Fängelset som välfärdsbygge : Tre studier om behandlingstanken i svensk fångvård

Sammanfattning: This thesis discusses "social engineering", in the fields of prison treatment, during the development of the Swedish Welfare State, from 1930 to 1950. The penal political ambitions were laid down under a Social Democratic government and realized in the party’s program of 1944. It is often stressed that the prison reform of 1945 marks the transition to a modern prison system. In a broader perspective of society the idea was to integrate prisoners into the Swedish welfare system. The main facet of the Act 1945 of Correctional Treatment in Prison is in the individual treatment of prisoners, based on their work in open institutions. After World War II, the number of persons incarcerated increased and this became the main symbol of the political and administrative failure of the reform.The prison reform of 1945 marked an ideological change in the individual preventive treatment model of prisoners in Sweden. However, the establishment of a modern welfare prison was hard to accomplish and a crucial divergence emerged between what the legislation intended and what actually occurred in the prison system. This research shows the absence of an individual preventive strategy for the offenders and in that sense implementation of treatment was not successful. In this study the political and legal matters primarily originate from the archives of the Committee of Penal Law (sw. Strafflagberedningen), complemented by an empirical study, including 328 prison files from the National prison register, during the years 1938, 1943 and 1947.This thesis shows some of the more relevant changes in prison care in relation to the prisons as a reflection of society as a whole. In some portions the study discounts the innovations of the prison reform, especially based on the fact that the Act of Correctional Treatment in Prison was a conglomerate of enacted laws and regulations. At the same time the study shows a belief in the dubious philosophy that racial biological explanations and a deterministic approach to prisoners created. In reality, the prison registers were used on prisoners as a label, which led to a diagnosis put in front of treatment.

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