• Sweden's news in English

Prisoner numbers fall in Sweden

The Local · 24 Feb 2013, 13:08

Published: 24 Feb 2013 13:08 GMT+01:00

According to the Dagens Nyheter broadsheet, Sweden has the lowest number of inmates in 11 years.

The government has introduced several penal reforms. The biggest one came in 2010, when penalties for violent crimes were tightened on several points.

At the time, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) estimated that Sweden would need 700 new prison places since an increase in inmates was seen as a logical outcome of stricter punishments.

Instead, the trend has been the opposite of what was expected.

New statistics from the Prison and Probation Service show that the number of people imprisoned in 2012 was the lowest since 2001, when Social Democrat politician Thomas Bodström was the minister for justice.

A report published by a number of legal and police authorities and submitted to the government predicts that the number of inmates will continue to decrease.

It will fall by 11 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to the report.

Ulf Jonson of the Prison and Probation Service told Dagens Nyheter that there are several reasons why fewer Swedes end up in prison.

He mentioned that in many cases prosecutors decide to drop the case or order the criminal to pay fines instead of serving a prison sentence.

He also pointed out that a suspended sentence with community service is becoming more common.

Story continues below…

Henrik Tham, a professor in criminology at Stockholm University, added that there has also been a drop in crime rates, "even if many do not believe it".

He also explained that Swedes have become more prone to reporting crimes, which means that, according to some measurements, crime rates appear to be on the rise.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:21 February 24, 2013 by isenhand
interesting. Opposite to what I'd expect.
13:53 February 24, 2013 by Migga
If anything I suspect the police and courts are under much more pressure of rising crime that they lack the resources to bind criminals to their crimes. It falls apart in court if it even makes it there. Or, as it`s said in the article, that the punishments are fines and community service instead of prison.
00:33 February 25, 2013 by B Slick
Its comforting to know that there are many more crimiminals and thugs loose on the streets in sweden today than 10 years ago.
00:34 February 25, 2013 by BackpackerKev
"policy of introducing harsher punishments" Sweden has a policy, but is it enforced? No.

This is down to incompetent prosecutions wanting an easy pay day instead of justice,

Incompetent judges who naively agree with the weak prosecutors and hand out soft judgements for serious offences/re-offences

There is no drop in crime rates, it just fewer offenders are being captured by the police and/or people not reporting small crimes due to knowledge of the poor police service.
00:39 February 25, 2013 by B Slick
01:41 February 25, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
What!! I thought immmigrants are criminals!
11:18 February 25, 2013 by Max Reaver
Now there are fewer prisoners, the government says "Wooow! our society is so safe so nobody needs to get convicted, since everybody is following the law!"

What they dont tell you is that more would-be prisoners are now roaming the streets.
01:10 February 26, 2013 by BackpackerKev
Harsher Punishments?

I refer you to the following....

"The man who abducted a nine-year-old girl in Gothenburg last year and threatened to sell her as a sex slave was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of kidnapping."

This not only lets down the Swedish justice system, but lets down the Human Race.
08:55 February 26, 2013 by salalah
They sent them directly to Guantanamo instead of keeping them here, without trial
Today's headlines
COP21 Paris
Sweden pledges more to fight climate change
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (right) and France's President Francois Hollande at the summit. Photo: Christophe Ena/TT/AP

Sweden pledges more to fight climate change

4 hours ago

UPDATED: Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised a further 250 million kronor ($28.5m) to fight global warming at the COP21 climate summit in Paris, a gathering seen by many as the last chance to reach a deal aimed at limiting global warming.

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'
A pixellated screen grab from the film shown in court. Image: Säpo /TT

Swedish prosecutor: 'Movies show men killing'

5 hours ago

The prosecutor in the trial of two Gothenburg men who have been charged with terrorist offences in Syria has asked for life imprisonment for the duo after reviewing video evidence.

Storm Gorm
Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden
A house destroyed by the storm in Helsingborg, southern Sweden. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Huge clear up after Storm Gorm hits Sweden

5 hours ago

UPDATED: Some schools remain closed and tens of thousands of people are still without electricity after a storm ripped through southern and western Sweden on Sunday night.

