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Sweden set to send foreign prisoners home

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Sweden set to send foreign prisoners home
07:34 CEST+02:00
The European Union has proposed that prisoners committing offences in another member state should be able to serve their sentences in their home country.

The Swedish government is now set to investigate how the Swedish legislation can be amended to the EU directive.

The government met last Thursday to decide to appoint a commission to adapt Swedish legislation to the EU directive, with the general rule being that citizens should serve their sentence in their country of nationality or residence.

"It is important that rehabilitation process takes place in the country in which one lives," Sweden's justice minister Beatrice Ask told Sveriges Television's Rapport news programme.

The opportunity to serve a sentence in a home country already exists and last year 55 people were transferred from Sweden to other EU countries to serve out their time.

But the system is currently based on a set of voluntary rules and in the future it will be harder for the prisoner and the recipient country to refuse a transfer.

Even if the new rules will mean that Swedes convicted of imprisonment in other countries will serve their penalties in Sweden, the pressure on Swedish prisons is expected to decline.

Aside from custodial sentences the changes also apply to psychiatric care, community service and probation.

The government inquiry is due to be completed by September 30th next year.

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