Ann Widdecombe on World's Most Luxurious Prison

World’s Most Luxurious Prison: Shocked viewers claim ‘hotel-like’ jail is ‘better than outside world’

Ann Widdecombe visited Halden Prison in Norway

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World’s Most Luxurious Prison, presented by Ann Widdecombe, shocked Channel 5 viewers last night as it showed criminals living ‘better than lives than most of us’.

The documentary, which aired on Thursday (November 12), took viewers around Halden Prison in Norway and introduced them to the facility’s staff and inhabitants.

Ann Widdecombe toured Norway’s Halden Prison in World’s Most Luxurious Prison (Credit: Channel 5)

What happened on World’s Most Luxurious Prison?

It’s a maximum security facility but without bars, with one inmate on the programme saying: “This is a spa, it’s a holiday resort!”

“Plush apartments for rapists and murderers,” host Ann said as she described Halden Prison.

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She added: “If you are in prison in the UK, you know every hour of every day you are in prison.”

It also revealed that prisoners there are allowed to have sex with their partners during visits, which can happen up to two times per week.

The inmates live in groups in apartments that include kitchenettes, en-suite bathrooms, lounges and TVs.

Host Ann couldn’t believe the ‘plush’ apartments at Halden Prison (Credit: Channel 5)

What did Ann Widdecombe say about the prison?

One member of staff argued that it was better for the prisoners to live as normal a life as possible, but Ann insisted: “The idea is, if you go to prison it’s not a normal life.”

During a conversation with an inmate named Kursten, who was serving a 20-year sentence, Ann discovered that some are allowed out for as much as eight hours on day release.

When she asked one of the corrections officers about it, he admitted: “We have lost a few guys…”

If you are in prison in the UK, you know every hour of every day you are in prison.

“Some don’t come back,” Ann said, stunned. “They just don’t come back.”

Ann also got to visit Halden Prison’s hi-tech recording studio, where prisoners are able to express themselves creatively by making music and learning how use recording equipment.

The Channel 5 documentary left some viewers stunned, with many claiming the inmates at Halden Prison had better lives than most people on the outside world.

The documentary shocked Channel 5 viewers (Credit: Channel 5)

How did Channel 5 viewers react?

One said: “They live better than our homeless do #WorldsMostLuxuriousPrison.”

Another wrote: “#WorldsMostLuxuriousPrison what a joke that prison/hotel/spa is. Living better lives than most of us.”

A third said: “A lot of these inmates in the #WorldsMostLuxuriousPrison are living a better life than most the UK!”

“The prisoners in Norway are living a better lockdown life than the majority of the UK tbh,” said a fourth.

Someone else put: “This programme with #annwiddecombe on @channel5_tv is riveting but it’s just encouraging people to commit crimes. I understand her fears.”

“It’s absolutely shocking how free these prisoners are!” said another, fuming. “They’re loving every minute of it I suspect.”

“So the prisoners go out on day release?” one shocked viewer tweeted. “More freedom than we have in times of #covid #worldsmostluxuriousprison.”

However, some of those watching felt the UK’s prison system could learn a thing or two from Halden.

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One said: “@channel5_tv #worldsmostluxuriousprison wow… Ann Widdecombe, thanks for this! Please try to get some of these ways of life in UK prisons. So true, why keep a man cooped up in a small room? Punishment, yes, but rehabilitate with workshops and real life experiences.”

Another agreed: “Three or four suicides in 10 years, shows they must be doing something right. And 25 per cent reoffending rate after five years… I think we could learn something here… #WorldsMostLuxuriousPrison.”

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