Tom Eberhardt | Prisons

tom-eberhardtTom Eberhardt is the governor of Bastøy Prison in Norway. Bastøy is famous around the world because the prisoners live in wooden cottages and work on the prison farm. They can do lots of different activities in their free time and learn new skills. The prison is focused on rehabilitation because they believe this will stop prisoners committing crimes again. Only 16% of prisoners who come out of Bastøy commit another crime, in comparison to 70% of prisoners in traditional prisons across Europe. 

He has been reading the discussion on the Hub and has responded to some of your comments!

You said...

I think that people that have committed serious crimes should be sentenced to stay there for at least 18-20 years. Also, i believe that they should learn from their mistakes.
By nutella1 and nutella2 | St Joeseph’s Primary School

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club members,

I very much agree that the punishment should lead to the criminal learning from their mistakes. It is an important aspect of our prison systems, and why we punish. I think the learning aspect is even more important than the length of the sentences. We can use long sentences to keep really dangerous people away from the society, but we also have to focus on helping them back into society. That’s the best way to prevent them from committing more crimes.

You said...

Should you always punish someone if they do something wrong?
Yes if they have done it on purpose because they have made the decision to commit this crime/ wrong doing but if it was an accident and you believe them that they are sorry. If they do it again then they need to have a punishment.

Why do people break the law?
Attention, Want to look clever, impress their friends, look important, show off, background, looks good, bored, something to do, luxury of prison, bribary or peer pressure.

Can people change?
Yes, if they have the help/ rehabilitation they need to become a better person. If they have been in prison and corrected their mistakes they might be able to become better. The person needs to help themselves more than anyone else can.

Group Post by:
RedMonkey, BlueMonkey, YellowMonkey, GreenMonkey, GreyMonkey, PinkMonkey, GoldMonkey, SilverMonkey, OrangeMonkey, LemonMonkey, MaroonMonkey, IndigoMonkey | Thomas Hinderwell Primary

 

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club members,

We should not always punish when someone has done something wrong. But we do need to react. If the wrongdoing is by accident the reaction/punishment should not be that harsh. If the wrongdoing is on purpose, the punishment should be more strict. We also have to think about the consequences of the wrongdoing. If the consequences are hard on other people, this needs to be reflected in the way we punish the criminal.

I think some people commit crime because they want money to impress other people, some others because they feel they need attention. When I meet criminals in prison, I see people that have committed criminal acts because of poverty, drug addiction, rage, mental illnesses.

I have not yet met any that have committed crime because they want to feel the luxury of prison. Prisons is no luxury at all.

I agree with you, people can change! I see that all the time. The best thing we can do in prison is to help prisoners help themselves. Teach them to take responsibility for themselves and the people around them. Simply teach them how to become a good neighbour. Because in the end, they will all eventually become someone's neighbour when they are released.

You said...

I believe that you can punish people who have committed crime but it depends on what they have done. In my opinion you should only punish people if necessary for example, if they break the law, if punished it prevents them from commiting crime.
By fab blogger321 | Colegrave Primary School

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club Members.

Society needs to react when a crime is committed, and as you say, one should punish if necessary. I also believe that the punishment should not be more strict than it needs to be. Punishment might stop people from committing new crimes, but they also need to learn how to be a good neighbour and citizen. If you have been a criminal most of your life, you need to learn to live your life without committing new crime.

You said...

Why do we feel the need to punish criminals?

I think we feel the need to punish criminals because they could learn from their mistake that what they did isn’t good and they are breaking the law. And if we don’t punish them they will do it again and again which will in other hand that’s our fault that happened again because we didn’t do anything at the first place. If we punished the criminal they wouldn’t do it again because they learned their lesson and also it can change someone’s life and their self too.

If we punish them and reached them a lesson it wouldn’t happen again and if its like killing the dead people will decrease because we are teaching them and helping them control their self. Like the people who is in jail might change a lot because they learned their lesson. They might not do it again because jail and the people who controls the jail has helped them change forever.

