• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Prisoner numbers fall in Sweden

The Local · 24 Feb 2013, 13:08

Published: 24 Feb 2013 13:08 GMT+01:00

According to the Dagens Nyheter broadsheet, Sweden has the lowest number of inmates in 11 years.

The government has introduced several penal reforms. The biggest one came in 2010, when penalties for violent crimes were tightened on several points.

At the time, the Swedish Prison and Probation Service (Kriminalvården) estimated that Sweden would need 700 new prison places since an increase in inmates was seen as a logical outcome of stricter punishments.

Instead, the trend has been the opposite of what was expected.

New statistics from the Prison and Probation Service show that the number of people imprisoned in 2012 was the lowest since 2001, when Social Democrat politician Thomas Bodström was the minister for justice.

A report published by a number of legal and police authorities and submitted to the government predicts that the number of inmates will continue to decrease.

It will fall by 11 percent between 2012 and 2016, according to the report.

Ulf Jonson of the Prison and Probation Service told Dagens Nyheter that there are several reasons why fewer Swedes end up in prison.

He mentioned that in many cases prosecutors decide to drop the case or order the criminal to pay fines instead of serving a prison sentence.

He also pointed out that a suspended sentence with community service is becoming more common.

Story continues below…

Henrik Tham, a professor in criminology at Stockholm University, added that there has also been a drop in crime rates, "even if many do not believe it".

He also explained that Swedes have become more prone to reporting crimes, which means that, according to some measurements, crime rates appear to be on the rise.

TT/The Local/nr Follow The Local on Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

13:21 February 24, 2013 by isenhand
interesting. Opposite to what I'd expect.
13:53 February 24, 2013 by Migga
If anything I suspect the police and courts are under much more pressure of rising crime that they lack the resources to bind criminals to their crimes. It falls apart in court if it even makes it there. Or, as it`s said in the article, that the punishments are fines and community service instead of prison.
00:33 February 25, 2013 by B Slick
Its comforting to know that there are many more crimiminals and thugs loose on the streets in sweden today than 10 years ago.
00:34 February 25, 2013 by BackpackerKev
"policy of introducing harsher punishments" Sweden has a policy, but is it enforced? No.

This is down to incompetent prosecutions wanting an easy pay day instead of justice,

Incompetent judges who naively agree with the weak prosecutors and hand out soft judgements for serious offences/re-offences

There is no drop in crime rates, it just fewer offenders are being captured by the police and/or people not reporting small crimes due to knowledge of the poor police service.
00:39 February 25, 2013 by B Slick
nnjhjhjjjn
01:41 February 25, 2013 by Enjoyourlife
What!! I thought immmigrants are criminals!
11:18 February 25, 2013 by Max Reaver
Now there are fewer prisoners, the government says "Wooow! our society is so safe so nobody needs to get convicted, since everybody is following the law!"

What they dont tell you is that more would-be prisoners are now roaming the streets.
01:10 February 26, 2013 by BackpackerKev
Harsher Punishments?

I refer you to the following....

"The man who abducted a nine-year-old girl in Gothenburg last year and threatened to sell her as a sex slave was sentenced to two years in prison on Monday after being found guilty of kidnapping."

This not only lets down the Swedish justice system, but lets down the Human Race.
08:55 February 26, 2013 by salalah
They sent them directly to Guantanamo instead of keeping them here, without trial
Today's headlines
Coeliac disease not caused by early weaning: Swedish study
Carin Andrén Aronsson now plans to investigate why Sweden has such high levels of coeliac disease. Photo: Polarbrod

Mothers who stop breastfeeding early are not to blame for their children developing gluten intolerance, a new Swedish study has found.

Zlatan look-a-like storms pitch as Man U take on champions
A grinning Zlatan pushed the man away with the palm of his hand. Photo: YouTube

Zlatan fever has hit the UK, with a look-a-like storming the pitch on Saturday only to be palmed off by the grinning Swedish football star.

