Concern that female inmates are harassed sexually

Prison in NorwayPrison in Norway.Photo: Berit Roald / SCANPIX .
Four out of ten Norwegian female inmates are serving time in prisons where there are also male prisoners. This creates concern that they are subjected to sexual harassment by their male inmates.
Knut Arne Svenkerud, head of Correctional Vocational Association, is in no doubt that such harassment takes place in Norwegian prisons,  the newspaper VG writes.
– We have no exact figures on that, but we know that there may be many incidents that will go unreported, says Svenkerud, who wants to lower the amount of  women serving time along with men. Today 86 of Norway’s 220 female inmates are in prisons where men are also serving time. The union leader also says that good enough staffing is important to avoid violence and undesirable behavior.
– We know that there is an increased risk of bad things happening during joint activities. In order to prevent this, we need to have enough manpower.
Marianne Vollan, the director of Correctional Agency also says it is challenging when men and women are serving time together.
– Some of the women have life experiences that make it difficult for them to have to serve time in the proximity of men, and in some cases they receive unwanted attention from men, says Vollan.
Birgitte L. Storvik in the Correctional Academy believes we need written rules that  makes it mandatory for all women to serve time in women’s-only prisons. Today there are no rules that are prohibiting women and men from serving time together.
Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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