyday life on the outset as we can, because that is in the best interest of the general, but[00:59:07] Host (David C. Luna): that doesn't sound like a click baity title, or I can have lots of clicks[00:59:12] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): and that's a problem could be coming to corrections in any country.[00:59:15]Because I think as I started seeing both media, politicians, they, in order to get, have clickbaits have votes, they address what people find like spectacular, or can build off, around their gut feelings. So if you have a journalist that can either say here, we have a good developed functioning, modern prison with, well-functioning inmates.[00:59:38]and on the other side, you will have a. A headline saying, our prison system is failing. The inmates are reversed. Never. it's. So why not everybody would click on this last doctor? Every politician will use that article rather than the first one.[00:59:52] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, absolutely. It's in every industry and it's just unfortunate.[00:59:55] Yeah.[00:59:56]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): but I have to add, because that being said, I think the nutritional [01:00:00] correctional service, I think we have a quite good relationship too, over media. I think over the last five years or so, I think all. Oh, we're tabloid media from a, from the left and the right I've had in the editorials, support for the prison service and the way we are doing business.[01:00:17]and I think that's a very good thing to have, that we actually feel that we have in our bank if something should occur. And I think that has to do with. our other core values, which are openness. And I think that's also why I'm sitting here talking to you today because I could easily say no, it's Friday.[01:00:32] I want to go home. But I think it's in our correctional service, best interest it's in the public's best interest that we try to explain what we're doing and why we're doing it. I think that's really important to try to build down this, stereotypes, ideas of what prisons and prisoners are like.[01:00:50] But I, I think also that, it's a want to change because I remember from the eighties and the nineties, a lot of me that was quite negative to still vision correctional service. And [01:01:00] that's before we had this very open media policy where our director or general director set up, no, we need to be open to us to be there.[01:01:08] People need to know what prison is like. And if that means that when a journalist calls me, I would. I prefer to say, yes. Okay. You can come in, we can have a meeting, rather than say, no, you're not allowed here because then I will ask the prison, governor, help building those myths. I will help.[01:01:26] I will stop the taxpayer for see what they actually are paying tax for. And I think we need to be so transparent. We need to show. The taxpayers that, this is our prison system. this is how it works. We're doing it for you, we doing it. So you can feel safe when you are in your home or walking in the streets.[01:01:44] That's this is a story that we need to tell time and time again. I think it's so important. And I think it's so bad that a lot of prison systems really are quite skeptical, too. dealing with media, dealing with journalists. because it's only, we only punish ourselves [01:02:00] by doing so.[01:02:00] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. That's one of the most innovative things that I see in your prison system is just being so open, being so transparent, engaging in the discussion too.[01:02:09]Hey, look, we're leading by example, take a look, come in and experience the whole presence system.[01:02:15] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah, I think, yeah, I think that's quite useful. So I would recommend any prison system, To do, to challenge the prison system, the country, too, in a lot of countries, they will see that probably you will find more positive things than you thought you will discover because I've been in a lot of prison system around the, both in the us and in Europe.[01:02:37] And I see in a lot of countries that you have a lot of positive things also going on, that should be told.[01:02:43] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah, absolutely. So most people would be probably the quick to assume that it would be quite easy to implement such changes in the U S and you've mentioned that they are open for change and are bringing some of these changes to the U S but, as evidence that more, a humane correctional system that focuses on rehabilitation, reintegration is much more effective.[01:03:03] But what I wasn't aware of. Or at least not to that extent was the fact that Norway in Germany have really managed to insulate their prison officials from political pressures. And that seems to be a real concern for the U S counterparts where correctional leaders don't always stick around very long in the U S with the risk of the predecessor, then undoing all the.[01:03:24] Good progress. So some us prison officials would say, yeah, that wouldn't work in the U S because the population in Norway is much smaller. They don't have the drug problem. It go. So do you think there's something special about Norwegian people, their culture, their socialization that makes them. More susceptible to rehabilitation.