The global world requires connections and cooperation over borders to get new perspectives on organized crime. Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask, is traveling around the U.S. to study issues relating to gang criminality and other organized crime.
Recently, Ask lectured in front of members of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce, Chicago. Watch a brief video at Sweden's Minister of Justice, Beatrice Ask in Chicago
With 7,000 homicides per year and 90 percent of the imprisoned belonging to gangs, Chicago is a city with plenty of criminal activity. The biggest gang, Latin Kings, is estimated to have more than 5,000 members in Chicago alone.
Sweden has not been spared the street gangs and organized crime—especially since situations in bigger cities has recently intensified.

“For the moment we have a focus on the situation in Malmö, due to the fact that we had several shootings in a short period,” said Ask.
She said a total of eight killings have been seen in 10 weeks. All were closely related to criminal activity.
Malmö, like Chicago, is facing problems with integration. Minority groups are separated from the rest of the population in both cities. It’s a problem that seems to be nourished by the gang mentality.
Gang activity is not only a problem on the streets but also in the prisons.


“The inmates don’t get along well, or they do get along well. It’s a problem either way,” said Ask.
Sweden separates gang members in prisons to stop gang activity. However in the U.S., members from the same gang are imprisoned together to avoid confrontation with other gangs.
“The problem with this (U.S.) system is that gang leaders will continue business in prison,” Ask said.
Other differences and similarities between Sweden and America are the accessibility of weapons, treatment of inmates and preventive methods for gang recruitment.

by Erik Kinnhammar

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