The reasons I think that we feel the need to punish criminals are:

Change their lifetheir self

Learn from their mistake

To not happen again

To not be our fault for the secound time

To decrease if they kills

And there are more but I think i just think about those yet.

By Supergirl04 | Villiers High School

 

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club members,

I believe that society needs to react when someone breaks the law. Sometimes we need to punish criminals for a long time. When we put people in prison, we do it because society needs to make them feel punished. The loss of freedom is that punishment. In order to create a safer society and help the punished people not to commit new crimes, we need to use the time in prison to work with the prisoners. I believe the loss of freedom itself does not necessarily makes the prisoner a ‘better’ person after release. We need to make use of the time in prison to motivate them, teach them new and useful skills. We need to make sure that when they are released from prison, they are in a position to live their lives without committing new crimes.

You said...

I think that the victims should give the prisoners a second chance so that they can prove their ability of being in the society. If they go back and do the crime again then they should be rehabilitated in a facility other than a prison. However, if they re-offend the prisoners will have stay until they've changed.

By Fashionstyle123 at Crampton

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club members,

I think it’s the society, us, who have to decide when to give the prisoners a second chance. It has to be a decision by professionals and not someone who is emotionally involved. The prisoners need to feel they are equal to the law. I have meet victims of crime who have forgiven the one who hurt them and are willing to give them a second chance. Those meetings are so powerful and mean a lot for the prisoner.

When it comes to reoffending, some people learn and change after their first stay in prison. Sometime they learn after 5 times in prison.  A lot depends on our ability to use the prisons as rehabilitation facilities and not just a place to lock people up for a period of time. The important thing is not to give up. If we do, we lose out as a society.

You said...

Not all crimes should be dealt with a punishment for example shop lifting. There are people in this community who do not have enough qualifications or even have language barriers restricting them from getting jobs. Often people only shoplift as they are not able to provide for themselves and their families. Instead of punishing them for trying to feed their families you can support them.
By Arsenal’s smashing blogger | Upton Cross primary school
 

Tom responded...

Dear Burnet News Club members,

You are right. Not all crimes should be dealt with using punishment or prison. Putting people in prison costs a lot of money and it affects more people than just the prisoner. Parents, children, husbands and wives are all affected.

We also need to look at what makes people criminals. That can be poverty, drug addiction or anger for instance. When criminals are sent to prison, we need to work with them and help them with these issues. Teach them a trade, give them the skills to find housing and a job after release. If they are addicted to drugs, we need to motivate and help them to stop using drugs.

Tom Eberhardt

Prison Governor

Bastøy prison

74 Comments

  1. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think if death penalty returns , criminals will commit less crimes because they will be afraid of death so death penalty should return.

    From: Archer123

    • North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

      I disagree with you Archer123 because a lot of innocent people go to jail which means a lot of innocent people will die and that is actually the problem with countries that have the death penalty

      Skully-tition

  2. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree Archer 123

  3. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think prisons should have the right to learn life-skills for an example an 18 year old boy goes to jail and comes out 28 years old and does not know how to behave in the real world then the person will know only how to do crime .

    From NINJA master 276

  4. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think death penalty should return too because criminals should not cause crimes so they can be afraid of death penalty. Crimes are very unexpectable.

    From: MMTSuperWebb

    • Thanks for your comment, MMTSuperWebb!

      You’ve used logic in thinking about how you could stop people committing crimes. A lot of people agree with you that scaring people about the consequences is a good way of stopping crime.

      Please reply and tell me whether you think people should die because they have committed a crime or whether they should just be scared into not committing crimes? To unpack that a bit, would you just want to use the death sentence to scare people or actually use the death sentence?

    • North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

      I agree with you because people always commit crimes.

      Green Strong Boy

  5. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think we should teach prisoners the life skills because when they get free , all they will know how to do is just steal.

    By secret 7

    • Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

      I disagree with you secret 7 because if prison guards rehabilitate prisoners, they might get a wrong influence.

