The detrimental effects of imprisonment have been documented and accepted in most western countries. As a result, alternatives to incarceration have been sought in the effort to reform the penal system. Although during the last thirty years several Nordic official committees have recommended a reduction in the use of jail sentences and an increase in other forms of punishment (i.e. fines and probation) in the hope of decreasing crime and rehabilitating criminals, incarceration rates have been going up in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. Still, the interest in alternatives to imprisonment continues to grow, but few studies have actually been published that examine their effectiveness.