Phile photo: Leif R Jansson/TT.

Proposal: No parole for sex criminals who refuse treatment

The majority of parties in the Swedish Parliament want to make it harder for prisoners to be released early on parole, after serving two-thirds of their sentence, especially when it comes to sex criminals who refuse to take part in rehabilitation programs, reports Swedish Radio News.

"That way, they'll have to prepare themselves to stay in prison longer," says Morgan Johansson, the opposition Social Democratic chair in the Justice Committee in Parliament, adding, "I think society needs to send this signal. But to do this, we need to overhaul the rules."

The debate over how Sweden handles parole started last week when it was reported that the former police chief Göran Lindberg, who had been sentenced to serve six years in prison for violent sex crimes, was released after serving just four.

Lindberg participated in treatment while he was in jail, but apparently, he was not considered to be very receptive, and according to the corrections authorities, there is an elevated risk that he will commit crimes again.

Today, the general rule is that prisoners can be put on probation after serving two-thirds of their sentence, as long as they have not misbehaved. They then serve the rest of their sentence outside of prison walls, most often with some kind of monitoring.

The opposition Sweden Democrats and the governing Liberals have suggested earlier that prisoners who refuse treatment be obliged to serve out their whole sentence.

Now, the governing Center party wants to make the requirements for probation stricter, and the Christian Democrats are also expected to push for something similar when they present their policy on crime soon.

The ruling Moderates as well as the opposition Left party are not pushing to change the rules, nor are the Greens. However the Greens want to make it obligatory for sex criminals to participate in treatment while in prison.

According to numbers from the corrections authority, last year 38 percent of people convicted of sex crimes started special treatment programs, and 20 percent of those did not complete the whole program.

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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