[01:03:43] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Absolutely not. When I see our prisoners, I think it's not that much stuff, separates for instance of a and drug addict or an American locally. It's the same. They have the same problems. They have the same issues. as we have a saying in Norway, a person is a person or a human as a human. [01:04:00] your passport doesn't change the fact, that fact.[01:04:03]and I've, I've had my time, they have their own Buster prisons. and we had a lot of visitors from prisons, a lot of countries in Europe. Yeah. I always entered those spaces. I sit by, asking the visitors, could it be a bus in your country? it was a lot of excuses on why, and they all said, this is.[01:04:21] Beautiful. I know the idea, but it's not possible in my country and discusses various from the politicians. Won't like it media won't like it. We have Ireland in my country that was actually said by the minister of justice, from the Czech Republic. But what he actually did was he was the deputy minister of justice.[01:04:39] He went back to his ministry of just Prague and said, Hey, I want the bus day in the Czech Republic. And now they have a boss to be the Czech Republic, actually adopted more of the, the thinking. And just last year they opened their first low security business based on the also foster.[01:04:54] So it's possible, and also had meeting with the minister of justice, of another European countries [01:05:00] from. A little of the Eastern European countries. And he said, no, you should just see our inmates. They're so wild and crazy, so it can be possible. They will kill each other. And I said, that's strange because you're just hearing this person.[01:05:11] I've thought of the Contravent and they blend in and behave exactly the same as our native movies and prisoners. So it's more about, as I said, the culture you put in and are having in the culture rather than the person they are, more or less victims to the culture. if you start treating the prisoners differently, there also the culture will change, very confident.[01:05:33] So I think it's a lot of excuses, but I think in the end, it all ends up to the fact that the human being is a human being and we tend to behave exactly the same. Regardless of the passport.[01:05:46] Host (David C. Luna): So do you think, and if we took touch on the gender issue, that crime is a male thing and are men more likely to be criminal than women?[01:05:55] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): At least the statistics sense of, I think that the ratio of incarcerated vending [01:06:00] in Norway is quite much higher than the female one. so yeah, I think that's awesome. I don't know whether we are more criminal, but at least we are courts that much more. So maybe they're just more stupid. I don't know.[01:06:11] The thing is that the prison popular female prison population in Norway are quite small. luckily I think the female prisoners don't have that much possibilities in our prisons.[01:06:20]Host (David C. Luna): I read a study at least for the U S that applies like 93% are men and 7% are women, but the studies indicate actually that men aren't necessarily more criminal by design, but that there indeed there's an institutional bias against men.[01:06:33] And it's a well known fact, as well as that they're regularly given more or longer prison sentences and women are. Significantly likelier to avoid the harsh sentences and are also like quite, I think, twice as likely to avoid incarceration.[01:06:46] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. That might be true. I've read that too. And I think.[01:06:50] From my experience, it seems like that's that might be the fact.[01:06:53]Host (David C. Luna): and what do you think the Norwegian correctional system needs improvement? I'm sure there's not. Everything is perfect. Nothing's perfect. where [01:07:00] is it lacking?[01:07:01] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Obviously? You're right. You're not, absolutely not perfect. I'm really very much in favor of, conducting our business in our record for service, but.[01:07:09] It has some flaws. Really? One of the biggest issues here right now is our use of solitary confinement. we used that to way too much, and we had an inspection by the, ombudsman for the parliament last year and he delivered a quite critical report toward parliament. So just last week we had a open hearing in the parliament about the regional use of.[01:07:31] Solitary confinement and that should stop. So that's part of our criminal, sorry, correction system. I'm not very proud of for sure. And also I think over the last, seven years or so we have been cut so much in funding. so it novel seems, on the border to be quite critical in some prisons, there are so many awakened positions, so much lack of stuff because of budget cuts.[01:07:57] So that needs also to change. otherwise, it will [01:08:00] start to affect our rehabilitation programs. For instance, both the funding and the solitary confinement is quite bad.[01:08:07] Host (David C. Luna): The Norwegian president has solitary confinement.[01:08:10] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): It's not used as a punishment. it's actually. Because some of our especially old prisons are constructed in the way that they have, for instance, very small, mingling areas for inmates. yeah, the number of staff is quite low. so the inmates don't tend to get that much after their selves as they should. So we don't use solitary confinement as an extra punishment that often happens that much that's in various special cases. And then the solar to confirm it is also very low. We've used it as a punishment.