Asylum Seekers from the Middle East are being trained to become prison guards in a new program at the Mariefred prison set up by the Swedish government.The new program, initiated by the Swedish probation and prison system, aims to see 450 recent migrants and disabled people placed in various internships that include prison guards, cooks and other jobs within correctional facilities across the country. Justice Minister Morgan Johansson visited the Mariefred prison where two Iraqi asylum seekers are training as guards according to the Probation service website.
Mariefred prison chief Mohamed Gulied and project manager Helena Lönnkvist introduced the minister to the candidates enrolled in the program including the two Iraqis Khaled Taha and Dheyazan Sadeq who are also learning Swedish at the facility. ” I want to work, and am very happy here at Mariefred. Now I hope that I will manage basic education,” Khaled told the minister.
Helena Lönnkvist who is the project manager for the program said, “trainees become role models, both in our own operations and for the relatives and friends outside the Prison and Probation Service. Our hope is that they will want to stay and go on to permanent employment.”
Mohamed Gulied added, “We need to recruit and this is a good way into the profession,” and said he hoped to receive more migrants into the program.
So far the program has not run into a glaring issue that plagues many prisons across Europe, the growth of radical Islam and radicalization of inmates. In France, a report to the French National Assembly last year claimed that French prisons, in which 60 percent of inmates are Muslim, had become a breeding ground for radical Islamic indoctrination.
The situation in British prisons is not much better as the former chief inspector of prisons Nick Hardwick said in 2015 that prisons were a conduit for radical Islamic recruitment.
In HMP Gartree, a maximum security prison in the UK, entire cell blocks are run under a variation if Islamic sharia law according to reports.
“It is so bad non-Muslim prisoners are refusing to move there as they feel intimidated,” a source said and added, “there is huge pressure put on them to convert and a threat of violence if they don’t. The Muslim gangs have their own rules and use Sharia law to sort out disagreements. In effect, they are setting up their own prison within a prison.”
Sweden is also experiencing a surge of support for the Islamic State terror group due to fighters returning from the Middle East and spreading their extremist ideology according to the Swedish security service. As far back as 2006 reports emerged that radical Islamists were also recruiting in Swedish prisons as well.