Those of you who think the Canadian prison system coddles criminals will be gobsmacked to learn what awaits Anders Breivik, who massacred 77 of his fellow Norwegians last year in the name of racial purity.
Friday is judgment day for Breivik, when a Norwegian court decides whether he is mentally fit to go to prison or insane, and so put under the care of psychiatrists.
According to The Associated Press, those hoping Breivik will be tossed in a hole to rot will be disappointed.
No matter what the court's decision is, Breivik will spend his days in a suite of cells built just for him.
AP says Breivik, 33, will be incarcerated in Ila Prison, which has prepared for either outcome. A one-person psychiatric ward — costing between US$340,000-$510,000 — with its own staff of 17 has been built in case he's declared criminally insane. It features a nine-square-metre cell (about 96 square feet) with a bathroom and access to recreational and educational opportunities.
If he's found mentally fit, AP says Breivik will get even larger digs, encompassing three eight-square-metre cells with a bedroom, exercise room and study that includes a computer but no Internet access.
Prison officials say eventually they'd like to transfer Breivik to a unit with other prisoners where he be able to take university-level courses, use the library, gym and work in the prison's workshops.
[ Related: Lock Breivik away forever, say victims' families ]
Compare that with how Canada treats its monsters. Serial killers such as the late, unlamented Clifford Olson, Robert Pickton and Paul Bernardo serve their life sentences in segregated prison units, in isolation cells 23 hours a day.
But Norway prides itself on a humane system of treatment and rehabilitation.
"I like to put it this way: He's a human being," Ellen Bjercke, a spokeswoman for Ila Prison, told AP. "He has human rights. This is about creating a humane prison regime."
Now, I know what you're going to say. They're worried about the rights of a man who's unrepentant about detonating a car bomb in central Oslo, July 22, 2011, killing eight people, then driving to a holiday island camp belonging to the ruling Labour Party and gunning down 69 people, mostly teenagers.
[ Related: Breivik report forces Norwegian police chief to quit ]
Well, yes, apparently. Treating Breivik harshly would betray the country's values, University of Oslo criminologist Thomas Ugelvik told AP.
"We wouldn't be Norway," he said. "We have a general need to offer humane conditions in our welfare state, and the prison is part of the welfare state."
The maximum prison sentence Norwegian courts can hand down for murder is 21 years. But if he's found mentally fit, Breivik could be sentenced to "preventative detention, which can be extended indefinitely as long as he's considered dangerous to society. Experts say his release is unlikely.
Not all Norwegians are willing to treat Breivik so humanely. Thomas Indreboe, a lay judge in the case, was removed after calling for Breivik's execution. The special arrangements for Breivik's comfort are just wrong, he believes.
"To do that for just one person, when there are other things in Norway that need to be taken care of, like elderly care and roads and such things — the money could have been spent on other things," said Indreboe
Bjerke said giving Breivik three cells to use makes up for the fact he can't have access to activities offered other prisoners. He'll also get more contact from prison staff and a priest, so he has someone to talk to.
"Isolation is torture," Bjercke said.
Breivik will be able to communicate with people outside prison and his lawyers say he is planning to write books based on the 1,500-page manual on far-right terror he released before unleashing his attacks, AP said.
Breivik justified his deadly attacks as acts of patriotism to alert Norwegians to the threat of non-Scandiavian immigration.
In the days following the slaughter, Norwegians came together to reaffirm their tolerance and openness.
But observers now worry that the consensus symbolized by "rose marches" of hundreds of thousands after the attacks has ebbed away as Norway wrestles with issues of rising immigration and cultural integration, The Guardian reported.
"Xenophobic tendencies are still there; there is still a lot of hatred against immigrants; fears of multiculturalism remain," said former prime minister Thorbjørn Jagland. "Look at debates online, they are still very much what we had before."