Malmö jail inmates angry over playing cards ban

Malmö jail inmates angry over playing cards ban
Prisoners at Kirseberg prison in Malmö have complained to the Parliamentary Ombudsman (Justitieombudsmannen - JO) after prison authorities banned card playing, saying that excessive gambling has lead to violence.

“An idiotic rule which has been created for one purpose alone – to mess with the inmates and make this prison, already one of the more disliked in the country, even more dull,” said a prisoner representative to the Sydsvenskan daily.

Anders Eriksson, head of the Kirseberg prison however argued that the ban is not directed against card games per se but the gambling that comes with it.

“It can concern large sums and we know that problems can arise with violence, threats and debt collection,” Eriksson told the newspaper.

Eriksson explained that the prisoners will now be encouraged to entertain themselves with more gainful employment that has nothing to do with money, such as other types of games.

But according to a the prisoner representative, the inmates’ disgruntlement has led to them spending the large part of the day sitting around and discussing their contempt for the prison authorities.

This is not the first time Kirseberg prison has grabbed the headlines as a result of the dissatisfaction of its residents.

In March 2010 a prisoner was warned over his persistent flatulence after staff drew the conclusion that he deployed the malodorous method to voice his discontent towards the system.

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