Foreign convicts imprisoned by Norway’s system / News / The Foreigner

Foreign convicts imprisoned by Norway’s system. The number of foreign criminals arrested in Oslo has doubled in ten years. Legislation has been tightened up, but many are outstaying their welcome because of bureaucracy. Inside a cell in Oslo PrisonInez Dawczyk/The Foreigner“A 476-day average between the court’s verdict and transferring prisoners back to their own country is too long,” Pål K. Lønseth, Labour’s State Secretary at the Minister of Justice told Aftenposten earlier this month. He wants to reduce the period by improving processing times and cooperation with foreign countries. Only 30 of 150 were sent home last year to serve the rest of their sentences.Small change

paal, loenseth, ole, johannesen, oslo, prison, foreign, criminals, bureaucracy, cells, inmates, sentence



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Foreign convicts imprisoned by Norway’s system

Published on Tuesday, 24th August, 2010 at 13:24 under the news category, by Inez Dawczyk.
Last Updated on 24th August 2010 at 13:42.

The number of foreign criminals arrested in Oslo has doubled in ten years. Legislation has been tightened up, but many are outstaying their welcome because of bureaucracy.

Oslo Prison, exterior
Oslo Prison, exterior
Photo: Inez Dawczyk/The Foreigner


A need for change

Inside a cell in Oslo Prison
Inside a cell in Oslo Prison
Inez Dawczyk/The Foreigner
“A 476-day average between the court’s verdict and transferring prisoners back to their own country is too long,” Pål K. Lønseth, Labour’s State Secretary at the Minister of Justice told Aftenposten earlier this month.

He wants to reduce the period by improving processing times and cooperation with foreign countries. Only 30 of 150 were sent home last year to serve the rest of their sentences.

Small change

Foreign prisoners account for about 70 percent of inmates in Oslo Prison. Ole Johannesen, head of Oslo Prison`s C-3 section believes, it`s mainly because some of them feel conditions are quite good. Their cells are much better than where they lived before came to Norway.

“Prisoners get 50 kroner- a-day in pocket money. Working in the kitchen or the print or craft shop gives them sixty more. It’s not a big sum, but some of them save the money and send it back home, he tells the Foreigner.

Cultural differences

But being a foreigner isn’t easy, according to Johannesen.

Number of foreign criminals in Oslo Jail

  • Somalia 23
  • Nigeria 20
  • Romania 17
  • Lithuania 15
  • Iraq 14
  • Poland 10
  • Chile 9

“Prison workers focus more on helping Norwegian inmates as foreigners serve just part of their sentence here. Very often the situation creates tension between inmates, not just Norwegians and foreigners, but also amongst the foreign immigrants.”

Johannesen adds the situation isn’t helped by the fact that some foreign prisoners don’t speak Norwegian.

“We provide language courses for them to make communicating easier, but sometimes they don’t even speak English. It’s very hard for us to make things work when we cannot find a common language. Ethnic differences make things even more puzzling,” he says.



Published on Tuesday, 24th August, 2010 at 13:24 under the news category, by Inez Dawczyk.
Last updated on 24th August 2010 at 13:42.

This post has the following tags: paal, loenseth, ole, johannesen, oslo, prison, foreign, criminals, bureaucracy, cells, inmates, sentence.





  
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