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Prison closures needed to keep authority afloat

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10:00 CET+01:00
An overhaul of Swedish prisons will see 14 institutions affected by closures and cutbacks as the appointed authority is forced to juggle figures in line with its budget for 2010.

The Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) will make an official decision in November over the fate of prisons and criminal institutions across the country.

Ahead of the announcement, an article in Dagens Nyheter newspaper specifies 14 prisons which will be affected and reports the loss of 850 prison places and 630 jobs in the reorganisation.

Prisons will be close in in Östersund, Härnösand, Uppsala, Norrköping, Uddevalla, Ängelholm, Karlskrona and Trelleborg. Criminal institutions affected in the reorganisation include Viskan, Johannesberg and Mariestad.

In recent years Kriminalvården has concentrated on the development of three prisons at Kumla, Hall and Saltvik, all of which will be completed by the end of the year.

But the project has proved costly and the authority's 7.3 billion kronor budget for 2010 is not enough to keep these and existing prisons running.

Lars Nylén, director-general of Kriminalvården, told DN that further expansion projects have been put on hold and the government has told the authority to solve the situation.

”We were already planning for closures but now we are in a position where we are forced to shut them down,” he said.

A number of institutions to be closed are 19th century buildings considered to be old-fashioned in today's modern prison service.

Many of the prisons set to shut shared facilities with police stations that have since relocated.

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