Swedish authorities in crisis meeting over crowded custodial facilities

TT/The Local
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Swedish authorities in crisis meeting over crowded custodial facilities

Facilities used for detention and custody in Sweden are full to capacity and authorities have engaged in crisis talks over the situation.


The pressure on the detention centres, known in Swedish as häkten, are partly caused by overcrowding at prisons, according to a report by Radio Sweden’s Ekot programme.

Currently, 130 people who should be serving punishments in prisons are instead accommodated at the primary detention facilities due to lack of space, according to the report.

Directors of seven different authorities, including the police, prison service and prosecution authorities, met in Stockholm on Friday to discuss an emergency solution to the issue.

“The situation is very serious. We now have overcrowded detention at a level which means that 23 out of 32 facilities in the country have over 100 percent occupancy, and that is completely unacceptable,” Swedish Prison and Probation Service general director Nils Öberg told the radio station.

In an effort to manage the problem, several task groups have been set up to look into options such as accommodating detainees in double rooms. But the total capacity of the correctional service must be increased in the long term, according to Öberg.

“The situation we have today is at risk of worsening in the coming months. We cannot have a situation whereby facilities are occupied at 100 percent or more. Me must have a maximum occupation of 90 percent,” he said.

READ ALSO: Violence on the rise in Sweden's nearly-full prisons


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