California Governor Gavin Newsom has announced a plan inspired by Norway’s system of prisons to transform the state’s San Quentin prison into a rehabilitation facility for prisoners. San Quentin houses the country’s largest number of people on death row, but it is being ‘repurposed’ for rehabilitating inmates, educating them and breaking cycles of crime. Incarcerated individuals will have access to programs that will provide them with skills and tools that they can use to be successful inside and outside of prison. Newsom said in a press conference that the change is designed to help incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society once they complete their sentences. “And so for us, this is about real public safety. This is about keeping communities safe. This is about getting serious about the issue of crime and violence in our state,” said Newsome. Norway has the lowest rate of repeat offenders in the world; Norwegian prisons offer incarcerated individuals more space and access to more amenities. Oregon and North Dakota have also been inspired by Norway’s style of prisons in developing their own.

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