Prison-based drug treatment in Nordic political discourse: An elastic discursive construct
European Journal of Criminology 10 (6); 659-674
Prison-based drug treatment (PDT) has increased markedly in the Nordic countries over the last 15 years. Based on data from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, we outline the historical development of PDT and analyse the rationales employed in the political discourse in the Nordic countries legitimizing this development. These rationales relate to the reduction of criminality, zero tolerance, rights and the modern welfare state, and managerialism.
Though these rationales may appear dissimilar, they have been combined with relative ease in the political discourse. Actually, this elasticity may partly explain the popularity of PDT. We discuss whether the increased use of PDT reflects a criminalization of social problems and signals a rebirth of the treatment ideology in Nordic prisons.
Keywords: Drug policy, Nordic countries, political discourse, prison drug treatment