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"And yet, an extensive new study undertaken by researchers across all the Nordic countries reveals that the reoffending average across Europe is about 70-75 per cent. In Denmark, Sweden and Finland, the average is 30 per cent. In Norway it is 20 per cent. Thus Bastoy, at just 16 per cent, has the lowest reoffending rate in Europe."
'The prison is self-sustaining and as green as possible in terms of recycling, solar panels and using horses instead of cars. It means that the inmates have plenty to do and plenty of contact with nature - the farm animals, wildlife, the fresh air and sea. We try to teach inmates that they are part of their environment and that if you harm nature or your fellow man it comes back to you.'
He adds that a significant advantage of the ecological approach is that due to low staffing levels and producing their own food and fuel, Bastoy is actually the cheapest prison to run in the whole of Norway.
'We have a price for each prison bed in this country and we are much cheaper to run than a conventional closed prison.'