Mayor's "White Collar Prison" Idea Unrealistic - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Mayor’s “White Collar Prison” Idea Unrealistic

Published June 11, 2010

Incoming mayor Jón Gnarr’s idea for building a “white collar prison” is unrealistic, mostly due to a lack of understanding of how the prison system works, contends the director of the Prison and Probation Administration of Iceland.
Gnarr’s idea, specifically, is to create an international prison for white collar criminals in Arnarholt, a part of Kjalarnes, in order to generate income for the city of Reykjavík.
Páll Winkel, director of the Prison and Probation Administration of Iceland, told Vísir that he doesn’t see how this would generate money for the city, seeing how prisons are under the administration of the national government; not municipalities.
While presumably the other countries asking Iceland to house other peoples’ white collar criminals would be paying us to do it, incarceration currently costs 8.8 million ISK per prisoner per year – which is about 67,000 USD or £46,000. It costs the US about 21,000 USD per year per prisoner in federal prisons (where most white collar criminals would be housed) and the UK spends about £37,500 per prisoner per year, so there is little reason to believe Iceland would attract many foreign white collar criminals for incarceration.

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