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Sweden is not the same country as it was in 1974, a time when its Justice Minister predicted there would only be 600 people in prison by the 1980s (Pratt 2008a, p. 132). The expansion of the American approach to crime control also affected Scandinavia, which despite all else is still a point of reference when considering criminal policy alternatives to the “global firestorm of law and order” (Wacquant 2014; Brandariz García 2014). The Scandinavian exception has been extensively analysed by criminologists. Among the most pertinent analyses was a study by John Pratt (2008b) in 2008, in which he highlighted its historical, economic, cultural and political background, pointing out its downturn and the precarious nature of its future existence within a context which is openly hostile to penal welfarism and, in general, to all policies associated with post-war social democracy. Drug and immigration policy and the emergene of the crime victim as a central political narrative over the past decades have eroded Scandinavian anti-punitive hegemony, with the building of jails, an increase in the prisoner population and harsher sentences now becoming politically attractive. Nevertheless, the Scandinavian attitude to criminal punishment has not shown a linear decline, and the residue of habits and practices from past decades continues to produce differing results and views that invite a certain optimism.
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- Criminal Policy Evaluation and Rationality in Legislative Procedure: The Example of Sweden
Manuel Maroto Calatayud
- Chapter 6
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