Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Monday, June 17, 2024

Polaris of Enlightenment

Swedish government considers introducing youth prisons

Published 7 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Sweden Democrat Linda Lindberg at Monday's press conference.

Together with the Sweden Democrats, the government wants to overhaul the state care system for children and young people and close down the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care (Statens Institutionsstyrelse – SiS). Among other things, they want to introduce youth prisons.

SiS has been criticized in recent years for lack of security, violence and sexual abuse. It is now proposed that an inquiry be set up to “reform and review the mission and organization of the state child and youth care system”. Changes are needed in areas such as the quality of care, lack of space, safety issues and the supply of skills. One proposal is to establish juvenile prisons in response to the increase in juvenile crime.

– By establishing youth prisons, young people who commit crimes will be able to be sentenced to prison under the auspices of the Prison and Probation Service. This is a valuable opportunity for us to further clarify the focus of the state’s child and youth care system on its caring mission, says Linda Lindberg, leader of the Social Democrats, in a press release.

The Union for Professionals (Akademikerförbundet – SSR), the trade union for the agency’s academics, says SiS has not been taken seriously enough by politicians and has been underfunded.

– SiS has not had the conditions to do its work. Over the past 15 years, successive governments have acted inadequately. A new start with better conditions is needed if children are not to be harmed, says Heike Erker, president of The Union for Professionals (Akademikerförbundet SSR), in a press release.

Criticism of youth prisons

He emphasizes that one of the biggest problems is that care and support after release from SiS works poorly and that, for example, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (BUP) has shirked its responsibility. However, they oppose the proposal to introduce youth prisons.

“Changing the name of the operation from SiS to Prison and Probation Service will not in itself solve the problems”, they write.

The report on the investigation is due on April 25.

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