The Limits of the Welfare State? Foreign National Prisoners in the Norwegian Crimmigration Prison
Thomas Ugelvik (2017), The Limits of the Welfare State? Foreign National Prisoners in the Norwegian Crimmigration Prison. In Peter Scharff Smith and Thomas Ugelvik (eds). Scandinavian Penal History, Culture and Prison Practice: Embraced by the Welfare State, London: Palgrave.
21 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2017
Date Written: September 25, 2017
The publication of the annual State Budget is always a signiﬁcant political event in Norway, and the 2013 budget (released on 8 October 2012) was no exception. One of the major new developments made public that day was the fact that Kongsvinger prison, until then an unremarkable medium-sized prison with both high-security and low-security wings serving the larger Kongsvinger area, would soon reopen as Norway’s ﬁrst all-foreign prison.
So what actually happened at Kongsvinger prison? Is it still, despite the fact that it is ﬁlled with foreign nationals who lack formal rights to many welfare provisions, what one might call a Scandinavian welfare state prison? This chapter will explore the developments that followed the 2012 transformation of Kongsvinger prison. It is based on 4 months of ﬁeldwork about a year after the change happened. In addition to the discussion of Kongsvinger prison as a speciﬁc case, I will also develop the two concepts, ‘crimmigration prison’ and ‘welfare state prison’, further.
Keywords: Foreign national prisoners, crimmigration prisons, Scandinavian penal exceptionalism, all-foreign prisons
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