I went with Jackson to see the trailers at the Missouri River Correctional Center, a minimum-security facility nicknamed “the Farm.” Located on the rural outskirts of Bismarck, it is surrounded by cottonwood trees and backs onto the river for which it is named. There are no fences. Some of the men were placed here for lesser crimes; others are approaching the end of lengthy sentences that began in the maximum-security state prison.
Warden James Sayler and Joey Joyce, his deputy, were quick to embrace the Norway philosophy. They immediately began devising ways for inmates to earn more freedom—shopping excursions, day passes home, and even the right to wear civilian clothes on-site. They also scaled up an existing work-release program so more men could take real jobs. “Everybody down here is going to be out of here in a short amount of time,” Sayler says. “So how do you want ’em?”