Sweden Closing Prisons as Inmate Numbers Drop
Nation sees a steep 6% reduction
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2013 7:01 PM CST
Updated Nov 12, 2013 7:00 PM CST

(Newser) – Seems like a good problem to have: Sweden is shutting down four prisons and a detention center because it doesn't have enough inmates to fill them, reports the Guardian. The move follows a 6% drop in inmate numbers from 2011 to 2012, with similar numbers expected this year. What gives? The leading factors seem to be an increased focus on rehab and fewer jail sentences for drug crimes.

But "we are not at the point of concluding that this is a long-term trend and that this is a change in paradigm," says the top prison official. "What we are certain of is that the pressure on the criminal justice system has dropped markedly in recent years." For comparison's sake, the US has 2.24 million people in jail, for a rate of 716 inmates per 100,000 residents. Sweden has 4,852 in prison for a rate of 51 inmates per 100,000, notes the International Business Times.

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Showing 3 of 130 comments
Nov 14, 2013 7:23 AM CST
We could send them ours.
Nov 13, 2013 12:31 PM CST
Maybe we can rent some of those prisons and send some of our own inmates over there. Since no one wants to build more prisons here (well they do just not anywhere near THEM! NIMBY NIMBY NIMBY)
John Doe
Nov 13, 2013 10:02 AM CST
such a thing is to be expected from a country that's the home of and (co-hosts with Norway) the Nobel Peace Prize.