Bredtveit Prison, Oslo. Photo: The Parliamentary Ombud

Visit Report – Bredtveit prison and Ullersmo prison, dept. Zulu Øst

During the period 13–16 March 2023, the National Preventive Mechanism of the Parliamentary Ombud conducted an unannounced visit to Bredtveit Prison and the Zulu East wing at
Ullersmo Prison.

The visit took place as a result of increasing concerns regarding conditions at Bredtveit Prison and the transfer of female inmates to Ullersmo men’s Prison in January 2023 as an emergency measure. Through numerous prison visits and in the 2016 thematic report “Women in prison”, the Parliamentary Ombud has expressed its concern that female inmates are collectively afforded inferior prison conditions compared with men. Recent research has also shown that the proportion of female inmates with mental health challenges rose considerably during the period 2010–2019.

Our visit revealed that the inmates at Bredtveit Prison were living under critical and even life-threatening conditions. The seriousness of the situation and the need for urgent measures led the Parliamentary Ombud to notify the Ministry of Justice and Public Security of the conditions in a letter dated 23 March 2023.