Released to the “Battlefield” of the Danish Welfare State: A Battle Between Support and Personal Responsibility

  • Annette OlesenEmail author
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Denmark, like the other Scandinavian countries, is built on the “Nordic welfare model” where policies emerge through political dialogue and parallel decision-making (Lappi-Seppälä 2007). However, the “Nordic Welfare Model” is under pressure and the previous expert-driven and research-led strategy especially recognised within penal policy-making has been challenged and changed to a more politically ruled approach over the last decades (Lappi-Seppälä and Storgaard 2014). Nevertheless, the Scandinavian countries are still acknowledged for their stable penal policies and by some categorised as the epitome of “Scandinavian penal exceptionalism” (Pratt 2008a, b; Lappi-Seppälä 2007). The arguments for including Denmark in this “exception” are among others the country’s relatively low prison population rate trend varying from 61 to 72 per 100,000 of the national population the last 15 years; the rather stable total capacity of prisons with places for about 4,000 inmates (World Prison Brief); and the comparatively low sentences where 59 %. 6).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Law,University of Southern DenmarkOdenseDenmark

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