      HELLYKELLY10

      • Hello HELLYKELLY10. It’s fantastic to have Kobi Nazrul on the Hub!

        I’m interested by what you’re saying here, please can you give me some more information? You say “if prison guards rehabilitate prisoners, they might get a wrong influence.” Why do you think think this? Give a reason that supports your opinion.

  6. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree with NINJA master 276 and because he is making a great point.

    From Green Strong Boy

  7. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree MMTSuperWebb

    From:Secret_Person

  8. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    should people be forgiven if they do crimes

  9. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think prisons should have the right to learn life-skills for an example an 18 year old boy goes to jail and comes out 28 years old and does not know how to behave in the real world then the person will know only how to do crime .

    From NINJA master 276 and JEFF BOY 367

    • North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

      I totally agree with you guys!

      by LuLulemon07

    • North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

      I agree with NINJA master 276 and JEFF BOY because if they don’t know what to do they wouldn’t know what to do. If you have rehabilitation people would be able to live a life like a normal citizen.

      From Green Strong Boy.

  10. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    should people be forgiven if they do crimes

    from:archer123

    • St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

      It depends on what crime it is, if its that serious you shouldn’t forgive the prisoners but if it is not that serious you could forgive them.
      mimi_invest

  11. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree that prisons should have more rehabilitation to stop prisoners from committing more crimes which means adding in tougher punishments like cleaning the toilets,death penalties and learning new and harder skills.etc.

    by: BNCfan1000

  12. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think that criminals should have tougher punishments because if they do,not only they will be scared but it will also affect others who are not in prison and they just might change their minds and be good.

  13. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think in England you should let 18 and older people and take them to prison. If your younger than 18 then you should be put in prison for a very short time.

    From Green Strong Boy

    • St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

      If they are younger and they committed a crime like murdering they should be sentenced to the same amount of years as older people they should be able reflect in the prisons

      Name hyperboy123

  14. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree with NINJA master 276 and Jeff Boy 367 because he is making a great point.

    From Green Strong Boy

  15. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    you,re good at commenting lulemon07 i agree with myself

    from NINJAMASTER276 AND JEFF BOY NEEW AND COOL

  16. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I agree with NINJA master 276 and Jeff Boy 367 because he is making a great point.

    From Green Strong Boy.

  17. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    i disagree with u BNCfan 1000 because have you not thought about their family they could be really sad you should have no death penalties if its not very serious like stealing from a corner shop if it is murdering
    someone you could do tougher punishments.

    by preetydivafashion

  18. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    dear bncfan100o
    I agree because rehabilitation is very important because when they get released they need to lear stuff
    relanmoon4writing

  19. Ravenscroft Primary School Ravenscroft Primary School

    Well I do agree that people should be locked up and be given a long sentence if they do something unforgivable, but what the prison in Norway is doing the correct thing by rehabilitating (making people good again by making them do chores) this will get families reunited, and people will learn from their mistakes and won’t do unpleasant things again, and only 17% of people that got released re -offended again. In comparison to 70% of prisoners from traditional Europe prisons.

  20. Ravenscroft Primary School Ravenscroft Primary School

    I think that when people do disastrous things, they shouldn’t always go to prison because if someone broke a vase or a window, it would be a silly way to get into jail. People (who do mistakes by accident or on purpose) can sometimes lie about if they did something and I think there should first be evidence for proof that a person did something.

    Ice-cream Loving Raven

  21. Ravenscroft Primary School Ravenscroft Primary School

    Prison and rehabilitation
    Bad way to treat the prisoners
    . People should not suffer in prison like these times.if they have done a crime they should get taught skills and get a suitable job instead of making them stare at a plain wall.
    Torture or punish
    Some prison guards don’t give some people food to eat at all and that is torture some prisons are really unfair and don’t treat people unhumanly and that I would call is torture not punishment.
    Crime ratings.
    The criminals punishment should be based on their crime and a level rating of 1 and above .This should be done because many criminals get treated the same way even though the crimes are on different level of severity.
    Rainbowraven27

    • Thanks for your comment, Rainbowraven27!
      You’ve thought really hard about the issue, well done. Please reply to this comment telling me whether you think criminals should go to prison.

