Continued focus on new remand prisoners needed

Publiceret 27-06-2023

In the field of institutions for adults, the Ombudsman’s Monitoring Department has carried out a number of monitoring visits focusing on conditions for new remand prisoners.

These people may be in an uncertain and vulnerable situation after an arrest and placement in remand custody has turned their lives upside down. And there may be an increased risk that they will commit self-harming acts such as suicide attempts in the first few days after placement in remand custody.

The Ombudsman’s visits to the local prisons and the police show that the Prison and Probation Service and the police overall have an understanding of remand prisoners' vulnerable situation and take care to inform them of their rights and ensure their safety.

However, based on the investigation, the Ombudsman generally recommends

  • that the Prison and Probation Service ensure continued focus on providing sufficient guidance to new inmates about their rights in connection with placement in local prisons
  • that local prison staff receive guidance and training in uncovering mental health conditions, including suicidal thoughts, in new inmates.

The monitoring visits have also uncovered that the police in several police districts regularly have to place an arrestee in a detention cell overnight because, due to overcrowding in the Prison and Probation Service, there is no room for the arrestee in a local prison – even though detention cells are not designed for spending the night.

As a follow-up on the monitoring visits, the Ombudsman will discuss his recommendations and the mentioned general issues uncovered by the investigation with the Department of Prisons and Probation and the Danish National Police.

Read the whole thematic report on the Ombudsman’s monitoring activities in 2022

Read the news item on the theme of the Ombudsman’s 2022 monitoring visits to institutions for adults


Further details:

Director of International Relations, Klavs Kinnerup Hede,


The investigation involved monitoring visits to eight local prisons and eight police districts:

  • Western Prison (reception unit)
  • Copenhagen Police
  • Western Copenhagen Police
  • ‘Hillerød Arrest’ (local prison)
  • North Zealand Police
  • ‘Odense Arrest’ (local prison)
  • Funen Police
  • ‘Aarhus Arrest’ (local prison)
  • East Jutland Police
  • ‘Aalborg Arrest’ (local prison)
  • North Jutland Police
  • ‘Esbjerg Arrest’ (local prison)
  • South Jutland Police
  • ‘Nykøbing Mors Arrest’ (local prison)
  • ‘Holstebro Arrest’ (local prison)
  • Central and West Jutland Police

The Parliamentary Ombudsman carries out monitoring visits in public and private institutions, especially where people are or can be deprived of their liberty.

The monitoring visits are carried out in cooperation with the Danish Institute for Human Rights and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture, which contribute with medical and human rights expertise.

Every year, a theme is chosen for the year’s monitoring visits.

Read the Ombudsman’s previous thematic reports

Read more about the Ombudsman’s monitoring visits