Some 25 percent of prisoners in Norwegian jails are citizens of other countries than Norway.
This is a huge jump from 2003, when just 15 percent of the prisoners were non-Norwegians, reports Aftenposten.no.
For comparison, just 5 percent of those living in Norway are not Norwegian citizens.
The Justice Department report reveals that 683 prisoners began serving sentences in 2007, although the actual figure could be higher, as the report only counts sentences and doesn’t include criminals who are directly transferred from arrest to imprisonment.
The list of nationalities in Norwegian jails is topped by Poland, Iraq, Lithuania, Sweden, and Somalia.
Less time for Norwegians
In general, non-Norwegians serve much longer sentences than Norwegian citizens. A large portion of them have been incarcerated for drug-related crimes, which tend to be relatively harshly punished.
Over 20 percent of the Norwegians behind bars were put there for drunk-driving related offences, which usually carry shorter sentences.
How the jailed foreigners came into Norway differs greatly by nationality. Some come from countries that don't require a visa for entry, others had obtained work visas, and some entered illegally (without papers).
Some of the non-Norwegian prisoners are also asylum-seekers.
Source: Aftenposten (English)
See also: Muslim population in European prisons