Volume 58

"We Can Actually Do This": Adapting Scandinavian Correctional Culture in Pennsylvania

by Jordan M. Hyatt, Synøve N. Andersen, Steven L. Chanenson, Veronica Horowitz, and Christopher Uggen

Though incarceration has almost always been a core aspect of punishment in the United States, a critical consideration of the basic nature of prison environ-ments is often omitted from conversations about reform. Instead, and for myriad reasons, modern correctional policy had emphasized the punitive over the humane. In this way, America is an outlier, distinct from many other Western nations. From this position, however, there are many opportunities to look to global peers for a counterfactual; the Scandinavian nations provide an appealing option. Building upon a comparative, international examination of penal policy, this Article seeks to leverage these differences to explore how transnational exchanges can inform domestic policymaking. We examine the Scandinavian Prison Project, a correctional exchange primarily between Pennsylvania and Norway, to consider the challenges inherent in such endeavors, as well as oppor-tunities for encouraging actionable reform in a prison environment.

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