  22. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    I disagree with the people who think that prisoners that had been taking drugs should be punished or sentenced for 10 years or more. This is because someone might have gave them the drugs and they have been addicted to them.
    Legend read 1

    • Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

      But Legend read 1 the person who was taking it should have known that I should not and should tell someone.

      HELLYKELLY10

    • North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

      I think 13 ànd yoúnger should be punished

      Green Strong Boy

    • Ravenscroft Primary School Ravenscroft Primary School

      Thank you Mickey, I think that criminals should go to prison but they should do something because If a criminal is locked up and has nothing to do or improve on they will probably repeat the mistake. It goes on like this, go to jail, get locked up then repeat the mistake go to jail ,get released and do the mistake again. So it’s kind of a cycle that goes on. What I’m trying to say is that criminals should get something to do or get trained and stay healthy. I mean if criminals didn’t go to jail we probably wouldn’t be happy because there are criminals all around the world and if they don’t go to jail they might harm us .They are criminals and they do make mistakes so why can’t we spend a little money to help and rehabilitate them so at the end of the day we can all be happy!!!!
      Rainbowraven27

  23. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    I agree with people who think prisoners should be punished but half of the time they should be rehabilitated instead of of punished all the time .
    fun sunshine

    • Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

      I agree with fun sunshine because the the prisoners have to be rehabilitated so they can inform other people to not be a prisoner.

      Crazy man1

  24. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    I don’t agree with Nutella1 and Nutella2 because if they stay for longer they might commit another crime and after they behaviour well the could go to the outside world and see there family members because some prisoners have children and the want to see there family members
    News Legend 1738

  25. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    i agree with fun sunshine 100%
    news legend

  26. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    As some people walk out of the door towards to the outside world some people really what commit crimes again and sometime it not good to let people free which is best to do if they think they can commit other crimes. Some people will think about what they have done and say “I did not like prison so I cannot this and that”, this why it is best to make prison really harsh and not fun at all which in my option is best to do for the prisoners!!!!!!!!!!!!!! some prisoner get really anger because the prison Officer put them in a different room to reflect and some do not care so they just sit and sometimes punch the wall. sometimes the prisoner will commit worse crimes because they learnt from people that committed badder crimes and they will think it is much easier bad crimes and can you tell me why????
    news Legend 1738

  27. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.
    After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person. some people could get killed and nobody wants that at all so that is why i think keeping prisoners safe and teach them to do good things is best ever if it costs a fortune i don’t care because they can find a job and the do not say what they say they to what they say and that is my opinion.we could not take charge any prisoners doing any things!!!!!!
    news legend 1738

    • Hello news legend 1738,

      I can see you found a famous quote from Nelson Mandela discussing prisons and included this in your comment. Well done! You’ve shown excellent curiosity. You researched and found a relevant quote to back up your opinion. Remember, you need to credit your source here. So your Mandela quote would look like this:

      “After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.” by Nelson Mandela.

  28. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.
    After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person. some people could get killed and nobody wants that at all so that is why i think keeping prisoners safe and teach them to do good things is best ever if it costs a fortune i don’t care because they can find a job and the do not say what they say they to what they say and that is my opinion.we could not take charge any prisoners doing any things!!!!!!As some people walk out of the door towards to the outside world some people really what commit crimes again and sometime it not good to let people free which is best to do if they think they can commit other crimes. Some people will think about what they have done and say “I did not like prison so I cannot this and that”, this why it is best to make prison really harsh and not fun at all which in my option is best to do for the prisoners!!!!!!!!!!!!!! some prisoner get really anger because the prison Officer put them in a different room to reflect and some do not care so they just sit and sometimes punch the wall. sometimes the prisoner will commit worse crimes because they learnt from people that committed badder crimes and they will think it is much easier bad crimes and can you tell me why????
    news legend 1738

    • Hello news legend 1738,

      I can see you found a famous quote from Nelson Mandela discussing prisons and included this in your comment. Well done! You’ve shown excellent curiosity. You researched and found a relevant quote to back up your opinion. Remember, you need to credit your source here. So your Mandela quote would look like this:

      “After one has been in prison, it is the small things that one appreciates: being able to take a walk whenever one wants, going into a shop and buying a newspaper, speaking or choosing to remain silent. The simple act of being able to control one’s person.” by Nelson Mandela.

