Danish watchdog to scrutinise conditions for children in women’s prison

Denmark’s parliamentary ombudsman says he will investigate conditions to which female inmates and their children are subjected at Jyderup Prison.

Danish watchdog to scrutinise conditions for children in women’s prison
A file photo of Jyderup Prison, which faces a watchdog inspection amid reports of poor conditions for the children of female inmates. Photo: Niels Ahlmann Olesen/Ritzau Scanpix

The ombudsman said he would inspect the prison in a statement on Wednesday, after reports in Danish media criticised conditions at the prison.

One of the duties of the parliamentary ombudsman is to protect the rights of children when they are in contact with authorities.

Jyderup Prison has been criticised for poor conditions for both women inmates and their children, with a lack of activities for the children and long waiting times for doctors’ appointments among issues highlighted.

The prison was last year converted to a women’s prison, having previously been a mixed facility.

According to newspaper Politiken, three children under the age of two years lived in the prison as of October. Last month, the newspaper wrote that two children were at the prison with another two expected.

NGO Save The Children Denmark (Red Barnet) reported the conditions at the prison to the parliamentary ombudsman.

The organisation’s head of child protection said that children can be restricted to cells with their mothers for up to 23 hours per day, and do not have contact with other children.

“These are conditions where children are not allowed to go to a kindergarten because there are not enough resources to take them there,” Spitz said.

“And conditions that, overall, are far short of standards and where children’s rights are not lived up to,” she said.

According to its statement, the ombudsman inspection will be conducted by the watchdog’s children’s office. Human rights organisations will also participate.

The inspection is scheduled to take place in February 2023.

The parliamentary ombudsman, Niels Fenger, is responsible for ensuring state administration is within the law and follows good practice.

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How to get your family downsized and displayed at Denmark’s Legoland

Legoland is offering a family in Denmark the chance to have themselves and their home replicated in Lego bricks and put on display in the popular theme park.

How to get your family downsized and displayed at Denmark’s Legoland

The competition will see a winner picked out and their Lego duplicates placed on display at Legoland Billund within a brick’s throw of the Lego Eiffel Tower and Amalienborg Palace.

“We dare say that we are putting one of Denmark’s most unique plots of land ‘for sale’. This is the first time ever that a family’s house will be built here at Legoland and we will also build the family with Lego bricks so they can stand next to their house and play in the garden,” Legoland director Christian Woller said in a press release.

The winning family and their house will be downsized at a scale of 1:20 and placed on the specially selected ‘plot’ at Legoland.

A house of, for example, 7×20 metres will therefore be reproduced at 35×100 centimetres for the Legoland display.

The competition can be entered via the website of estate agent Home, whose local branch in Billund is acting as the “seller” of the diminutive plot. You can also read more about it on the Legoland website.

“We’re hugely proud that we’ve been given that chance to fulfil not just ‘normal’ housing dreams but also childhood dreams. The Lego corporation and Legoland are a big part of our DNA here in Billund. Now we can share that feeling with a lucky family somewhere in Denmark,” Home Billund co-owner Camilla Lund Hansen said in the press release.

Entrants from anywhere in Denmark could win the prime piece of Lego real estate.

“This is a very unique plot which has a view of the Eiffel Tower and Amalienborg Palace and there is also a view of the sea, so we are in no doubt there will be interest in the plot,” Woller said.

Construction of the house must be completed by April 1st, when Legoland opens for the summer season. It will remain in situ for the remainder of 2023. The winning family will be required to attend the opening where their ‘house’ will be presented – and will also be given free passes to the park for the rest of the year.

Following the end of the 2023 season, the winning family will be able to take their Lego selves and house with them to their real house.

To enter the competition, you must provide your name and address and write a short description of your family, and register for marketing letters from Lego and Home.