[01:08:41] Host (David C. Luna): To me, it sounds like a Tom for Norwegian prime minister. If you want Tom to become Norway's next prime minister, please email Erin also deck urging her to take Tom on as a candidate.[01:08:53]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I'm finished with politics[01:08:55] Host (David C. Luna): now. Hope I don't get you in trouble.[01:08:56] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): No, thanks for that.[01:08:59] Yeah. I think you had a [01:09:00] quite interesting statement here. You're saying the philosophy of Germans prison system is one that can be some luck by the punishment should be. Time served and not inflict pain or be punitive. And I think that, is there an instinct because we say the same thing here.[01:09:15] And I think a lot of other countries also are saying the same thing in their legislation about they don't follow up on that because they inflict more pain and are more punitive because of, the way they are treating the prisoners, which is probably has to do with culture tradition and so on[01:09:31] Host (David C. Luna): most would argue what about the victims?[01:09:34] So if a crime has already occurred, One, obviously can't change that, but we, what we can change, what I understood from you and from the philosophy of the norm and correctional services, is that I can change the inmates to prevent more victims in the future. But the question now becomes should that apply to the most extreme.[01:09:53] Cases as well. And I just want to read a really short excerpt of the Reuters article from 2015, [01:10:00] that is titled mass killer Breivik to study at the Oslo university from jail. So Andrea's Roderick was a terrorist who killed 75 people on the Island of Toya. And the justification for him studying at the university of Oslo was given he meets the admission requirements.[01:10:15] We stick to our rules and he will be admitted as yeah. Diversity, rector only Peter Otterson right. You're saying prisoners are eligible to study as long as they're active, then the grades are good enough. So under the terms of his sentence, perfect. Is hold him solitary confinement and we'll be unable. To attend lectures and seminar to be fair.[01:10:34] Do you agree generally agree with that sentiment or should that philosophy apply to the most extreme cases?[01:10:41] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah, I think so. In general, I want to comment on private, as an individual,[01:10:45] Host (David C. Luna): it is very controversial. Yeah.[01:10:47] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. but I think what I'm proud of the. It's mass killings at UTA. And, I think government can do our court system.[01:10:55]and also later our prison system has actually treated him as [01:11:00] any other criminal. What you did was the worst that probably has ever happened in Norway. in modern times, I'm very happy that he was, caught in prison for a long period of time. But I'm also very proud that, we treat him like any other inmates, because that's about the called likeness for the law.[01:11:19] He's. They've been given a sentence, a long sentence in our courts. and secured beyond bars. so we have, we are taking them away from the streets. He's no longer a threat to anyone he's serving his time, but he should have in principle the same rights as any. And the other human being, because that's what our loss tells us.[01:11:38] And we cannot go beyond our loss or outside our loss system, treat him badly just because it's him. I think one of the people in our service that I really admire the most is the retired directors of our prison stuff. Academy guy called huddle fiscally. He was in the governmental building when [01:12:00] Brevig bumped up building, he was quite badly injured and lost.[01:12:03] Most of the sites has been in and out of hospitals ever since. And obviously, he hates this guy and we're mostly because what didn't deprive them of a lot of good years with good health. Yeah. So I understand that the hatred, yeah. What he says also in addition is very interesting and really makes me really proud of our service and him.[01:12:24] He said, what he's really proud of is that the prison officers educated. At the time of being a director of the prison staff Academy, it's treating him with the exact same respect as he taught them when they were students at the Academy. And I think that's shows what I've been trying to explain earlier on that we need to have as humans.[01:12:47] It's quite natural to have. Did humans at the need for revenge to feel the hatred, the bitterness, when something wrong has been done to ourselves or our loved ones, but punishment, a governmental issue, punishment should be about principles and a humanistic approach rather than being led by feelings. So I think that these two, expressions from him quite describes kind of our correctional service in a very good way.[01:13:14] Host (David C. Luna): The most astonishing thing I think is that Norway hasn't wavered that they, despite maybe public pressure. And I can assume that was very big is that they did not waiver. And what I always tried to explain to people with human rights, unalienable, that means no matter what somebody does, you still have human rights.