Tag Archives: Re-entry

Incorporating the Scandinavian system

With the news that Sweden has reduced its overall prison population enough to warrant the closure of four prisons and a remand centre, the ‘liberal’ Scandinavian prison model is again under the spotlight. Countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark are often lauded for their humane and distinct prison systems; Bastøy, Norway’s island prison, is often noted for its communal living quarters, extensive access for inmates to education, and, derisively by critics, its “holiday camp”-like atmosphere. Indeed, it appears that this system is at least partially effective – the Council of Europe’s study on Europe-wide rates of recidivism shows that Scandinavian countries have among the lowest rates of both re-offence and incarceration in the region. Continue reading →