Centre for Public Policy. LATVIAN PRISON SYSTEM – THE PROSPECTS FOR FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. Ilona Kronberga. Centre for Public Policy PROVIDUS: Ilona Kronberga. “One of the most amazing things about prisons is that they ‘work’ at all….”.
“One of the most amazing things about
prisons is that they ‘work’ at all….”
Cressey, D. (ed.) (1961). The Prison: Studies in Institutional Organization.
NY: Holt, Rinehart, Winston (p.2).
Total number of inmates is ~6900
but in the beginning of this year was 7055
Total number - 2511 including:
“…every instance of brutality in prisons,
every casual racist joke and demeaning
remark, every ignored petition, every
unwarranted bureaucratic delay, every
inedible meal, every arbitrary decision to
segregate or transfer without giving clear
and unfounded reasons, every petty
miscarriage of justice, every futile and
inactive period of time — is delegitimating”
Sparks, R. and Bottoms, A.E. (1995). ‘Legitimacy and Order in Prisons’,
The British Journal of Sociology, 46, 1, 45-62 (p.60).
The educational process in prisons is organized in line with “Education Policy Guidelines for Inmates 2006 – 2012”
68,3% of all inmates are aged 22 - 40
Among convicted persons there are many people who have a low level of general education. For example - lower than 23% of convicts do not have any elementary education.
In 2008 the Ministry of Justice drafted the concept paper to establish a new employment system for inmates.
Ministry of Justice has againset upa new version of prison infrastructure concept which provides for:
The Ministry of Justice intends to submit this project to the government in these days.
Juveniles (percentage of prison population)2.1% Prison population rate (per 100,000 of national population) 314based on an estimated national population of 2.25 million at beginning of 2010 (from Eurostat figures)
Estonia: Juveniles = 1.0%
Finland: = 0.1%
Russia: = 0.9%
Romania: = 1.7%
Belarus: = 1,2%
Poland: = 0,6%
Ukraine: = 1,0%
“While the prison system was transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Justice in 2000, in 2007 the prison system remains significantly militarised with soviet style military management. Moreover, since 2006 the Prison Service ceased to be part of civil service. Directors of the 15 prisons, deputies and heads of service are officers, as about third of staff and ranks remain the same as with the police and border guards.”
 Latvia, Shadow Report to the UN Committee against Torture; October 2007; Latvian Centre for Human Rights (page 14).
We have often faced situations when we can say...
..a prison environment provides considerable opportunity for the capricious and arbitrary exercise of power, and for authorities to act based on personal prejudice and implicit bias
However, if people realize their mission...
...power - is an obligation, but freedom – responsibility, and so it has always been