The number of people detained in Estonia's prisons was 2,921 at the end of 2014, nearly hundred fewer than a year ago, and below the 3,000-mark for the first time in decades. The number of people on probation decreased from 6,138 to 5,525.
The figures include 29 minors, 150 women and 40 people in life imprisonment. The number of prisoners has been slowly declining since 2005, when the figure stood at around 4,500.
The prison service had a budget of 47 million euros in 2014, of which staff costs made up 27 million.
No homicides, murders or attempts to kill someone took place in Estonia's prisons in 2014. Eight inmates died, six from illnesses, one from a suicide and one case is still open, although health problems are thought to be behind the death.
Justice Minister Andres Anvelt said the prison system has greatly changed since the 90s. An improved training for guards and a more personal approach to prisoners have led to fewer crimes in prisons and fewer people returning to prisons, he added.
Editor: J.M. Laats