31% Of Inmates Suicidal, 80% Addicted To Drugs - The Reykjavik Grapevine

31% Of Inmates Suicidal, 80% Addicted To Drugs

Published October 2, 2017

Elías Þórsson
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Speaking at a conference hosted by SÁÁ, the National Centre of Addiction Medicine, Þrá­inn Farest­veit, director of the halfway house Vernd, said that many former inmates face isolation upon returning to society. He said that 7% have no contact with family or friends, a quarter never receive visits and that 31% are suicidal, reports MBL.

He, furthermore, said that a number of inmates have little to no education and that many suffer from learning disabilities. Only a third finished primary school and a quarter of inmates were unhappy during their schooling years. Around 40% are dyslexic, 31% have a writing disability, 51% have ADHD and 42% ADD.

Drugs and criminals

Þór­ar­inn Tyrf­ings­son­, Head Doctor at the rehab centre Vogur, claims said that a vast majority of criminals doing time in Icelandic prisons are addicts, which contributes greatly to their issues.”80% of convicts are drug addicts and that is a big problem,” said Þórarinn.

He said that it was imperative to help inmates escape addiction in order to rehabilitate them into society and he criticised politicians who believe that “stupidity and a lack of knowledge” are equal to expert opinions.

Þórarinn added that many current inmates are behind bars due to the sale and distribution of drugs and that heavier sentences are not a way to fix the issue.

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