An emergency security regime has been put in place at Tartu Prison after two inmates had to be hospitalized earlier in the week, due to suspected drug overdoses.
Minister of Justice Kalle Laanet (Reform), on whose order the lockdown has been put in place, said Friday: "We take what has been happening in the prisons very seriously, and we will do everything we can to get to the bottom of the circumstances of the recent events, and to eliminate shortcomings."
"An appropriate response to all untoward incidents, the security of our prisons and the protection of the health of inmates are all very important for the functioning of the prison system," the minister went on.
The new regime will include monitoring to ascertain the shortcomings the minister mentioned, which may include management deficiencies and responses to emergencies.
The prosecutor's office has also opened up criminal proceedings, to investigate the case and to uncover if and what kind of narcotic substance may have found its way into the Tartu Prison.
On Thursday, news portal Delfi wrote (link in Estonian) that an ambulance had been called out on Monday, in order to rush to hospital two inmates suspected of having overdosed on drugs.
Ministry of Justice prison service spokesperson Liis Lumiste told Delfi that a further three inmates were examined medically in relation to the incident, but were not suffering any serious effects and were returned to their cells.
Editor: Barbara Oja, Andrew Whyte