The rebellion, in the ‘motivation department’ of the Järvsta jail in Gävle, started on Friday evening at half past seven. The motivation department is home to those prisoners classed as particularly difficult to reform.
Early reports indicated that prison warders had been taken captive, but this was later denied by police.
The prisoners’ claimed they were rioting in response to overcrowding at the jail, reported Dagens Nyheter.
Inmates armed themselves with iron bars and tried to escape by breaking out of doors and windows, and destroyed all the surveillance cameras in the building.
Police negotiators were sent up from Stockholm, and the building was surrounded by police units from several counties.
The situation was brought under control at half past eight, and prisoners started to negotiate with the police. The rioters finally gave themselves up at one o’clock on Saturday morning, reported Sveriges Radio.
Police are now questioning inmates about the riot. A prison service spokesman told news agency TT that he thought it unlikely that overcrowding was the real explanation for the violence. It was more likely that a prisoner with a personal gripe had encouraged or forced his fellow inmates to riot.
Gävle police say that the destruction inside the prison is “widespread”, but that nobody has been injured.