Långholmen

Långholmen is an island in Stockholm and it was a prison-island during 250 years. From 1724 up till 1978 there were prisons on Långholmen. Most of the old buildings are gone. The remand prison (Kronohäktet) has been converted to hotel and hostel.

Two men in the family have served prison sentences at Långholmen.

Prisoner #370 Wiklund Johan Erik
Johan Erik Wiklund (born 1839) was elder brother to Josefina Selldin (née Wiklund). Johan Erik Wiklund was a storekeeper in Stockholm. He came to Kronohäktet (the remand prison) on Långholmen on November 6th 1884.

On September 5th 1884 he was sentenced to prison for three months. He had been careless towards his creditor; i.e. he didn't pay his debts in time. He started to serve his time on November 7th 1884 and was released February 7th 1885.

In the books of Långholmen we can read that he brought 4:04 Swedish crowns in cash, when he arrived. He didn't receive any clothes; he used his own during the stay. He received kerosene for the value of 1 crown. Since he was in prison from November to February he probably used it for a lamp. In Sweden there is not much daylight during that time of the year. He also got stamps for 6 öre. (There are 100 öre on 1 crown.) We don't know whom he wrote to. (It could have been his wife Margareta, his creditor or someone who took care of his business.) When he was released he received the remaining 2:98 crowns.

#1069 Fredriksson Sven Adolf
Sven Fredriksson (1901-1965) was grandson to Karl Johan and Josefina Selldin. He came to Centralfängelset (the central prison) on Långholmen on October 22nd 1918.

The municipal court in Stockholm sentenced him on October 12th 1918 to 4 months hard labor for thefts. In the books from Långholmen there is a description of the young Sven. He was an errand boy earlier unpunished. He had light brown hair, blue eyes, straight nose and oval face and was ordinary built. He was 1,72 m tall and weighed 65,5 kg. He was fully capable to work when he arrived.

During his entire stay Sven is isolated in his cell working. When he was released on February 15th 1919 he received 8:09 crowns that he had earned for his work.

Swedish treatment of offenders nowadays
There have been great changes in Swedish treatment of offenders since the 19th century. Death penalty is abolished since long. Hard labor sentence doesn't exist any more, and there are activities to find alternatives to imprisonment. Most likely should neither J E Wiklund nor Sven Fredriksson gone to prison today.

Supervision with electronic monitoring
A person who is sentenced to up to three months prison can apply to serve the sentence in freedom with electronic monitoring. Instead of going to prison you stay at home. You are only allowed to leave home for work or school. During the penalty time you are not allowed to consume alcohol, and the probation officer can visit your home anytime. If you leave home on prohibited times the alarm goes. If you misbehave you will have to serve the rest of the time in prison. The storekeeper J E Wiklund would probably served his sentence in freedom. After two months he would have been released on parole and got rid of the supervision.

Probation and community service
Sven Fredriksson was only 17 years old when he was sentenced. Young people are normally sentenced to custody of the social service. A young person who is sentenced for the first time could also be sentenced to probation and community service. You will then be under probation for one year and during that time you have to serve a given number of hours with no payment.


last update: Dec. 31, 2000 by Karin Selldin ©