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy
Increased house-building activity has been a key growth factor. Photo: Lars Pehrson: SvD/TT

'Show of strength' from Swedish economy

6 hours ago

Sweden's economy is growing faster than expected and is now at an historically high level, according to figures from national number crunching body Statistics Sweden.

Eurovision 2016
Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope
Camilla Läckberg has finally succeeded in her aim to have a song in Melodifestivalen. Photo" Henrik Montgomery / TT

Nordic Noir star pens Eurovision hope

6 hours ago

Best-selling Swedish author Camilla Läckberg has co-written one of the of the 28 entries for Melodifestivalen 2016, the competition designed to choose Sweden’s entry for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest.

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden
The Öresund bridge, which links southern Sweden to Denmark, was closed last night because of high winds. Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Storm Gorm's trail of destruction in Sweden

9 hours ago

Storm Gorm swept through southern Sweden on Sunday night, recording wind speeds of up to 32 metres per second. Here are some of the most dramatic photos to emerge from the chaos.

Nordic Noir
The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts
Sofia Helin, who plays The Bridge's main character Saga Norén, at the season three premiere. Photo: Stig-Åke Jönsson/TT

The Bridge ends as talk of fourth season starts

10 hours ago

Swedish public broadcaster SVT has said it is in discussion with production companies and writers about a fourth series of The Bridge, after the third season reached a dramatic conclusion over the weekend.

Refugee crisis
Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Löfven visiting refugees in Malmö last week. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Sweden to give millions to Turkey refugee deal

10 hours ago

Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced on Sunday that Sweden would contribute to a joint action plan agreed by nine EU nations designed to limit the number of refugees arriving in Europe via Turkey.

My Swedish Career
'More Brits should move over to Sweden'
Photo: Private

'More Brits should move over to Sweden'

10 hours ago

Lorna Richardson, 42, recently moved from the UK to Umeå in northern Sweden, where she's started some unusual research involving both historic finds and the latest technologies.

Refugee crisis
Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter
Buses arrive at Malmömässan to deliver refugees. Photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Refugees beg to leave 'inhuman' Malmö shelter

1 day ago

Refugees sheltering in Malmö's 2013 Eurovision venue are begging to leave, with one describing it as a "prison" with "inhuman conditions", while Swedish nurses working there have been pulled out because of the health risks.

People-watching: November 28th-29th
Sponsored Article
The quickest route to UK Eurobonus destinations
Sponsored Article
11 reasons students pick Stockholm University
POLL: Swedes back new asylum rules
Sponsored Article
After Paris: 'The war is not only against Isis'
Blog updates

27 November

Editor’s blog, November 27th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, A decision by Sweden this week to impose new – much stricter than before –..." READ »


25 November

So What Does An Ambassador Do? (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"I know that my mum is super proud that I’m an Ambassador. But if you asked..." READ »

Five weirdest Christmas attacks on Sweden's famous straw goat
Sponsored Article
How Stockholm solved a startup’s housing crisis
Five myths about Sweden's refugees
Sponsored Article
Swedish researchers find Ice Age 'missing link'
How did this missing Swedish cat turn up in southern France?
Sponsored Article
Lofsdalen: The real Swedish wilderness
Sponsored Article
Beaches, bikes, and buds: studying in Malmö
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
Sponsored Article
Sweden must combat extremist 'mirage'
People-watching: November 25th
Sponsored Article
How to figure out healthcare abroad
What do Swedes want for Christmas?
Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: the new epicentre of global leadership
GUIDE: How to help refugees if you live in Sweden
Mystery ice circle in Swedish river
IN PICTURES: New royal winter snaps of Sweden's Princess Estelle
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Stockholm film festival's top movies
Susanne Walström/imagebank.sweden.se
Sponsored Article
‘Food choices in Sweden destroy forests in Asia’
People-watching: November 20th-22nd
Swedish King calls for bathtub ban
Analysis & Opinion
Why you should care about Sweden raising its terror threat level
Sponsored Article
The cheapest and fastest way to transfer money
Stockholm's best international bars
Is this the best warning sign ever?
Why are more Swedes getting fat?
Sweden's tribute to Paris victims
What is Sweden's sexiest name?
VIDEO: Madonna's emotional tribute to Paris victims at Stockholm gig
Nine of the merriest Swedish Christmas fairs
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at: