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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 126704 Find in a Library
Title: Punishment in Moderation (From Criminal Law in Action: An Overview of Current Issues in Western Societies, 259-270, 1988, Jan van Dijk, Charles Haffmans, et al, eds. -- See NCJ-126687)
Author(s): B Svensson
Date Published: 1988
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: Kluwer Law International
Norwell, MA 02061
Sale Source: Kluwer Law International
Publicity Manager
101 Philip Drive
Assinippi Park
Norwell, MA 02061
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: Extensive criminality is a characteristic feature of most western countries, including Sweden, and alternatives to imprisonment should be considered to effect punishment in moderation.
Abstract: In Sweden, correctional institutions have about 4,000 cells; this number cannot be substantially increased unless more than one person is placed in each cell. The time needed to plan and design a new institution covers many years, and the costs of a new institution are high. Fines represent the predominant sanction in Sweden. Many crimes, however, cannot be dealt with merely by fines. The number of prisoners in Sweden depends on the number of prison sentences and on terms of imprisonment. Prison sentences imposed in 1984 averaged 5 months, but nearly 60 percent were for only 2 months. The number of prisoners is also affected by rules for conditional release. Since July 1983, those sentenced to imprisonment are generally released when half of their term, but at least 2 months, has been served. Terms of imprisonment vary greatly for different crime categories. The average term for drunken driving is a little more than 1 month, while drug offenses involve terms nearly 10 times as long. Children below 15 years of age, the insane, and feeble-minded or mentally disordered persons may not be sentenced to imprisonment under Swedish law. Punishment should be awarded and executed to show that the threat of punishment is real, but sanctions should be designed to promote offender rehabilitation as well as deterrence. 8 references, 4 tables, and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries; Punishment
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Fines; Sweden
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