  29. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    most prisons are not safe and they just make things worst ever time.
    news legend 1738

    • Hello news legend 1738,

      I’m interested by what you’ve said here. Do you think Bastoy Prison always makes things worse for prisoners?

      Read Tom Eberhardt’s post and let me know what you find.

  30. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    Some prisoners think that as soon as they go into prison they can come straight back out again without staying there for long but the real fact is that they need to wait for freedom and rehabilitation.

    LoyalLivi

  31. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    I think that if you respect prisoners they will respect you back.

    KaraokeKat

  32. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    I think this is a good idea and we should do the things what people do in Toms prison around here and i think they should still have a crimine record

    Priceless Bunniee

  33. Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

    I agree with Skully-tition because I also think that lots of innocent people could be sentenced to the death penalty and this would be wrong but I am wondering where did you get that information from? Does anyone have any facts on this?

    From: Lolly pop 10

  34. Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

    I agree with fun sunshine because prisoners should be punished some times. They should not always be punished because they won’t learn at all.

    By messidab9679

  35. Kobi Nazrul Primary School Kobi Nazrul Primary School

    I agree with you LoyalLivi because they do need to get rehabilitated after, they can do something good when they come out, if they keep on going to prison it is called a revolving door.

    Crazyandcuriouse123

  36. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    Criminals should be punished for what they do so that people dont want to commit the crime. Its not fair if they get treated really nicely in prison because they’ve done something really bad. How would you feel if it was someone in your family that got hut by a prisoner? Would you want that prisoner to have freedom and luxuries or would you want them punished for what they done? Their punishment should be bad or it wouldnt be fair on the person they hurt.
    kweblekop031

  37. Barr's Hill School Barr's Hill School

    A great information about the most famous rehabilitation prison and it might help other prison change and can help prisoners that have done nothing bad should deserve a place like bastóy.

    Creative

    • Thanks for your comment, Creative!

      Do you think prisoners who have done something bad should go to Bastoy?

  38. North Beckton Primary School North Beckton Primary School

    I think rehabilitation should happen MUCH more than harsher punishments because some people weren’t taught how to behave in the outside world and if the prison does not teach them what to do , how to do it , and how they could live when they leave prison , then the only thing that the prisoner will know how to do is create problems and commit crimes. Thats why EVERY SINGLE PRISON in the world SHOULD be teaching their prisoners so when they leave prison they know what to do and how to be kind to the people in their town/city unless they don’t leave prison because they have committed a REALLY BAD crime in their life.

    by LuLuLemon07

    • St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

      I agree with you because if you pusish criminals rather than rehabilitate them, then they will most likely commit more crimes but if you teach them and help them then they that reflect on their behaviour or what they have done in the past.
      Wondergirl123

  39. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    I feel rehabilitation should happen more times in prison than the harshest of punishment. All prisons should be like the prison in Norway.Also, do people commit crimes because they have no choice?Every person should be rehabilitated somehow.

    Tigershumor

  40. St Augustines C of E Primary School St Augustines C of E Primary School

    I agreed wih hes

    • Hello St Augustine’s. Please reply with your pseudonym so we know who has joined the discussion. I’m interested to find out, what point do you agree with? Let me know in your reply.

  41. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    People should be punished for what they have done.

    -Priceless Bunnie

  42. Elaine Primary Academy Elaine Primary Academy

    Do people sometimes argue with the way you treat prisoners?

    KaraokeKat