Criticism of a remand prison that failed to address a risky shelf construction. Also other statements on the Swedish Prison and Probation Service’s work on suicide prevention

During an inspection of Huddinge remand prison in 2017, the supervisory section of the Swedish Prison and Probation Service reported that some bookshelves were not fully fastened to the wall, which resulted in a gap which could form an attachment point for a choke cord. After an inmate took his own life in February 2022, it came to light that the work to rectify the risky shelf construction had been started but not finished.

In the decision, the Parliamentary Ombudsman states that the Swedish Prison and Probation Service has a responsibility to protect inmates from foreseeable dangers and must take measures on both a general and individual level to prevent inmates in custody from committing suicide. According to the Parliamentary Ombudsman, it is of the utmost importance that the agency carries out its suicide prevention work in a systematic and structured way. The Parliamentary Ombudsman also states that is serious that Huddinge remand prison did not ensure with greater urgency the removal of possible attachment points for a choke cord in the affected living spaces. She is highly critical of the remand prison’s poor management.

Date of decision: 2023-11-09