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The Development of Education in Norwegian Prisons

  • Torfinn Langelid
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

The industrialisation of Europe and Norway in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries led to social unrest and widespread poverty. Prisons and penitentiaries became religious institutions where the prisoners, in addition to being punished, were to be improved through work, spiritual guidance and education. The Confirmation Act of 1736 played a decisive role in the introduction of universal education in 1739, with a strong emphasis on religious education. The improvement philosophy that dominated prisons and penitentiaries followed the same religious track. We can see how the education system and the penal system were closely allied, where the school was seen as part of the rehabilitation process. Prison schools did their best to keep up with developments in the education system in society at large. In 1875, teaching was provided at all the eight penal institutions in Norway. The total number of school staff was 24—including chaplains, teachers, organists and others (Beretning om Rigets Strafanstalter for Aaret 1875).

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Former National Coordinator of Prison EducationBergenNorway

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