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Swedish inmates complain over 'poor TV'

TT/The Local/rm · 17 Aug 2011, 10:05

Published: 17 Aug 2011 10:05 GMT+02:00

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“All the Swedish Prison and Probation Service detention centres should offer the same selection,” the letter said.

According to the inmates it is not uncommon for detention centres across Sweden to offer their detainees 10-19 channels to choose from. But in Kalmar they have to make do with seven.

Prison and Probation service head in Kalmar, Bengt Vestberg, does not agree that inmates are being short-changed.

“It is a question of the cost, really. By law we are obliged to show the basic selection of SVT1, SVT2 and TV 4 at the centre. We have also added Eurosport, CNN and some other channels. We really don’t think we should spend any more than that,” he said to local paper Östran.

That the selection differs at other detention centres is because this is a matter that every establishment has to make according to their own conditions, according to Vestberg.

However, the inmates are upset that the guards, despite the centre's parsimonious attitude to spending, recently had their security system upgraded with a 22 inch screen.

“That they could afford,” said the letter.

However, according to Vestberg, the police station, which previously was part of the building, has recently moved, causing the detention centre to put a lot of the budget into improving security measures.

Story continues below…

“We are always updating technical equipment. It is important as we now have shops and other commercial premises beneath us instead of several floors full of police officers,” he told Östran.

TT/The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:37 August 17, 2011 by conboy
Sure god love them!
10:39 August 17, 2011 by jacquelinee
Poor souls! Get them High Definition Wall Sized Flat Screen with a hundred channels. And while you´re at it bring them some caviar and a Mai Tai and the new Ikea Catalogue so they can pick out some lovely new Decor. After all, what good is commiting crimes and being sent to jail if you are not treated like you are at the Hilton?
10:51 August 17, 2011 by Brtahan
Hahah they are on vacation there:) some older people in carehomes dont even have a TV !
10:51 August 17, 2011 by eppie
I don't even have CNN and eurosport.....and I am not living in a prison.
10:54 August 17, 2011 by PonceDeLeon
If that is the case we are all prisoners. At least they like the food?? See Sheriff Joe Arpaio Maricopa co. Arizona..
11:33 August 17, 2011 by e1zorro
Isn't being in jail punishment enough?. Instead they will be subjected to endless talent shows and repeated cops dramas.
12:00 August 17, 2011 by Marc the Texan
I don't watch TV. Why should prisoners? Is TV access now considered a right too?
12:02 August 17, 2011 by jacquelinee
Send the criminals to a Swedish Elderly care facility. THEN they will find out what being a prisioner in a hell hole is all about.
12:28 August 17, 2011 by Abe L
I really can't believe Swedish law makes TV an obligatory privilege for prisoners. They are in isolated confinement for a reason, they could have not broken the law instead and be able to enjoy any tv-channel of choice. It's bitter to see taxpayer money spend on providing criminals with tv options that any hard working citizen needs to otherwise pay for themselves.
13:26 August 17, 2011 by axiom
So this is how you get 19 channels ...

Well bugger me for thinking you stay out of trouble, work hard and pay for it.

Naah, get into much trouble as you want, then don't work kick back and someone else forks out the money for it.

Starting to like the alternative myself :D
17:03 August 17, 2011 by CarstenTM
I wonder if the Gesta.. I mean Radiotjänst makes sure those inmates pay their 2000SEK yearly...
17:23 August 17, 2011 by tuerd1982
@ Brtahan agree.

Many hard working or retired people even don't have a TV but these prisoner who suppose to suffer what they did were asking luxury. The Scandinavia should change their prison and punishment rule. The punishment wasn't serious enough and prison environment is like two star hotel so many people doesn't care about the consequences.
17:32 August 17, 2011 by dolphin, the
And the joke goes on and on....

Seriously, since when is TV a basic necessity? Why do we have to pay for entertainment in a prison cell anyway? I thought criminals are put in prison to be punished - and not to be treated as guests in a hotel.
19:59 August 17, 2011 by HYBRED
What a bunch of whinner's. We have to pay out the @ss for the same crap TV they get for free.

And they most likely get out of paying extortion,(TV tax) to the government.

TV size to small? Just sit closer.
21:18 August 17, 2011 by Grokh
if you want good tv dont commit crimes...
22:35 August 17, 2011 by jarme
Are we still on Swedish/Scandinavian forum? Judging by these answers it seems that discussion got highjacked by posters from United States of Revenge.

In Scandinavia, as in many other European countries, the purpose of prison is REHABILITATION, not revenge. That is a difference between US-like revenge penal system vs. the european rehabilitative model. The revenge system is just self-fuelling. Treat someone like an animal in prison, and then when they get released, shock horror, they continue to act like an animal, and the cycle continues. Try and break the cycle with rehabilitation, and you actually deal with the problem instead of individuals' sick needs for revenge.

Who are you to say that they are wrong?

After all the level of crimes is much smaller there than in the US where prison often is viewed as revenge.
23:32 August 17, 2011 by Smallnose
It's a shame, we are a social welfare state, besides they also paid taxes, they have the right to get cable/fibre/satellite if they want to.
23:55 August 17, 2011 by Vitas
Yes. Really. Anders Behring Breivik is not afraid of revenge. He knew befor his crime there will not be any punishment, but REHABILITATION!

About TV I really understand this inmates - Swedish TV is very bad.
00:39 August 18, 2011 by Da Goat
They do in fact need to upgrade the TV they need to remove the channels they have and replace them with HOPE TV and 3ABN etc off the satellite seeing as they are there for rehabilitation the commercial rubbish TV will not help them one iota.

if they wine about that then chop them off completely and give them a jar of Vaseline instead to amuse them selves !
09:55 August 18, 2011 by jacquelinee
@ jarme

I'm all for rehabilitation. Give them a self help book and a quiet room. Give them a long hard days work and a decent meal. Give them a hot shower and bed to sleep. Speak to them fairly and with human respect and if they don't repsect the rules there, then take the book and shower away till they do. The next day give it to them all again. and the next and the next. No TV, No Computers, No frills. That is rehabilitation. When they get out they will be so happy to have some things back like a TV, computer, newspaper, phone etc they might not want to get on the bad side of the law and give it all up again.
10:44 August 18, 2011 by 9ja
Bring those motheridiots to Nigeria's prison for a week. They will be fully rehabilitated by the time they come out.
11:54 August 19, 2011 by jacquelinee
whose feet are those?...........need a pedicure hahahah
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