SWEDEN: All the Comforts

In Sweden's welfare state, even prisons have most of the comforts of home. Capital punishment went out 50 years ago, and murderers can count on going free in ten or twelve years. Last week the Swedish government removed one more invidious distinction between being inside and outside prison. The Royal Prison Board decreed that hereafter, Saturday as well as Sunday will be a rest day. Prisoners can spend the time sleeping late, getting a haircut, or sprucing up their rooms.

A lawbreaker, even a murderer, need spend as little as three months in a prison with bars. Even there, the...

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