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NCJ Number: 118774 Find in a Library
Title: Scandinavia (From On Doing Less Harm: Western European Alternatives to Incarceration, P 17-58, 1988, David Fogel, -- See NCJ-118773)
Author(s): D Fogel
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
Sale Source: University of Illinois at Chicago
Office of International Criminal Justice
1033 West Van Buren Street, Suite 500
Chicago, IL 60607-2919
United States of America
Type: Survey
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Alternatives to incarceration in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden are examined.
Abstract: Scandinavian countries as a whole have high levels of property crime and low levels of violence; More than two-thirds of all sentences in these countries are for less than 6 months. Primary methods used to reduce prison populations are to lower the length of prison sentences and to employ alternatives to incarceration. Strategies for reducing sentences involve both reducing statutory lengths and more extensive use of parole. Day fines, probation, and conditional sentences represent key alternatives to incarceration. Denmark is considering the use of semidetention to reduce the 24-hour nature of prison sentences, community service orders which involve voluntary commitments by offenders to work without pay from 40 to 200 hours per year on community projects, and speeding up the parole process. Finland uses fines, imprisonment, and conditional imprisonment, but is considering a reduction in the statutory 14-day minimum sentence to 6 days and a reduction in the maximum sentence from 12 to 10 years. In addition, parole discretion is being urged to require that all prisoners be released on parole. Norway employs indeterminate preventive detention, and only a court can release detainees. Conditional release from imprisonment may occur after two-thirds of the sentence has been served after a minimum of 4 months. In special cases, a prisoner may be released after serving half of the sentence. Ordinary imprisonment is distinguished from detention, but it is seldom used. Norway's heaviest penal sanction is a life sentence. Sweden's penal system is based on the use of fines, imprisonment, parole, probation, conditional sentences, an expanded prosecutor role, community supervision, and respites from prison. The Sundsvall experiment in Sweden concluded that imprisonment should be used for only the most serious crimes and that intensive supervision represents the most severe alternative to incarceration. 114 references, 6 tables.
Main Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization
Index Term(s): Day fines; Probation; Scandinavia; Sentencing/Sanctions
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