[01:13:31] It's a dilemma. Sure. He took 77 people, but in the moment where we say, okay, this these human rights or these laws don't apply to him, that becomes a slippery slope. And having the guts as Norway to say, Nope, We're still gonna treat them with dignity, and respect and treat them like a human being because we believe in the values that our society has.[01:13:51] I think that in itself is, it speaks for itself.[01:13:54] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Yeah. I think that's actually what makes me so proud both that we have a judicial system that [01:14:00] actually allows us to send him to prison technically or theoretically for the rest of his life. But you still will treat him with the same respect, like retreat. And the other inmate. And I think that makes me quite pride proud of the system I'm a part of.[01:14:14] Host (David C. Luna): the most striking comment that I read was from, I don't know where it was, but it was from rung Kristofferson as an anthropologist, who teachers at their correctional service of Norway staff Academy. If you treat people badly, it's a reflection on yourself.[01:14:28] And that really, that if you let that sink in that's, there's also famous quotes. It's usually attributed to a Dostoevsky, the degree of civilization. And as a society can be judged. By entering its presence, but his quote Christensen, it's a reflection on yourself. That's I think very powerful in itself.[01:14:46] So my question would be to me, there's this whole episode is Very obvious. It's no shit Sherlock. If you treat inmates like animals, do you expect well behaved citizens? it's not rocket science, so what, why do you think not more countries are following Norway's?[01:15:03]Guest (Tom Eberhardt): I very much agree with.[01:15:04] What you were saying. And I think that has to do, with the way politicians. So media, are addressing this monster in our stomach that, screams for events because that's very, it's very easy to do. if you're in a bar you are discussing prison policies, criminal law or whatever, and you say, That you don't want to freak, EMS with respect to the need, the education.[01:15:27]we cannot put people to prison for life. We need to release them. So they are better when they are released when they came in and so on. you don't get very popular in dust discussions. Okay. Cause that's not, what is around the, any prison system? Yeah. Any correctional system is a lot of myths because we are so close to her.[01:15:44] So little transparent. so we are going to have helped build those myths ourselves and that kind of reflecting also the discussion about crime and punishment. I think true artistry. You have had a lot of, yeah. a big leaders good and bad that I said, really brilliant things about crime and punishment, but that was said like two, 300.[01:16:07] Years ago, Russia had this big, sorry, Peter, the great.[01:16:12] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah,[01:16:12] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): he had this, the quote that was saying that prison is a horrible damn piece of work. And for this bad piece of work, you need motivated, brave and good prison officers, and that will set 150 years ago. Yeah. As conservative people like Winston Churchill that I said, really brilliant things about prison service lost, but at least, the last big speech was given by a politician about prison.[01:16:36] Prison service was David Cameron in his speech to the parliament about the state of the prison service, in England. I think it's like. Just before he resigned and the speech was brilliant. It was so many good points, but going from, those big words to action, that seems, as a big black sheet to cover, because the ideas are there.[01:16:54] The quotes are there about still to put it into action. Seems,[01:16:59] Host (David C. Luna): Yeah. And that's actually [01:17:00] a nice segue to sum this up. And I think a lot of listeners might read the title and say, okay, what does this have to do with innovation? And an innovation can sometimes mean rediscovering old things, old values and implementing them in a new or even old way.[01:17:15] In a society that has just made a detour. And I think Norway especially has shown and proven that with a brick that they talk the talk and walk the walk that's commendable,[01:17:26] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): very coming. I feel so too. And I think that's, as I said several times, so I feel quite proud to be a part of such a system. and as you mentioned earlier, prison policies.[01:17:35] Isn't, being a rocket science, it's quite easy. We have a lot of research. We have all of the knowledge of what works and knots. We know at least what doesn't work because you have been doing it for since the middle ages. And that is, putting people behind bars for an unlimited period of time and treating them badly.[01:17:53] That's the first thing we can do. And everybody knows that. Keep it up.[01:17:57] Host (David C. Luna): So if listeners say I really liked Tom, I really liked the [01:18:00] insights he provided in this interview. Where should listeners go? Where should I send them? If they want to contact Kevin Costner? Tom Hibbert.[01:18:07] Guest (Tom Eberhardt): Oh, those people think Kevin customer I'm afraid they will be a bit disappointed.[01:18:12] But, I, two years ago I gave a Ted talk about this. Some of these issues, especially about prison culture. So they could see that on YouTube or Ted talks, dot com. All of them that are working there in the novation correctional director. So just email me there.