Could Norway rampage suspect go to posh prison?

The horrors of the Norway massacre committed by self-professed lone gunman Anders Behring Breivik could happen here, the FBI warns. CBS News

Anders Behring Breivik
Norway terror attack suspect Anders Behring Breivik, left, sits in an armored police vehicle following a hearing in Oslo July 25, 2011, where he pleaded not guilty to one of the deadliest modern mass killings in peacetime.
AP

A Norwegian prison where confessed spree killer Anders Behring Breivik could spend the rest of his life has been cast as more of a comfortable retreat facility than an institution protecting the public from dangerous criminals.

Breivik is being held in isolation as he awaits trial for killing at least 76 people in a coordinated attack on the Scandinavian country's government Friday. He has confessed to going on a killing spree a governing Labor Party island camp, gunning down at least 68 people, and detonating a bomb at government headquarters in the capital, killing at least eight more.

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The British newspaper The Telegraph focused on Norway's 1-year-old Halden Fengsel prison as a possible place where Breivik could serve his likely sentence. With a flatscreen television for every cell, cooking classes in its "kitchen laboratory" and female prison staff to create a less aggressive atmosphere, Halden was intended to have its inmates re-enter society better than when they left it to serve time. That approach to its prison system has given Norway a 20 percent recidivism rate for the first two years after convicts are released.

But the man behind the worst attack on Norway since World War II might never re-enter society. While the country limits prison sentences to a maximum of 21 years, Breivik can continue to be incarcerated after his sentence if he's still considered to be too dangerous.

Prosecutor: Breivik expects to spend life in prison

If anything, the speculation about Breivik's fate shines a spotlight on a different country's approach to punishing criminals. For a tour of Halden, check out a photographer's gallery here or watch the YouTube video below:

  • Alex Sundby

    Alex Sundby is an associate news editor for CBSNews.com

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