This article intends to both broaden and deepen our understanding of Nordic penal exceptionalism by bringing into the debate Iceland’s two Open Prisons. Thus far, despite being one of the Nordic countries Iceland has been more or less excluded from debates on Nordic penal practice which is remiss, as due to its isolation, Iceland may well offer a different perspective on it. Both open prisons are small establishments with about 20 prisoners held in each, in remote rural settings. [---]