Prisons ‘must be allowed to ban porn’

The governors of three Swedish prisons have expressed concern after the Supreme Administrative Court allowed a convicted rapist to keep pornographic magazines in his cell.

Allowing rapists to keep porn increases the risk of re-offending, the three officials argue in an article in Thursday’s Svenska Dagbladet.

Lennart Palmgren, Lisbeth Malmqvist and Bengt Hasselrot write that some sex offenders “have shown that they are capable of crossing the line between fantasy and reality and have carried out sometimes violent rapes and sexual attacks on children.”

The Supreme Administrative Court (Regeringsrätten) ruled in June that prisoners’ right to freedom of information was more important than society’s interest in banning porn as part of their course of treatment.

Many prison officials were disappointed by the ruling. The governors argue that they should be given the power to ban sex offenders from receiving pornographic material. The government has promised a change in the law to make a ban possible.

“In order to better carry out the prison service’s duty – to prevent re-offending – we hope that the change in the law now being prepared by the government will be approved by parliament and make it possible for the prison service to forbid sex offenders from reading pornographic magazines in jail,” the governors write.