A report found child suspects detained in Swedish prisons living in complete isolation for more than 22 hours a day. In an interview with the TT news agency, Sweden’s representative for children (Barnombudsmannen), Fredrik Malmberg cited these conditions for suicidal thoughts in many children adding they were losing their grip on reality.
The current rules state that unless a prosecutor files for an extension, suspects between the ages of 15 and 17 should be released after six hours. By the fourth day, the suspect is to be either released or moved to a remand centre.
According to the UN, an extended period of isolation in children is a form of torture, Malmberg explained. His report explained that 91 out of 122 children in 2011 were held on remand and ordered restricted contact with others. Criticising the courts for not being clear on the grounds of the remand, he suggested Sweden follow Norway’s model of prohibiting holding of any minors on remand.