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NCJ Number: 67883 Find in a Library
Title: HAPPIEST CONVICTS IN THE WORLD
Journal: POLICE PRODUCT NEWS  Volume:3  Issue:8  Dated:(AUGUST 1979)  Pages:28-31
Author(s): C WERNER
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS JOURNAL ARTICLE DESCRIBES PRISONS IN SWEDEN, THE SWEDISH CORRECTIONAL PHILOSOPHY, AND THE GENERAL CRIME SITUATION IN THAT COUNTRY.
Abstract: IN THE ROXTUNA PRISON, 52 STAFF MEMBERS TAKE CARE OF 65 CONVICTS. SWEDISH PRISONS ARE DESIGNED TO MOLD CONVICTS INTO BETTER MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY THROUGH PSYCHIATRIC HELP, RELIGION, AND WORK. WORK IS THE BEST CURE, ESPECIALLY IF THE PRISONER GETS THE JOB HE LIKES. HE CAN CHOOSE CARPENTRY, GARDENING, FARMING, FOREST WORK, AND CLERICAL JOBS AMONG OTHERS. IF HE DOES NOT KNOW WHAT HE IS SUITED FOR, AN APTITUDE TEST WILL HELP HIM DECIDE. ACCORDING TO ONE SWEDISH PENOLOGIST, A TOUGH PENITENTIARY WILL TURN EVEN THE MOST WILLING CRIMINAL INTO AN ABNORMAL, REVENGEFUL, INDIFFERENT MAN. THEREFORE, ALTHOUGH SWEDISH PRISONS REQUIRE A STRICT 48-HOUR WORK WEEK, THEY ALLOW PRISONERS TO PARTICIPATE IN STUDY GROUPS, SLIDE SHOWINGS, MUSICAL PERFORMANCES, THEATRE, LECTURES, READING, AND OTHER FORMS OF LEISURE. MOST JAILS IN SWEDEN HAVE NO BARBED WIRE, NO SCREECHING METAL DOORS, NO ELECTRICAL FENCES, AND NO MACHINE GUN-MANNED WATCHTOWERS. PRISONERS SHARE THEIR QUARTERS WITH TWO OR THREE CAREFULLY SELECTED MEN, UNLESS A PRISONER REQUESTS TO BE ALONE. THE FATE OF ONE MURDERER ILLUSTRATES THE SWEDISH PENAL PHILOSOPHY. THE MAN RECEIVED A RELATIVELY STIFF 6 YEAR SENTENCE. NOT REQUIRED TO WEAR A UNIFORM, HE WAS ALLOWED TO PURSUE HIS NORMAL OCCUPATION: FISHING. THE PRISONER RECEIVED A FURLOUGH AFTER 1 YEAR, FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER 4 MONTHS LATER. WHEN HE GETS OUT, THE PRISON AUTHORITIES WILL HELP HIM FIND A NEW JOB, BUT HE MUST MOVE TO A NEW TOWN. THERE HAVE NEVER BEEN MORE THAN 10,500 SWEDES IN JAIL. MOST ARE JAILED FOR MINOR OFFENSES, AND 85 PERCENT OF THE OFFENDERS NEVER RETURN TO THE INSTITUTION. FOREIGN OFFENDERS ARE SENT BACK TO THEIR OWN COUNTRY. PHOTOGRAPHS ARE INCLUDED. (JLF)
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Corrections management; Sweden
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67883

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