Figures TV 2 has obtained shows that the proportion of foreign nationals in Norwegian prisons has increased from 8.6 percent in 2000 to 34.2 percent at the end of May this year.
Foreign criminals without legal residence in Norway have the same rights as other prisoners, culture, unemployment benefits, religious services, they can call home, have full medical care and can apply for grants including clothing.
- I do not think the prison sentence is particularly daunting for some belonging to these groups, they take their chances and they do it consciously to achieve a better life, says lawyer Jostein Alvheim to TV2.
Several defense lawyers told TV2 that clients were actually laughing at the sentencing level and says that they take a stay in Norwegian prisons as a calculated risk. Bergen Police share the assessment.
- A big problem is that those who are expelled for crime come back and commit a new crime. This is a trend going in the wrong direction, we get more and more foreigners in Norway without legal residency who commit crimes, police lawyer Arne Fjellstad at the immigration section in Hordaland Police, says.
The prison cells looks like hotel rooms in Norway, single rooms only. Inmates can watch TV, play playstation or shoot pool, so why would they fear going to a hotel, all inclusive.
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