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Professionalization of prison officers in Sweden and Norway: two routes, two different goals?
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (Sovil)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5683-179X
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work.
KRUS (Kriminalomsorgens Utdanningssenter) Norway.
2014 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Nordic prison policy has a reputation of beingliberal and progressive with rehabilitative efforts in prisons in a centralposition. Anglophone researchers have characterized this as a “Nordicexceptionalism” in comparison with the ongoing “penal excess” in their own countries. However, there are several important differences in prison policy and practice between the Nordic countries. Prison officers (PO) are the key actors and by far the biggest occupational group transforming penal policy into daily prison practice. In Sweden and Norway the strategies for developing this group are very different. The aim of this paper is to compare and analyse these strategies and how they are implemented. It is based on documents, interviews with key actors in and above the prison organizations, and data from recent research projects. Results show that the Norwegian prison officer recruitment and training is developing very much in accordance with a traditional strategy for transforming this occupational group into a profession. The main actor behind this has been the prison institute for research and education. In Sweden on the other hand development seems to go towards routinization and de-skilling, and at best a kind of differentiated and narrowed organizational professionalism. The Swedish officer role suffers from political-level ad hoc-initiatives combined with cost savings, and investments in security and rehab-programs based on “evidence based practice” run by special expertise.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014.
National Category
Law and Society
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-38702OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-38702DiVA: diva2:764006
Conference
The 7th Nordic Working Life Conference, Göteborg, Sweden, June 11-13, 2014
Available from: 2014-11-17 Created: 2014-11-17 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • Other style
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  • de-DE
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  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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