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Swedish inmates 'awash in drugs, guns and porn'

Oliver Gee · 27 Feb 2012, 17:16

Published: 27 Feb 2012 17:16 GMT+01:00

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The documents also reveal how inmates are involved in extensive crime rings running inside the walls of Sweden’s psychiatric clinics.

According to the the documents, obtained by Sveriges Television (SVT), inmates are involved in a wide rang of criminal activities mostly made possible by the inmates’ access to mobile phones and the internet.

The crimes, which have been estimated to number in the thousands over the past few years, have occurred in the four clinics located in Vadstena, Katrineholm, Sundsvall and Säter.

Since 2007, inmates have been legally authorized to use computers and telephones. But a physician may decide to shut down a patient for two months if they misbehave.

However, there is little to prevent an inmate who has had his or her rights suspended from using someone else's internet or telephone.

“In practice it is an empty gesture. It's insane,” Kenth Persson, director of the Karsudden forensic psychiatric clinic located near Katrineholm in central Sweden, told SVT.

"The truth is that we don’t control patients as a preventive measure. We’re not allowed to do it, so reasonably, we shouldn’t have any idea of what’s going on.”

In some cases, inmates have downloaded child pornography and have even been in contact with the children.

“The most difficult issue in our eyes is when patients contact minors", said Jan Cedergren Borg,” director of the clinic in Vadstena.

Drug trafficking has been another major problem, as some inmates have even been using the internet to order drugs and have them delivered to them inside the clinics, with cannabis being a regular and popular option.

Some inmates have even had the audacity to organize meetings within the walls of the clinics with their dealers.

“It is totally unacceptable that it works this way. It is not reasonable. They are really serious criminals in there. The basic rule must be that they should not have phone or internet", said Jerzy Sarnecki, a professor of criminology at Stockholm University, to the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Story continues below…

Sarnecki pointed out that on paper, the criminals are actually patients, as they have been sent for psychiatric treatment, not prison time - and this is why they have been allowed phones and internet.

However, he claims it the definition should not apply in these extreme cases.

“This is about murderers and sex offenders. So, things cannot continue like this. It is absolutely horrible,” he told the paper.

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

19:31 February 27, 2012 by e_life
Am sorry,...what?!....what is there to stop them from simply walking out of there?
21:05 February 27, 2012 by planet.sweden
"In some cases, inmates have downloaded child pornography and have even been in contact with the children."

Once again Sweden is putting lame excuses and cowardice before doing what is right, and what is necessary. No change there then.
21:24 February 27, 2012 by astra2thor6
It could only happen in Sweden!
21:48 February 27, 2012 by metalhead
So instead of living in their parents basement surfing the net for porn, getting fed by mum and dad, having their laundry done by mum and dad, they get to do all of this at the expense of the State? Are you kidding me? Whatever happened to "punishment"?
06:59 February 28, 2012 by philster61
University of crime
07:06 February 28, 2012 by SimonDMontfort
Nothing new about prisoners 'somehow' obtaining access to all manner of contraband - happens elsewhere, not just in Sweden.

I agree about the 'lame excuses' - staff running these facilities should be much more vigilant about what inmates are doing and perhaps take on staff who are trained in helping drug addicts kick the habit.

Why don't they use a system like Cell Hound to detect when mobile phone calls are being made? (although from reading the article, it doesn't sound as though staff are exactly 'proactive' in stopping bad things from happening
07:20 February 28, 2012 by Lavaux
It seems that coddling criminals does no more to rehabilitate them than putting them to work in chain gangs. One more nail in the coffin of "Restorative Justice".
08:45 February 28, 2012 by muscle
guns... GUNS!!!! what kind of place is this. :S GUNS to criminals!!! :S
08:51 February 28, 2012 by zooeden
Well of course Im not surprised with the whole system, keep sending the bad guys to faking suites call it psychaetric facilities or Jails full with lux!!! It pays off to be a criminal!!!
09:44 February 28, 2012 by CJ from Sunshine Desserts
Can`t be any different from any other prison anywhere else ? Sweden: the only country in the world where crime pays.....
09:56 February 28, 2012 by Douglas Garner
"In practice it is an empty gesture. It's insane," Kenth Persson, director of the Karsudden forensic psychiatric clinic.... how funny... insane!

the criminals are actually patients, as they have been sent for psychiatric treatment, not prison time - .... and this is why we have prisons/hospitals for the criminally insance in the States!
10:05 February 28, 2012 by phil23456
U poor Swedish people, your government lets dangerous criminals run the streets and lets in so many more from 3rd world countries. Oh hang on a minute, you guys voted for them!
12:15 February 28, 2012 by Marc the Texan
Swedish Justice by design.
14:37 February 28, 2012 by soultraveler3
If these inmates have psychiatric problems and have committed crimes as a result of those problems they need to be in a psychiatric jail facility, away from other people until they're better.

The people employed there have to work within the constraints of the law and because of that they're pretty much helpless to do anything.

What's the point of having the place in operation at all then? The inmates are allowed to do whatever they want, can contact minors and their drug dealers, don't have to work and have free room and board all at the taxpayers expense.

Since that seems to be an acceptable thing for the Swedish government, why not just put them on socialbidrag and let them go?
16:35 February 28, 2012 by rohermoker
In Minnesota we struggle with similar problems. thise under what is called Civil comittment, are in hospatil, not prision, they are sick, not punished. For the most part they have served their prison term, and getting "well" though no one gets better, and very few have been "cured enough to be "discharged". Having personal experience with a mentally ill spouse, and running the mental health system in the US, it is a fine line between patient rights and the rights of the family, and socitey. I wish there is an easy answer to the problem.
16:47 February 28, 2012 by johan rebel
1. Is anybody surprised?

2. Does anybody think these poor "patients'" rights will now be infringed to protect the general public?
20:59 February 28, 2012 by Chickybee
This could so easily be stopped - restrict their so-called 'rights' and think about the victims of their crimes.
23:46 February 28, 2012 by Mbenzi
Of course there should be jail/hospitals.

But the real problem is that you become hostages of your own systems, when those look fine when designed and then show effects which were not anticipated.

So that, combined with bad coordination between various authorities, gives you this ridiculous (and dangerous) situation. And that is not valid only for Sweden.

Besides, nobody wants a system like in USA, where a poor guy can get life-time for stealing a bicycle.
04:06 April 30, 2012 by BubbleFlag626
What The Ever living ***K?!?!

These doctors might as well be their own patients because what they are doing is completely insane!

Letting proven dangerous criminals have access to the phone or internet?

These doctors are letting these psychos run their own criminal enterprises through their own goddamn cells!

Might even explain why sex trafficking is getting harder to stomp out.
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