Prisons: Living Out

Prison reform must have gone further in Sweden than anywhere else in the world. Recently, in a small, unnamed community, a 30-year-old man moved into a four-room house with his fiancée (they plan to marry soon). Dressed in civilian clothes and holding down a full-time job, he seems like anyone else; his neighbors do not know he is serving the last two years of a five-year felony prison sentence. The live-out prisoner checks in regularly—and clandestinely—with a prison official, but otherwise lives a free life.

By this week two other convicts and their wives will have moved quietly into the...

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