Could Norway rampage suspect go to posh prison?

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.

Special Section: Massacre in Norway
Norway's Delta Force defends response to rampage
Norway suspect's claim of allies in doubt

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

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App