The architect suggested that the prison "keep as much of the nature as possible," Stromnes (right) explained. That way, inmates could serve under normal conditions — one of the key principles in the Norwegian prison system.
Conway had no response.
Next, the team traveled to Unit C, a building with 84 inmates.
There, Conway learned that 10 inmates share a living room complete with a television,
dartboard, and ... knives for cooking.
He looked sad and confused.
"I'm surprised to see metal silverware in a high-security facility," he said. "It's a very well-equipped kitchen."
Even the cupboards were stocked with dishes, porcelain ones to boot. "Very functional — however very sharp," Conway mused.
At Halden, the inmates even have access to tools.
"You don't have to bake 'em in a cake," Conway joked, holding a large file.
Oh, and a recording studio.
"I know there's a lot of education and vocational programmings to prepare inmates for work on the outside, but I must say I've never seen anything like this," Conway admits. "This may be a little over the top."
He wondered what kind of career a recording studio prepares inmates for. For example, he normally helps inmates learn woodworking or study for their GEDs.
Stromnes admitted that the recording studio does raise a lot of questions. The room functions as a part of the music teaching program at Halden, which officials hope will lead to less crime, he explained.
"Everyone is leaving ... prison one day," Stromnes said. "And we have to focus on life afterward."
If Conway sat inmates at Attica down, he explained, and asked them to design the prison of their dreams, it would look a lot like Halden.
"This is prison utopia," he said. "I don't think you can go any more liberal — other than giving the inmates the keys."
Note the interior locks on the prison doors, below.
For some context, Norway has an incarceration rate of 70 per 100,000, totaling 3, 571 inmates for the entire country.
The US rate is more than 10 times Norway's — 707 per 100,000, or 2,228,424 people behind bars.
Watch the full excerpt below.