Norwegian Justice and Public Security Minister Anders Anundsen currently has contacted the Swedish Justice Minister Beatrice Ask to get an agreement on renting some of prison capacity in Sweden.
– Capacity problem in Norwegian prisons has grown steadily in recent years, and I hope we can make a deal with our neighbour to solve the problem quickly, says Anundsen. Sweden has available prison capacity and has been forced to shut down units in the past.
– In the short term we are looking at the possibility of renting prison capacity in Sweden as a temporary measure while prison capacity in Norway is increased, says Justice and Public Security Minister.
Any agreement between Sweden and Norway will not be unique in European context. Belgium signed in 2009 an agreement with the Netherlands about renting Dutch prison capacity. The agreement was made after Belgium struggled to keep high inmate population, while the Netherlands had not utilized the prisons capacity well enough. The prison rented by Belgium headed by a Belgian director, and prison officials are from Netherlands.
– At any negotiations with Sweden, it would be natural to look at the Belgian-Dutch model and learn lessons from this solution, said Justice and Public Security Minister.