Commencement of imprisonment

The placement in prison of a person sentenced to imprisonment but waiting for the enforcement in freedom starts when a community sanctions office invites the sentenced person to an interview and prepares a sentence plan for that person. A decision on the placement in a prison and the postponement of the enforcement is made by the Assessment Centre of the criminal sanctions region. A person sentenced to unconditional imprisonment is usually placed in a prison in that criminal sanctions region where his or her municipality of residence is.

1. Community sanctions office prepares

The Enforcement Unit sends the information concerning an enforceable judgment to the Assessment Centre determined based on the sentenced person’s municipality of residence. If the sentenced person’s municipality of residence has changed, the matter is transferred to the competent Assessment Centre. If the sentenced person does not have a municipality of residence in Finland, the Enforcement Unit sends the enforcement order to the Assessment Centre that operates in the region where the court that imposed the sentence is located (municipalities and Assessment Centres).

A community sanctions office sends the sentenced person a written request to contact the office and come to a meeting at the appointed time to discuss the drawing up of the sentence plan, the arrival time in prison, and the placement prison. The written invitation includes a preliminary information form which helps the drawing up of the sentence plan. The sentenced person is usually interviewed in the community sanctions office but the hearing can also be arranged via telephone, email, or other similar manner. If necessary, the Assessment Centre can transfer the preparation of the plan to another community sanctions office if the sentenced person has moved to another municipality.

The decision on the arrival time in prison can be made when drawing up the plan. If the decision on the arrival time and the placement prison has not been made or the sentence plan has not been drawn up during the hearing, the documents and the decision on the arrival time and the placement prison are sent by post or delivered in another appropriate manner.

2. Assessment centre decides

When placing a prisoner in a prison, the following has to be taken into account in accordance with the sentence plan: the prisoner’s place of residence, possibilities to maintain contacts with his or her close relatives or other close persons, age, gender, state of health, number of sentences imposed, earlier criminal history, the prisoner’s own wish, and the possibilities to place the prisoner in the activity determined in the sentence plan. When making a placement decision, the possibilities of a prisoner to attend to matters relating to the enforcement of imprisonment in his or her own language must also be taken into account. A prisoner must not be placed in a prison or prison ward that is more closed than what is required by the order, safety, and security of the prison and secure imprisonment. A person under 18 years of age must be placed in a prison where he or she can be kept separate from adult prisoners unless it is in his or her best interests to act otherwise. Prisoner’s placement or transfer in an open prison and from an open prison to a closed prison (7/004/2017) (in Finnish).

3. Duration of the process, postponement, and warrant of apprehension

If the prisoner does not use the opportunity to be heard, the sentence plan is drawn up and the decision on the arrival time and the placement prison is made without a hearing. The decision is sent to the sentenced person’s address known by the Criminal Sanctions Agency. If there is no current address and the sentenced person cannot be reached otherwise, a warrant of apprehension on the sentenced person is issued.

The community sanctions office sends the sentenced person an invitation to an interview approximately a month after the sentence has arrived from the court to the Criminal Sanctions Agency and the enforceability of the judgement has been checked. The sentenced person can advance the arrival time in prison by contacting the Assessment Centre determined based on the sentenced person’s municipality of residence.

In addition, it is possible to apply for a postponement on social or medical grounds: Instructions on applying for postponement and the application form 11.1.2017 (pdf, 0.04 Mt) (in Finnish).

If a person wants to send personal data by email, we advise to use the secure email system Turvaposti. Here is a link to the instructions on sending secure email: Sending secure email: User guide 2017

A person imposed a conversion sentence for unpaid fines is still sent to prison by the enforcement authorities: Commencement of enforcement of a prison sentence and a conversion sentence for unpaid fines and planning of the sentence term (record no. 5/004/2015) (in Finnish).

An innocent person who is imprisoned or sentenced can apply for compensation for damages from the State Treasury.

The guide to the everyday life in a closed prison is being updated.

Instructions for a person starting a prison sentence

Instructions for a person starting a prison sentence 2.1.2018 (pdf, 0.04 Mt)


 
Published 13.12.2019