Prison and Probation Service

Criminal policy aims at reducing crime and increasing people's security. For the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, this means preventing prisoners from escaping or committing crimes while serving a sentence, and making use of the opportunities that enforcement of a sentence provides to influence and change an individual and thereby reduce the risks of relapsing into crime.

Work is underway on new relevant legislation in the area of prison and correctional treatment. This is based on the report by the Governmental Commission on the Prison and Probation Service, Prison and correctional treatment of tomorrow (Framtidens kriminalvård). The Government has tasked the Governmental Commission on the Prison and Probation Service with presenting proposals for a new, modern Prison and Other Correctional Treatment Act that can fulfil the requirement of prison and correctional treatment that is efficient and humanely run. One of the main ideas is that in the future, enforcement of sentences should be better adapted to the individual.

The risk of relapse into misuse and crime is particularly great in connection with release from prison. As part of the work with new prison and correctional treatment legislation, new rules regarding reintegration were introduced on 1 January 2007. These aim at achieving an improved and better structured transition from life in prison to life in freedom. The new rules contain measures such as the chance to stay at a half-way house - a house under supervision by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service that is adapted to give prisoners special support and guidance - and reintegration by means of external housing, known as 'extended work release'.

The work principle

It is also very important that the work situation is organised before the start of a conditional release. Since 1 July 2008, many labour market policy programmes are also available to Swedish Prison and Probation Service clients taking part in reintegration programmes.

An important reform that entered into force on 1 July 2007 allowed the Swedish Prison and Probation Service to act as a headmaster at compulsory and upper secondary school levels, which means it also gained the right to award grades. The courses offered by the Swedish Prison and Probation Service are conducted within the framework of the 'Lärcentrum model'. This means that prisoners are offered educational activities that are of the same standard regardless of the institution, and are also of the same standard as society's municipal adult education in general. This means that it is easy for a prisoner to continue ongoing studies after being transferred or released.

Organisation of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service

The Swedish Prison and Probation Service is organised as a government agency with six regional offices, a head office and a transport service. The head office is led by a director-general, and each region is led by a regional director