Swedish prison numbers at 15-year high

Swedish prison numbers at 15-year high
The Swedish prison population has reached record levels, according to a budget proposition presented to the government by the Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården).

“Over the past 15 years the total number of clients within the prison and probation service has never been as high as it is now,” the Swedish Prison and Probation Service writes in its budget forecast dated July 30th.

The number of clients managed by the service increased by 751 from 2008 to a current 20,920. The increase has primarily occurred within non-custodial treatment services.

The number of prisoners in custodial services amounted to 6,580 in the first half of 2009, an increase of one percent on 2008.

Prisoners being treated within non-custodial services increased by 4.8 percent on 2008 to 14,340 in the first half of 2009.

The Prison and Probation Service writes that on average 95 percent of prison places have been occupied over the first half of 2009 which is five percent above the desired limit.

The service however expects pressure on correctional facilities to ease off over the full year with an average of 20,880 clients.

The service writes that a government review of the penal system, to be completed in 2012, makes future projections somewhat uncertain.

The review will consider, among other things, whether the application of alternatives to custodial sentences should be extended in order to ease pressure on prisons.

The service confirms plans to extend the number of places available within correctional facilities by 1,469 during the period 2009-2012.

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