Why Sweden’s Prison Population is Dropping Significantly
Date:  12-06-2013

Confident “probation service and more programs for violent offenders are a part of the reason for the decline
When it comes to the criminal justice system, they do things differently in Sweden. Long known for its enlightened views on prisoners and punishment, Sweden is being held up as a model for other countries to emulate, according to a recent article in The Guardian.

Sweden uses a humane approach with dealing with prisoners, and according to The Guardian, that method will allow the country to close four more prisons in the near future.

So what are some of the humane ways prisoners are treated? Guardian writer Erwin James tells us that prison sentences usually don’t exceed ten years, even in serious crimes. Prisoners with life sentences can ask for a commutation of that sentence after a period of time.

Children cannot be sentenced to life in prison. The age of responsibility is fifteen- years old. Every effort is made to keep juveniles out of prison by providing alternatives to incarceration.

But Sweden’s probation system is probably one of the biggest reasons that the country’s prison population is ebbing. Bolstered by thousands of volunteers, the Swedish government’s probation agency “guarantees” formerly incarcerated Swedes treatment for substance abuse and help for those with violent behaviors.

Source: CURE International

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