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Sweden Is Closing Many Prisons Due to Lack of Prisoners 752

rtoz writes "Sweden is taking steps to close many prisons due to lack of prisoners. This year alone, four prisons and a detention center got closed in Sweden. The percentage of the population in Sweden prison is significantly lower than in most other countries. ... Though the Swedish Government is taking steps to close the prisons, the crime rate in Sweden has increased slightly. It seems they are planning to take steps for preventing crime rather than focusing on jailing people involved in criminal activities."
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Sweden Is Closing Many Prisons Due to Lack of Prisoners

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  • by renzhi ( 2216300 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @01:29AM (#45397869)
    Why closing them? They should outsource/rent to the Americans, I'm sure they could make some money and create more jobs at the same time.
  • by HalfFlat ( 121672 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @02:08AM (#45397997)

    There are countries far more socialist than Sweden that have a prison and murder rate per capita far higher than the US.

    Well, no. No, there isn't. Because the US is in fact the world leader in per capita incarceration rate. The US is, in this metric, really number one.

    Murder is another story. If you compare the US though with its economic peers, you have to go a long way down the per-capita GDP axis [] before you find another country with a higher per-capita homicide rate.

  • by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @03:22AM (#45398317) Homepage

    Some figures from []

    Civilian guns on Norway: 1,320,000 (1 in three people)
    Government guns in Norway: 80,000

    The Government is outgunned by 16:1

    (Which is as it should be)

  • by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @04:08AM (#45398471)

    The Government is outgunned by 16:1

    However, in Norway the population is, by and large, loyal to the government, believe it or not. In fact, that is how it is in most of Europe, AFAIK. Even if we don't agree with the government's policies, we still trust and respect them.

    I remember a story from when I went to school in Denmark (too many years ago): The Czar of Russia came on a state visit to Denmark, and was shown some of the sights in Copenhagen, modest as they are. Among other things, they climbed up a famous church tower, "The Round Tower"; and the Czar, whose czarina was a Danish princess, wanted to impress his in-law with his immense power, so he called over one of his young officers and told him to throw himself from the tower. The officer dared not disobey, said his last prayers and started to climb over the railings - but the king stopped him and has the czar what this was about. The czar ansewred: "See, this is how powerful I am. Nobody can resist me". And the king looked at him and said - "My power if different - I can go out to even the poorest farm in my country, unarmed and alone, and ask for shelter; and the farmer will guard me with his life."

    The American way is not the only way.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @04:43AM (#45398617)

    Swede here - you're exaggerating every point you make.

    75% tax rate? Come on.

    The Swedes who loudly "defend" their "native cultures" in most cases ARE fascist, nationalist bigots. The ones who are more moderate about their criticisms join the third largest party instead (SD).

    Men are treated like shit in any proceeding about women huh? So all those rape cases where everyone was furious about the man getting away because of this thing called "rÃttssÃkerhet" (proving beyond reasonable doubt, etc) suddenly doesn't exist.

    I love how any criticism about Sweden can come in two polarly opposite forms, depending on your own worldview.

    Immigration problem? Sweden either has a "huge immigration problem" if you dislike immigrants in your own country, or is "racially homogenous", if you can use that "fact" to show that any social measure such as universal health care just wouldn't work in your country.

    Tax rate? It's enormous, if you're on the right, or has sunk way too low if you're on the left.


  • Re:Kind of the point (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @04:48AM (#45398651)

    Pretty much this. Someone caught for minor drug offenses will be sent to rehab, not to jail in Sweden.

    That is however not the entire story. A recent study in Sweden made in Swedish prisons found that the prisoners were highly overrepresented when it came to suffering from ADHD. (63% compared to around 5% for the rest of the population.)
    What this means is that even the really violent criminals that people generally think deserves to be in jail can be treated.
    I think the study was extended to all Swedish jails earlier this year or something.
    The early tests showed that by just giving a correct diagnosis and give the prisoner the option (It is a completely voluntary system.) to take medication for ADHD the previously violent criminal will magically transform into a contributing member of society instead of becoming a repeat offender.

