Record amount of prison time handed down

Longer sentences putting pressure on overcrowded facilities

A combined total of over 6,100 years in prison was doled out to the nation’s criminals last year – a record amount of time behind bars and a four percent increase on 2012.

As politicians push for longer sentences, Kim Østerbye, the head of prison union Fængselsforbundet, said that the increased sentences for violent crimes like rape and gang-related offences are causing serious overcrowding problems in prisons already bursting at the seams.

Overcrowding a problem
“The sentences indicate the pressure that prisons will soon face,” Østerbye told Politiken newspaper.

“Jails and prisons are already overcrowded, so the trend towards longer sentences is a problem.”

READ MORE: Prisons packed with foreigners

On average, over 97 percent of Danish prison space was filled in 2013, with some prisons actually being operated at over their capacity.

The trend is due to longer sentences required by parliament, according to Østerbye.





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