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'Prisons play up gang threat for funds'

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'Prisons play up gang threat for funds'
07:40 CET+01:00
The Swedish government and the police have been accused of exaggerating their successes in the fight against organised crime, and now the prison service is under scrutiny about whether it uses the situation to get more funds.

”The work hasn't been as successful as the government and the police have portrayed it,” the newsapper Dagens Nyheter (DN) writes in its review of organised crime.

The Prison and Probation estimates that 300 out of 5,000 inmates in Sweden have links to organised crime – about 6 percent. Many of them are kept at the high security prisons such as Hall, Kumla, and Saltvik.

Yet, DN claims the prison service may be taking the reverse road to the government - instead of downplaying the gravity of the situation, they flesh it out when writing budget requests to the government.

For three years in a row, they have claimed the number of criminal gang-related inmates has gone up.

"The phrase leaves some room for interpretation,” its budget expert Håkan Andersson told DN.

Security chief Christer Isaksson said they may change the wording next year.

"It would have been more correct to say that the number of people who come from a clear criminal background and that the complexity of the average inmate's situation have gone up,” he told DN.

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