An Integrated Organisation for Institutionalised Caring Power: Prison and Probation in Sweden

Published 13/10/2004
Type Article
Author(s) Kerstin Svensson
Corresponding Authors Kerstin Svensson, Lund University

This article discusses the prison and probation organisation in Sweden. The changes in the organisation and the shifts in combinations of supportive and punitive aspects are presented in a brief historical description of the development from the early 19th century to the late 20th century. The Swedish prison and probation service is described in terms of its organisation, professionals and main ideology. Finally, the effects, or rather, the problem of evaluating the effects, of the most recent re-organisation, in 1998, is discussed in the light of, on the one hand, support and help and, on the other hand, punishment and control. The conclusion is that the causes and effects of the changes are difficult to pinpoint, but that the Swedish prison and probation service has gone through a major shift to an integrated organisation where punitive ideas predominate over ideas of help and support.