  • by Bongo ( 13261 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @05:54AM (#45398921)

    In Pinker's Better Angels of Our Nature, he describes a study done on attitudes throughout USA. The study was in the form of a letter, written as if from a guy looking for a job, and the letter was sent to employers round the country. The letter made an admission, "I think you should know, I was involved in a murder, I was confronted by a guy in a bar and we had to take it outside, and he suddenly had a knife and I had to defend myself, and he died." Employers in the Northern states were not sympathetic to him. Employers in Southern states were sympathetic, and admitted that he was forced into it and had to defend his honour and even offered him friendly support would he ever be in town. Meanwhile a similar letter was used with a different admission, that the guy had been poor and so stole a car. Similar difference but in reverse. This time the Northern states were sympathetic to his situation, but Southern states thought it was no excuse. As it happens, separate stats show that the incidence of gun related murders is lowest in Northern states, and highest in Southern states. The inference? Gun crime is largely about cultural values to do with honour. You must guard yourself, your honour is to protect your relatives, your property, etc. Why? Well this is the interesting thing. If you don't trust the government to protect you, because say, you are herding goats in a desert area far from authorities, then the code of honour dominates. So perhaps, USA has higher gun crime because it is enshrined in the constitution that you shouldn't trust the government anyway.

  • Re:Kind of the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @07:59AM (#45399303)

    The fun part is that we LIKE that.

    Take that compulsory health care thing. When we heard the US is going to get something like that, a good deal of us pretty much thought something along the lines of "finally, it's been about time their politicians came to their senses and did something for the ... wait, what? They do NOT want that?"

    Quite frankly, we were incredibly surprised that there could possibly be any kind of resistance to that. I mean, sure, I'll probably spend more on my health care "tax" than I'll ever "get out" of it (at least I sure hope so!), but there are so many who are unfortunate enough to get more out of the deal than they could possibly afford. Worse, no private company would give them insurance and they'd probably die.

    I think that's the "human spirit" you talk about.

  • Re:Kind of the point (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Tuesday November 12, 2013 @11:07AM (#45400721)

    Take that compulsory health care thing. When we heard the US is going to get something like that, a good deal of us pretty much thought something along the lines of "finally, it's been about time their politicians came to their senses and did something for the ... wait, what? They do NOT want that?"

    I was watching Real Time with Bill Maher last weekend, he had (almost Mayor) Weiner on there, and while the guy may not be socially savvy, he at least has a pretty good political mind. My favorite quote was during the debate on Obamacare where the Republican Rep (name doesn't matter, they're all Republemmings these days and few think for themselves) was reciting his parties lines, and Weiner quipped "It was a Republican idea, the Democrats just implemented it. Why do you have so much hate for your own good ideas?" There was also a comment in there about the way the parties respond to things, Republicans have this trend of shutting down and fighting every action done by the Democrats (i.e. Obamacare, or any of Obama's policies for that matter), while Democrats may not agree with a Republican (i.e. Bush), they don't do the same level of shutdown and public outcry. Neither party is perfect, they all act like spoiled children who want to be the one to create that crayon picture that mom (history) puts up on the fridge for all to see.

    It is an interesting view on our society though. We want everything for nothing, we elect people who claim they are for the people but often are anything but (e.g. furlough, twice this year alone), and capitalism, capitalism, capitalism. The intent for our government was by the people, for the people, and Senate recess was supposed to be so the Senators could go home and tend their crops, to see how the people they are representing are doing. Instead we get this popularity contest of rich people who know how to say what people want to hear, and are so disconnected from the reality of the poor that when something comes along whose intent is to help everyone, there is so much bickering and mud throwing that the people lose.

Doubt isn't the opposite of faith; it is an element of faith. - Paul Tillich, German theologian and historian