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NCJ Number: 201907 Find in a Library
Title: Swedish Prison System in Historical Perspective: A Story of Successful Failure?
Journal: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:1-20
Author(s): Roddy Nilsson
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 20
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This article examines the emergence of the Swedish prison system during the 19th century.
Abstract: The construction of large prison systems was an international phenomenon during the 19th century. In Sweden at this time, as the prison system emerged, a debate took place over whether to institute a Philadelphia-like system or an Auburn-like system. The debate ended with a near total victory for the emergence of a Philadelphia-like system in Sweden, which was based on the principle of housing inmates in solitary confinement. Throughout the second half of the 19th century, as the prison system based on solitary confinement grew, so to did the disciplinary nature of the Swedish penal policy. The expansion of the Philadelphia-like system and the strict disciplinary nature of Swedish penal policy grew for years after other nations had abandoned the concept of solitary confinement. The author offers several explanations for this expansion, most notably being the unprecedented disciplinary possibilities offered by solitary confinement. Furthermore, the Philadelphia-like system provided for a form of “successful” institution, in which a well administered, secure, and calm institutional setting was possible. The author asserts that this is one reason why the Swedish prison system has enjoyed a high degree of legitimacy in the international community during the 20th century. References
Main Term(s): Prison management; Sweden
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Criminal justice system policy; History of corrections; Solitary confinement
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