Russian Sweden Democrat aide resigns over suspect deal
'Egor Putilov' had access to all areas of the Swedish parliament: Photo: Riksdag

A Russian-born political secretary for the Sweden Democrats has resigned after making six million kronor ($0.7m) in a property deal with a St Petersburg businessman.

Trump an 'embarrassment' Springsteen tells Sweden
Bruce Springsteen tells SVT talk show host that Trump is an 'embarrassment' to the US. Photo: SVT/Youtube

Rock legend Bruce Springsteen has described Donald Trump as an embarrassment to the United States, in an interview on Sweden's Skavlan talk show.

'World class' developer told to leave Sweden over admin slip
Software developer Tayyab Shabab. Photo: Private

Tayyab Shabab has a house, a job and pays tax in Sweden, but he has now been told he must leave within three weeks.

Police release men held over bomb threat on refugee home
Police officers outside the building. Photo: Robert Nyholm/TT

UPDATED: Two men arrested after a bomb threat was made against a home for refugees in Boden, northern Sweden, have been allowed to leave custody.

Embassy: No-go zones 'do not exist in Sweden'
Police on the Serbian-Hungarian border. Photo: Sofia Eriksson/TT

Sweden's embassy in Budapest has sharply rebuked Hungary after an official leaflet claimed that Stockholm and other European cities had become "no-go areas".

The Local List
Ten reasons why it's awesome being knocked up in Sweden
Being pregnant in Sweden can be pretty great. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

US writer Lisa Ferland shares her top reasons why she thinks Sweden is wonderful for expecting mums.

The Local Recipe
Welcome in the autumn with this Swedish tiger cake
Tiger cake and coffee, the perfect combination. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Fika: the best part of the day. Make this tiger cake and you'll keep everyone very happy.

Four arrested over Gothenburg riots
File photo of a Swedish police officer. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

Four people have been arrested in connection with riots in a Gothenburg suburb this week.

Sponsored Article
Let's Talk: a personal Swedish language tutor in your pocket
National
Muslim teacher leaves job after not shaking male colleague's hand
Sponsored Article
‘I view the world in a different way now’
Travel
Why we adore autumn in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: September 21st
Blog updates

7 September

Svensk or svenska? (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hejsan! My inbox is full of questions :-). Here’s one about when to use “svensk” and…" READ »

 

23 August

A Summer in Sweden (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"For our first year here in Sweden we decided to have all our holidays in Sweden.…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
'Creating a sense of home': Collective living in Stockholm
National
Stockholmers hunt killer badger after attack on neighbourhood hipster cat
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
The Local Voices
Why this Russian developer is committed to helping refugees - with tech
National
Six key points in Sweden's budget plan
The Local Voices
How a Swedish name finally made recruiters notice this Iranian's CV
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: 'So much more than beaches'
Gallery
Property of the week: Luleå
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 16th-18th
Culture
Why Swedish TV has given these kids' trucks a sex swap
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
National
TIMELINE: Everything you need to know about the Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Gallery
People-watching: September 14th
Politics
Why Sweden is putting troops on holiday dream island Gotland
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
The Local Voices
'What I mean when I say: I came here to blow myself up'
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Society
VIDEO: Are Swedes that unfriendly?
Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden’s ’a-kassa’
Features
INTERVIEW: How Arthur the jungle dog opened hearts and minds
Gallery
Property of the week: Smögen, Västra Götaland
Society
Sweden's ancient forest tongue Elfdalian fights for survival
National
Where Sweden's foreigners are from
Gallery
People-watching: September 9th-11th
The Local Voices
Shakib, 23, works and pays taxes — but will Sweden let him stay?
National
Watch this Swede roll his kayak without spilling his beer. Respect.
Gallery
People-watching: September 7th
The Local Voices
'Swedes are polarized on refugees - it's the welcome mat or the exit door'
National
WATCH: Yes, this Swedish rising star really is Abba legend's grandson
The Local Voices
'Whenever I apply for jobs I’m treated like an unwanted stranger'
The Local Voices
Is Swedish bosses' ignorance keeping refugees out of jobs?
2,966
jobs available