Swedish recidivism rates are dropping due to improved efforts in jails in dealing with prisoners. The Swedish National Council on Prime Prevention(Bra) which issued the report also warns the return to a life of crime is always high. Since 2002, Sweden’s prisons have been given the task of focusing intently on prisoners who are in jail for drug crimes. The Bra study shows conclusively there is a marked and statistically significant difference in relapse rates among those who have received special substance care compared to those who have not. After a year out of jail, 50% of those released relapsed compared to 58% who did not participate in substance abuse programs. Many of those who succeed in avoiding crime went through a 12 step program.
Sweden is attempting to deal with the issue of recidivism in a manner far different than that common in American prisons.