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Swedish prison service "can't afford to treat sex offenders"

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11:55 CEST+02:00
A third of those convicted of sex-related offences never go through treatment before the end of their jail terms because of a lack of resources in the Swedish prison system, reported Svenska Dagbladet on Thursday.

Last year 456 people were sent to prison after being convicted of sex crimes. According to the latest statistics, at least 150 of them will not undergo any treatment before being released.

"It is too bad that we can not offer treatment to everybody," said Bengt Månsson, who deals with sex offenders at Väanstalten prison in southern Sweden.

"There just aren't enough resources," he told SvD.

The prison is forced to prioritize which convicts it attempts to treat, those who are most likely to commit future crimes.

The 33 percent who are considered less likely to rape again simply serve their time and are released.

"Depending on resource allotment, it becomes like this," Månsson said.

"It is all about kronor and having the people to listen."

"An effective treatment could lower the chances of future crimes by 30 to 40 percent," said psychiatrist Niklas Långström, head of the violence prevention centre at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Last year 1,000 people were found guilty of sex-related offences. Less than half of them were sentenced to a term in jail.

For rape, the average prison sentence is two and a half years, while those punished for what is categorised in Sweden as "serious rape" were sent to jail for an average term of five years and two months.

Niklas Lindgren, the 33-year-old known as Haga Man, was convicted on Wednesday on two charges of attempted murder, and for rape and attempted rape. He was sentenced to 14 years in prison.

He will probably enter the rehabilitation program and be released into society before he turns 50.

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