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ADHD High Amongst Swedish Prisoners

Published måndag 25 januari 2010 kl 13.07
Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt visited a ADHD-centre in Stockholm on Monday

Almost a half of all prisoners in Swedish jails and detention centres could benefit from medical treatment for the behavioural condition ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), according to a new pilot study.

Over a three year period, a group of inmates diagnosed with the condition at Norttälje Detention Centre, near Stockholm, were given medicine which resulted in them becoming less agressive and better able to concentrate. Previous studies have indicatated that between 25 and 45 percent of prisoners in Sweden have ADHD.

"It was like a cloud of calm swept over me. I changed over night," one inmate told Swedish Radio News. "I became a whole new person and nothing could have got me to fight again."

Ingvar Nilsson, an economist who worked on the study, estimates that Sweden could save millions of kronor by treating ADHD sufferers in jails as the treatment makes them less likely to reoffend.

"You would get leaving behind their crinimal lifestyle, with all the consequences that has for crime rates, violence, burglaries and hospital treatment," he said.

"The criminal justice system has 7000 inmates. Something between 25 to 45 percent of them have ADHD problems. You don't need to be a mathematician to understand that there are enormous savings to be made.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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