[01:18:26] Host (David C. Luna): Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day, your busy schedule.[01:18:30] I really appreciate taking the time and being very open about the topics.[01:18:36] Host (David C. Luna): wow. What a insightful interview. Champ packed with some timeless gems. So now it's time again, to reflect upon the interview and give you some of the key takeaways. So what am I key takeaways for you? many countries such as the U S have high crime rates, overcrowded prison systems, inhumane conditions, high recidivism rates.[01:18:55] Despite them having the death penalty as the harshest form of punishment. So that [01:19:00] doesn't seem to work. So how do we solve this huge and almost monumental problem and where do we start? the solution has often in life is counterintuitive. It would seem very logical and emotionally satisfying to punish people for their crimes.[01:19:14] And remember Tom mentioned in the podcast. Prison can happen to anyone. So a petty altercation can quickly become a 10 year prison sentence, but to keep people from coming back into prison, we have to make prisons look nicer and not scarier in the hopes that these inmates won't commit the crimes again.[01:19:32] So essentially doing the exact opposite of what we're doing today, and we really need that to change. And the prisons in Norway not only look like college campuses, but they also feel like. People are there to learn and the staff are there to teach them something. So essentially the Norwegians built their presence to do exactly what they said they were going to do to rehabilitate.[01:19:53] And it started with how we treat prisoners for behavior, the education and prison guards towards their inmates. Not [01:20:00] only guarding them, but more importantly rehabilitation getting them to become good neighbors again. And it starts with people like Tom, Tom should be the stereotypical prison guard, the poster child we think of.[01:20:11] When we hear prison, but sadly today that's just not the case. Nowadays. Our ways correctional system is a shining example of how to not only make society better and safer place, but also give human beings a second chance, a chance to rehabilitate themselves. Furthermore, evolutionary psychologists even argue that both vengeance and forgiveness are universal behaviors, people can't and routinely do forgive others, even in severe.[01:20:38] Cases of crimes. We, human beings are naturally born with both capacities to blame and retaliate or punish or to forgive and seek reparations. Which one we choose is right to us. We need to evolve our justice and correctional system to move away from retribution and towards rehabilitation. The justice system itself.[01:20:59] Ken offer forgiveness, not on behalf or in place of the victims. But on its own terms and the justice systems can be better designed to embody rehabilitation strategies. If Norway, a former nation of pillaging Vikings full of violence, murder, and rape can transform itself into a country where peace and forgiveness can triumph.[01:21:18] Similar to how Germany Rhonda went from countries of mass genocide to countries of peace. So can any country criminals to have proven that they can do wrong, but let them prove that they are, you can do something right, and contribute to society. And lastly, I want to recommend a documentary called.[01:21:35] Prison dogs. It was also nominated for three. Emmy awards has won two of them and has been nominated twice for the Academy award winning one of them and also won three Peabody awards. So what's that all about? it focuses on the impact of unique dog training program that gives to the most marginalized population in our society.[01:21:53] Prison inmates and veterans a second chance. And you can rent the documentary for about, I think, two, two year old, 70 [01:22:00] on Vimeo. And I'll post that in the show notes. It's well worth a watch, not just because of the puppies. So you might want to give that a shot and if he made it until the end of this long episode, thank you so much.[01:22:10] I know how valuable your time is, especially in the age of social media, where. Hardly anybody reads or listens to long form content anymore. And thank you again to Tom for taking so much time out of his busy schedule to do this interview. If you want to show Tom some appreciation for his work, he's doing send him an email or message on LinkedIn, and don't forget to watch it.[01:22:30] Very enlightening Ted talk. So that concludes this episode. I was your host, David Luna signing off.
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This podcast looks at innovators and companies that are changing the game and how they took their initial idea and created a game-changing product or service, while giving you unique perspectives and insights you've probably haven't heard elsewhere.
David and his guests discuss real-world practical advice on how to best harness the creativity of your employees and go from idea to product or service that has the potential to radically transform your business.
They also share lessons they've learned along the way to effectively accelerate, incubate and scale innovations within small, medium and large enterprises, all while separating hype from reality and replacing bullshit bingo with common sense.
The show is hosted by David C. Luna, author, keynote speaker and founder of GAMMA Digital & Beyond.
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