Justice ministry wants prison textbook removed from library

Tallinn Prison.
Tallinn Prison. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

The Ministry of Justice is asking the Estonian National Library to remove from shelves and return copies of a prison service textbook titled "Assessing criminogenic risks" as information contained within becoming public could pose risks to criminals serving their time and allow them to manipulate the recidivism gauge.

The 256-page textbook was written by Maarja Grünberg and published by the Ministry of Justice in 2013. Merike Sirendi, head of the resocialization service of the ministry's prisons department, now finds in a letter to the National Library that the textbooks should be removed from its selection and returned to the ministry.

"The prison service textbook 'Kriminogeensete riskide hindamine' ('Assessing criminogenic risks') includes points scores information in which is based on methods used in the work of the prison service and the publication of which could endanger execution of punishments as a part of data is from a restricted-access database and reflects ties to the criminal world," Sirendi explained.

She added that seeing the points questions could also help inmates manipulate the scale as the topic of thoughts, behavior and attitudes is associated with what the inmate expresses.

"If the inmate knows which questions the prison service is looking for, they can manipulate it in a way to lower their recidivism score."


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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