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NCJ Number: 65606 Find in a Library
Title: CORRECTIONS - A SCANDINAVIAN PERSPECTIVE
Author(s): M S UMBREIT
Corporate Author: PACT (Prisoner and Community Together, Inc)
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Sponsoring Agency: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
PACT (Prisoner and Community Together, Inc)
Michigan City, IN 46360
Sale Source: Not Available Through National Institute of Justice/NCJRS Document Loan Program
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

PACT (Prisoner and Community Together, Inc)
P.O. Box 177
Michigan City, IN 46360
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS SLIDE SHOW PRESENTATION FOCUSES ON DANISH PENAL POLICIES AND PRISON CONDITIONS, INCLUDING COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONS, AND COMPARES THE DANISH SYSTEM OF PRISON USE WITH THAT OF AMERICAN STATES.
Abstract: DENMARK HAS LITTLE VIOLENT CRIME, NO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT, STRICT GUN CONTROL LAWS, AND RARE USE OF GUNS BY POLICE. BECAUSE DANISH CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS VIEW IMPRISONMENT AS INHERENTLY DESTRUCTIVE OF THE HUMAN SPIRIT, THEY HAVE ENCOURAGED A POLICY OF 'DEPENALIZATION' AND 'DOWNPENALIZATION' TO BOTH DECRIMINALIZE CERTAIN BEHAVIOR AND FURTHER REDUCE EXISTING PRISON POPULATIONS. STRONG SOCIETAL VALUES AGAINST OPPRESSION ARE EVIDENCED BY THE SHORT DETERMINATE SENTENCES GIVEN FOR MOST CRIMINAL OFFENSES. A TOTAL OF 81 PERCENT OF DANISH PRISONERS SERVE LESS THAN 1 YEAR, WHEREAS 98 PERCENT OF AMERICAN PRISONERS SERVE SENTENCES OF OVER 1 YEAR. IN ADDITION, THE INCARCERATION RATE, PER 100,000 CITIZENS, IS 54 IN DENMARK AND 250 IN THE UNITED STATES. FLORIDA AND GEORGIA EVEN EXCEED THE TOTALITARIAN COUNTRIES OF SOUTH AFRICA AND THE SOVIET UNION IN THE NUMBER OF PERSONS INCARCERATED. THE DANISH PRISON SYSTEM CONSISTS OF MAXIMUM TO MEDIUM SECURITY PRISONS, MINIMUM SECURITY SYSTEMS, AND DETENTION CENTERS. THE GOALS ARE NOT TO INFLICT FURTHER PUNISHMENT BUT TO PROVIDE AN INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT AS SIMILAR TO FREE LIFE AS POSSIBLE. TO THIS END, THE PRISONS HAVE A VARIETY OF NORMALIZING FEATURES INCLUDING COED FACILITIES, CONJUGAL VISITS, GOOD EDUCATIONAL FACILITIES AND FREQUENT FURLOUGHS, VOCATIONAL PROGRAMS, NO INMATE DRESS CODES, AND SHORT SENTENCES. COMPARISONS ARE MADE BETWEEN THE DANISH CLOSED PRISON AT NYBORG AND THE INDIANA STATE STATE PRISON IN MICHIGAN CITY, BOTH MAXIMUM SECURITY INSTITUTIONS. DENMARK'S INNOVATIVE PRISON AT RINGE IS ALSO DESCRIBED. THE DANISH RELIANCE ON COMMUNITY ALTERNATIVES TO PRISONS IS ILLUSTRATED BY THE SUCCESS OF THE NATION'S SIX HALFWAY HOUSES. ISSUES THAT AMERICANS MIGHT ADDRESS AFTER EXAMINING THE DANISH CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM INCLUDE (1) THE AMERICAN TRADITION OF INCARCERATING PERSONS AT GREAT EXPENSE WITHOUT DATA TO SUPPORT ITS EFFECTIVENESS, (2) THE INHUMANITY OF PRISON LIFE GOING FAR BEYOND THE DEPRIVATION OF LIBERTY, (3) THE DANISH POLICIES OF DECRIMINALIZATION AND DEINSTITUTIONALIZATION AS VIABLE ALTERNATIVES TO PRESENT AMERICAN POLICIES, AND (4) THE PROVEN SUCCESS OF A SYSTEM WHICH EMBRACES BASIC VALUES WHILE AFFIRMING THE INHERENT DIGNITY OF ALL HUMAN LIFE. A LEADERSHIP KIT ACCOMPANIES THE SLIDES.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Audiovisual aids; Conjugal visits; Correctional industries; Correctional reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Decriminalization; Deinstitutionalization; Denmark; Halfway houses; Indiana; Penology; United States of America; Vocational training
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. THE KIT CONTAINS COLOR SLIDES, AN AUDIOCASSETTE, AND A 33 PAGE INTRUCTORS GUIDE
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