What Can America Learn from the Nordic Model of Incarceration?
Date:  02-02-2015

And once we learn, will we act on it?
Rehabilitative measures, instead of further punishment, have driven crime, incarceration and recidivism rates down in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Denmark. The four countries subscribe to the “Nordic Model” of criminal justice which includes very progressive ideas and policies.

In a article posted in Policy.Mic about the differences between the way the United States and Norse leaders view incarceration, a quote by Nils Oberg, Director-General of prisons and probation in Sweden put the differences succinctly. Oberg stated, “Our role is not to punish. The punishment is the prison sentence: They have been deprived of their freedom. The punishment is that they are with us.” This simple concept has produced remarkable results in the countries that have taken that idea to heart.

The Nordic Model embraces rehabilitation. The Model includes “open prisons” and correctional officers who are also “contact officers that help an incarcerated person prepare for release. This unique duty has been found to benefit not only those who are incarcerated, but also those who work as correctional officers.

Read Sweden's Remarkable Prison System Has Done What the U.S. Won't Even Consider.