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NCJ Number: 201908 Find in a Library
Title: Prison Populations as Political Constructs: The Case of Finland, Holland and Sweden
Journal: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:21-38
Author(s): Hanns Von Hofer
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 18
Publisher: http://www.tandf.no/crime 
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This article explores the political meaning of the differences in prison populations in Sweden, Finland, and Holland.
Abstract: Despite sharing similarities in economic and social developments and having similar crime trends, the prison populations in Sweden, Finland, and Holland have developed differently over the past 50 years. The author discusses these diverse prison developments from the perspective that prison populations are political constructs. It is interesting to note that trends in the daily prison populations of these three countries do not reflect the trends of registered criminality in these countries. As such, it is postulated that prison trends are a function of criminal justice and social policies that either encourage or discourage the use of incarceration. The author offers a brief account of the criminal justice policies in Sweden, Finland, and Holland to illustrate how these policies impact the prison population in each country. The historical analysis shows how the increase in the prison population in Holland, the decrease in Finland, and the stability of the prison population in Sweden was a result of the fact that no strong opposition challenged the course of political policy in these countries. As such, the author concludes that political power and counter-power play an important role in the policies regarding the use of incarceration. References
Main Term(s): Incarceration; Policy analysis
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system policy; Finland; Netherlands; Sweden
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=201908

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