Declining prison population breaks new barriers (1)
The number of people incarcerated in Estonia's prisons has dropped to its lowest number in decades.
At the end of last year, the number of prisoners fell below the 3,000 mark. In February, fewer than 2,900 prisoners were locked up, with that number falling below 2,800 at the beginning of summer and from mid-November there are fewer than 2,700 prisoners. Postimees reported that the figure as of Monday is 2,663, of whom 2,092 have been sentenced and 571 arrested.
Tallinn Prison has 886 inmates, followed by prisons in Viru (806), Tartu (825) and Harku and Murru (166). Of the prisoners, 23 are minors, 141 female, and 41 people serve a life sentence.
Ten years ago, Estonia had around 4,600 prisoners.
Crime statistics have also fallen. In the past five years, the number of crimes committed has fallen from 35,600 (2011) to 27,000 this year. During that period the number of murders has more than halved. The greatest decrease has come in theft, falling by nearly half. Offenses against people have increased slightly. The number of rapes has also increased from 74 in 2011 to 136 this year, as have identity thefts, up from 50 in 2011 to 129 this year.