This page in Swedish

Research projects

Prison based drug treatment in the Nordic prisons. Control and rehabilitation in welfare state institutions

About this project

Project information

Project status




Research subject

This qualitative based study analyses and compares prison-based drug treatment in the Nordic countries (DK, F, S, N) which over the last fifteen years has increased enormously. In consequence the Nordic Prison Services today play an important role in offering drug treatment in all Nordic countries. Apparently prison based drug treatment has become a self-evident response to drug problems with no one questioning the political frame works institutional policies and strategies of inmates related to this growing industry. The study will integrate three levels of research. First it compares the different national (prison) drug policies. Secondly it compares the implementation of these national drug policies inte practice in twelve selected prisons focusing on on treatment personnel and interaction with inmates. And thirdly, it compares the experiences and strategies of inmates enrolled in the drug treatment programs in light of different national drug policies and the dissimilar program implementations. Nordic prisons are exceptional because they are influenced by Nordic welfare stare institutions. The project therefore relates to general perspectives on how troubled social identities are created in Nordic welfare institutions. Especially we focus on three different modes of regulation. 1. Penal: punishing and controlling the criminal inmate. 2. Medical: Treating the addicted physical body. And 3. Moral: Rehabilitating and empowering the drug user. Interviews with inmates and staff will be conducted as well as observations in treatment wings.

Project leader: Torsten Kolind, AArhus University.


Kolind, T., Asmussen, V., Lindberg, O. & Touronen, J. (2013) Prison-based drug treatment in the Nordic political discourse: an elastic discursive construct. European Journal of Criminology .

Nylander, P.Å., Holm, C., Jukic, E. & Lindberg, O.(2012) Drug treatment in Swedish prisons – moving towards evidence – based interventions. Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, Vol. 29 s. 561-574.


Research funding bodies

  • Örebro University