ABSTRACT

In light of John Pratt’s description of Nordic prisons as having exceptional prison conditions when it comes to the high standards of material comfort, the relaxed prison atmosphere, the prison sentence being only the loss of liberty, and the principle of normalization (Pratt 2008a, b; Pratt and Ericksson 2009), it would be interesting to take a closer look at how prisoners experience their quality of life within them. In this chapter we will present a study of the quality of life in Norwegian closed prisons. The study is based on Alison Liebling’s concept of the prisons’ moral performance (Liebling 2006, 2004a, b). Central issues in our discussion are prison size and the influence of international discourses, such as penal excess and the new penology, on Norwegian crime policy.