Sweden to reject Norway plea to share prisons
Sweden is planning to turn down Norway's request to be able to rent out empty space in its prisons, the country's justice minister Beatice Ask has said, arguing that doing so would be too complicated as it probably require the two countries to change their laws.
"Either Sweden would have to carry out the work of the Norwegian authorities, or Norwegian officials would have to carry such activities within Sweden," Ask said on a new podcast programme launched by Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet. "So this is not straightforward, and that's what we should probably answer him."
Norwegian Justice Minister Anders Anundsen made the request in December, arguing that the shortage of spaces in Norway's prison system necessitated "unconventional" approaches, particularly when Sweden's prison services closed down four prisons last year because of dropping prisoner numbers.
Ask stressed, however, that Sweden might be able to offer prison places in the long term.
"We have overcapacity in the prison system, which means that we must work to ensure that we do not unnecessarily spend money on empty space," she said.