'Win-Win Situation': Danish Plan to Send Inmates to Rented Prisons in Kosovo Inspires Neighbours

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Handcuffs - Sputnik International, 1920, 28.04.2022
Denmark's “groundbreaking” agreement to rent prison places in Kosovo has sparked keen interest in Sweden and Norway, with politicians citing shortages, ballooning costs and problems with getting convicted criminals deported and claims that serving time in modern prisons with a high degree of welfare and comfort is not a human right.
To free up its own penitential facilities and reduce costs, Denmark will rent prison places in Kosovo and send there inmates sentenced to deportation.
The Danish Justice Minister, Nick Hækkerup, has signed an agreement with his Kosovan counterpart Albulena Haxhiu, according to which the Scandinavian country will rent 300 prison places in the prison in the city of Gjilan in southeastern Kosovo.
Hækkerup described the agreement as “groundbreaking”.

“I think it is excellent that we can get them out as soon as possible”, he said.
According to Nick Hækkerup, the practical preparations are expected to be made in the first half of 2023. The goal is for the prison to be upgraded in order to maintain Danish standards, which the prisoners are entitled to.
The Kosovan scenario has sparked keen interest among Denmark's neighbours. Sweden's liberal-conservative Moderate party, currently the largest in opposition, want to follow suit.
“We want to investigate the conditions for Sweden to follow Denmark's example”, Moderates legal policy spokesman Johan Forssell told SVT, citing a shortage of places within the Swedish Prison and Probation Service, ballooning costs and problems with getting convicted criminals deported.
Forssell argued that the issue should be investigated properly, but sees no major obstacles to establishing a similar agreement as Denmark.

“If it can be implemented in Denmark, why shouldn't it work with us in Sweden?” he asked rhetorically.
In the fellow Scandinavian nation of Norway, the national-conservative Progress Party lauded Denmark as a “pioneering country” when it comes to tightening immigration and integration policy. Progress Party spokesman Erlend Wiborg called the recent agreement unique in that Kosovo is not part of the EU.

“If Norwegian prisons were reserved for prisoners who are to return to Norwegian society, we could have freed up far more resources and placed a focus on rehabilitation. It is a poor use of resources to spend a lot of time and effort on criminals who won't live in Norway anyway,” Wiborg said, as quoted by the news outlet Resett.

Wiborg is not worried that prison agreements with other countries might 'violate human rights'.
“There is no human right to serve time in Norwegian modern prisons where the degree of welfare and comfort is relatively high. Denmark has outstanding lawyers who have concluded that this is within the law. In addition, prison costs will probably be reduced considerably if we can also outsource them to low-cost countries. It is a win-win situation for absolutely everyone, except the criminals,” Wiborg concluded.
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