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International Summaries: Prison Furloughs

NCJ Number
J Gustavsson
Date Published
4 pages
This Swedish study examines the abuse of regular furloughs for inmates.
This study was occasioned by a significant increase in the misuse of regular leaves in the last decade in Sweden. Abused leaves are defined as "those that resulted in inmates not having the leave time credited towards their sentences and those for which a hearing was not held because the inmate was absent or arrested." Statistics on furlough abuse for the study were from all Swedish penal institutions that granted leaves during March and April 1986. Permissions for furloughs were categorized as regular or as those for special reasons. Researchers chose a comparative study group to analyze characteristics of inmates who abused regular leaves and those who did not. During the study period, 195 inmates abused 196 furloughs. For the comparison group of 197 inmates, 207 furloughs were granted without incident. One type of primary abuse was the late arrival (less than 4 hours) of inmates at the institution or not returning (more than 4 hours) after the end of the permitted leave (25 percent). Another primary abuse was failure to return to the institution (more than 4 hours) along with the abuse of alcohol or narcotics during the leave (28 percent). A third abuse involved inmates returning on time, but their abuse of alcohol or narcotics during their leave (19 percent). The study found that 87 percent of the commenced furloughs were used properly, and of inmates who abused furloughs, 70 percent returned or were arrested within 4 days of expired time. The research compared the characteristics of inmates who abused furloughs and those who did not. 2 figures