JO: “Almost inhumane” when prisoners are locked in shared cells


Published 20 March 2023 at 13.23

Domestic. The judicial ombudsman Katarina Påhlsson today harshly criticizes the Kumla institution for the treatment of inmates during an ongoing renovation in the so-called Fenix ​​building.

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At the beginning of In February, JO received many reports from inmates in the same department in the Kumlaanstalten. The prisoners described that during the renovation of a shower area they could be locked in shared cells for up to 20 hours a day.

Several said that above all the high noise level caused great discomfort and some thought it was “like torture” .

JO Katarina Påhlsson considered the complaints so serious that shortly afterwards she carried out an unannounced inspection.

– I judge that the conditions in the department are very stressful. Under certain conditions, the treatment of the persons deprived of their liberty would appear to be almost inhumane, says Justice Ombudsman Katarina Påhlsson in a statement.

The cells in the Fenix ​​building are designed for one person, but are double occupied by extra beds being placed on the desks.


“This provisional order has prevailed for many years. During the renovation, high noise levels occasionally occur during car construction work and the opportunities to stay together, i.e. to be together with others, and to have one's outdoor walk are limited,” writes JO.

Katarina Påhlsson states that the need for renovation has been known for several years, but has not been convinced that the institution has made sufficient efforts to avoid the current situation.

– It is remarkable that the institution has not more to facilitate the inmates during the renovation. I am strongly critical of the way the Kumla prison has planned and carried out the renovation work, says Katarina Påhlsson.