Rough justice? Swedish prisoners protest coarse toilet paper
Prisoners incarcerated at the maximum security Salberga jail, 120km (75 miles) north of Stockholm, are rising up against standard-issue toilet paper which they say is “hard, uncomfortable and single rolled [ply],” report Svenska Dagbladet.
A notification of the inmates’ unusual complaint has been sent to the Ombudsman for Justice, according to SVT news.
The complaint implies that due to the stress of incarceration and the quality of prison food, inmates tend to go to the bathroom more often, leaving them feeling troubled about the toilet paper standard.
The office of Sweden’s Ombudsman for Justice confirmed the complaint to RT.com. A spokesperson said the ombudsman has not yet responded to the complaint.
Salberga was built in 2007 and is one of the country’s high security prisons. Despite the 63-cell facility housing murderers and other violent offenders, the inmates at Salberga are allowed to mix with one another, cook for themselves and do their own laundry.
The prison also has its own gym and sauna which prisoners are free to use. The prison layout is in stark contrast to other maximum security facilities around the globe, where inmates are often segregated and confined for large portions of the day.
Sweden has a reputation for focusing on rehabilitation rather than punishment in its prison system. The nation’s current crime policy is to avoid locking up people, according to a state prison agency.
The nation’s director general of prisons Nils Oberg has previously said that being deprived of freedom is justice enough for criminals.
“Our role is not to punish,” he told the Guardian. “The punishment is the prison sentence: they have been deprived of their freedom. The punishment is that they are with us.”
Criminals in Sweden can live out relatively normal lives behind bars, with the majority allowed to decorate their own cells and provided with luxury items such as personal TV sets.
The longest fixed-term sentence that can be imposed by the Swedish courts is just 18 years in prison. While on the inside, inmates are encouraged to undergo addiction or anger issue programs. Employment and training is also provided by prison services.