Prison Inmates to Get More Room in Cells
The Justice Ministry has announced that the minimum space requirement for each prison inmate is to be increased from 2.5 to 3 square meters from 2014.
The ministry's deputy chancellor, Priit Kama, said in a statement that a standard set by the European Court of Human Rights is to require a minimum of three square meters of space for each prisoner and it has awarded financial compensation to prisoners with less.
The Tartu and Viru prisons already meet the requirement, but the Tallinn, Harku and Murru prisons do not. "Updating the old prisons to meet the human rights court's standards requires reducing the capacity of prisons by at total of 190 spaces," said Kama.
As of May 6, the prison system had a total of 3,295 inmates. That number has declined by 1,200 over the past eight years. However, while the EU average is 120 inmates per 100,000 residents, that rate is still at 250 per 100,000 in Estonia.