The Prison and Probation Service

Over the course of the year 2018 a total of 8,930 individuals were admitted to prison, which is an increase of 6 percent in comparison with 2017.


Persons admitted to prison in Sweden during the year 2018 and the number of inmates in Swedish prison service institutions on 1 October 2018.

The number of inmates in prison service institutions (on 1 October) was approximately 4,390 in 2018, which constitutes an increase of 6 percent in comparison with 2017. The level is now 20 percent lower than it was in 2009.

Of those admitted to prisons during the year 2018, 20 percent had been sentenced for theft offences. Around 12 percent had been sentenced for crimes against life and health, around 30 percent had been sentenced for drug offences and around 12 percent had been sentenced for road traffic offences. Assault offences dominated among the crimes against life and health and drinking under the influence dominated among the traffic offences.

The majority of those admitted to prisons are men. In 2018, men accounted for approximately 92 percent of the total number of prison inmates. The proportion of inmates comprised of women has been relatively stable over the last ten years.

Around 17 percent of those admitted to prison in 2018 were aged 50 or older. 45 percent were aged between 30 and 49, 32 percent were aged between 21 and 29. Youths aged between 15 and 20 accounted for 6 percent of admissions in 2018. Looking instead at those admitted to prison per 100,000 of population in the respective age groups, the distribution is different. On this basis, the dominant age group comprises persons aged 21 to 29 years, with 230 prison admissions per 100,000 of population, as compared with 76 admissions per 100,000 of population among those aged 15 to 20 years.

Approximately 1,560 individuals served their prison sentence by means of intensive electronic supervision in 2017, which constitutes a decrease of 5 percent in comparison with 2017.

In 2018 approximately 9,700 persons entered the supervision of the probation service. This represents an increase of 4 percent by comparison with the figure for 2017. Approximately 6,275 persons (65 percent) were sentenced to probation and approximately 3,420 persons (35 percent) were conditionally discharged.

There were approximately 2,000 individuals placed in remand centres on 1 October 2018. Of these, 84 percent were under detention awaiting trial or during ongoing criminal investigations and 2 percent were under arrest or otherwise in police custody. The number of persons serving a prison sentence in remand centres was 181 persons on 1 October 2018.