‘Scared straight’ TV show slammed

A new TV4 reality show featuring youths doing time in an adult prison has been slammed by the Swedish Welfare Board (Socialstyrelsen) for encouraging criminal careers.

'Scared straight' TV show slammed
Ann-Britt Grünewald leads a tough prison cast in the TV4 series "Inlåst"

The TV show entitled “Inlåst” (Locked up), premièred on Thursday and places a group of troubled youths in an adult prison, exposing them to the grim reality of incarceration.

The aim is for the group to be “scared straight” – a method applied in the USA to frighten young offenders from a life of crime.

But the Welfare Board argues that TV4 have not done their homework and cite a raft of international studies which indicate that the experience is more likely to have the opposite effect.

“Against better judgement TV4 are using a damaging method which increases the risk that the young people will destroy their futures. Will TV4 take responsibility if this occurs?” Knut Sundell, Mari Forslund and Kristin Marklund at the board write in an opinion article in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Friday.

They write that criminality and criminals are gaining a great deal of media exposure in Sweden today and argue that the TV4 show is just the latest attempt to cash in by “jumping on the bandwagon” despite research which indicates that the method is counter-productive.

“It is a cynical game with youths at risk.”

The series has also received criticism from the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) which has distanced itself from any implication that they have cooperated in the show.

“The service has nothing to do with the programme whatsoever. “Inlåst” is filmed at a decommissioned prison with cells from the 1800s,” Anne-Marie Dahlgren at the service writes in the newspaper.

Dahlgren also questions whether the method would have any positive effect.

“”Many young people try to acquire a tougher image. But we shouldn’t be fooled into it,” she writes.

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More than one in three Swedes watched Donald Duck on Christmas Eve

Donald Duck again looks set to be Sweden's biggest television event of the year, with millions of Swedes going quackers for the Christmas tradition.

More than one in three Swedes watched Donald Duck on Christmas Eve
Christmas in Sweden. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

More than one in three of Sweden's population of ten million tuned in to watch the 1950s 'From All of Us to All of You' Disney compilation, referred to in Sweden as ‘Kalle Anka' (Donald Duck) on Christmas Eve.

It was seen by 3,859,000 people when it was broadcast at 3pm, according to MMS which keeps statistics on Swedes' television viewing habits – the second-highest figure for the show in the 21st century.

That means it is on track to be the most-watched television event in Sweden in 2017.

While some way from its record audience of 4.32 million viewers in 1997, it is 125,000 more than last year and the fifth-highest figure for Kalle Anka since 1994, said MMS.

The dubbed cartoon compilation, which also features favourites such as Cinderella, Mickey Mouse and Ferdinand the Bull, has been shown in Sweden every year since 1959.

It is so popular that calls to emergency services fall by around 20 percent, something officials call “the Donald Duck effect”.

According to mobile provider Telenor, data usage on their network dropped by 29 percent during the hour when the Disney cartoon aired last Christmas.