Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 479-499.

What Nordic countries have in common are extensive welfare strategies and societies with a relatively equal distribution of wealth. If this is the reason why we don't have overcrowded prisons, the best way to 'civilise criminal justice' is to create the fairest possible society. It seems also that Scandinavian societies are in reasonably good balance: the institutionalised public system is generally conceived as legitimate and there are no really serious conflicts going on. It is more a question of how we distribute wealth, rather than intense class or ethnic struggles. Alternatively or as a supplement to this we can find an explanation in the way Nordic countries have responded to crime. This chapter will for the most part focus on different possible responses to crime. (excerpt)