Enforcement of sentences (4/004/2018)
REGULATION ISSUED BY THE CRIMINAL SANCTIONS AGENCY, record no. 4/004/2018
16 March 2018
Legal basis: Chapter 3(9) of the Imprisonment Act and section 58(2) of the Community Sanctions Enforcement Act
In force: from 1 April 2018 until further notice
Repeals: Regulation 14/004/2015 issued by the Criminal Sanctions Agency on 15 December 2015
For: Enforcement Unit, prisons, and community sanctions offices
Provisions on the commencement of enforcement, the calculation of the term of sentence, and conditional release are laid down in chapters 2 and 3 of the Imprisonment Act (767/2005), in the Government Decree on Imprisonment (548/2015), in chapter 2(c) of the Criminal Code of Finland (780/2005), in the Act on Probationary Liberty under Supervision (629/2013), in the Act on Extradition between Finland and Other Nordic Countries (1383/2007), in the Act on Extradition on the Basis of an Offence Between Finland and Other Member States of the European Union (1286/2003), in the Extradition Act (456/1970), in the Act on Nordic Co-operation in Criminal Matters (326/1963), in the Act on National Implementation of Legislation Falling within the Scope of Provisions of the Framework Decision on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons in the European Union and Application of the Framework Decision (1169/2011), in the Act on International Co-operation in the Enforcement of Certain Penal Sanctions (21/1987), in the Community Sanctions Enforcement Act and Government Decree (400/2015 and 551/2015), in the Non-Military Service Act (1446/2007), in the Conscription Act (1438/2007), in the Act on the Enforcement of a Fine (672/2002), and in the Remand Imprisonment Act (768/2005).
This regulation issued by the Criminal Sanctions Agency contains further regulations on the calculation of the term of sentence of prison sentences, monitoring sentences, which are classified as community sanctions, and conversion sentences for unpaid fine
DETERMINING THE TIME OF COMMENCEMENT OF THE TERM OF SENTENCE
If the enforcement of a sentence has begun in another country (transfer of enforcement to Finland), the sentence is considered having commenced on the day on which it has begun in the country in question according to the transfer decision and its annexes. The term of sentence is calculated from that day on.
The time of commencement of life imprisonment is determined based on the judgement imposing the life imprisonment. If a person sentenced to life imprisonment has served a fixed-term imprisonment or a conversion sentence for unpaid fine right before the sentence to life imprisonment, the time of commencement of the prior sentence is recorded as additional information in the decision on the term of sentence.
If a conversion sentence for unpaid fine is served in addition to a prison sentence, the last day of the conversion sentence is not recorded separately because all sentences are calculated based on the number of days.
A prison sentence or a monitoring sentence imposed pursuant to the Non-Military Service Act or the Conscription Act is always recorded as a separate term of sentence in the enforcement register because sentences imposed for those offences are not combined with sentences imposed for other offences.
SENTENCE LENGTHENED DUE TO APPEAL
If a sentence that has been enforced earlier is lengthened due to an appeal, the difference is enforced.
The lengthened sentence is converted into days and the number of days of the sentence enforced earlier is deducted from it.
DEDUCTIONS TO BE MADE FROM A SENTENCE WHEN THE ENFORCEMENT HAS BEGUN ABROAD
When the time of commencement of a sentence is calculated pursuant to chapter 3, section 3 of the Imprisonment Act and from the beginning of the enforcement in the country that imposed the sentence, the period from the commencement of the sentence is considered as part of the term of sentence without separate deductions.
A prison sentence, which is at most fourteen days long, is served in prison in full. In general, a part of a fixed-term prison sentence is served in prison and then the prisoner is conditionally released. However, the court may, on certain conditions, order a person to serve the entire sentence in prison.
Chapter 2c, section 5, subsection 2 of the Criminal Code of Finland defines how the number of previous prison sentences is determined in the prison services. Prison sentences imposed pursuant to a conversion sentence for unpaid fine, the Non-Military Service Act, or the Conscription Act are not counted in the number of previous prison sentences.
Juvenile punishments, community service sentences, or monitoring sentences are not counted in the number of previous prison sentences because those sanction forms are not prison sentences nor are they served in prison.
According to the government proposal HE 262/2004 (parliamentary document p. 41) regarding the enactment of chapter 2c of the Criminal Code of Finland, prison sentences served abroad are counted in the number of previous prison sentences. However, a sentence imposed abroad may not be contrary to the fundamental and human rights or the basic principles of Finnish public order
Fixed-term prison sentences imposed in years and months are converted into days when they are enforced. The proportions are calculated based on the sentences converted into days. When calculating the proportions, the result is not always a whole number. In such cases, parts of a day are not taken into account.
The period of loss of liberty determined in the judgment pursuant to chapter 6, section 13 of the Criminal Code of Finland is deducted from the proportion.
The minimum period before conditional release is 14 days.
The period of loss of liberty made by the court pursuant to chapter 6, section 13 of the Criminal Code of Finland is also deducted from the minimum period of 14 days.
SENTENCE IMPOSED PURSUANT TO THE NON-MILITARY SERVICE ACT OR THE CONSCRIPTION ACT
The person serving the sentence has to apply for conditional release.
Fixed-term prison sentences are imposed in years, months and days. When the sentences are enforced, they are converted into days. A remaining sentence to be served during conditional release is stated in days. The length of the remaining sentence is calculated when the person serving a sentence is released.
ENFORCEMENT OF SENTENCES WHEN REMAND IMPRISONMENT EQUALS OR EXCEEDS THE PROPORTION OF THE SENTENCE TO BE SERVED
The public official in charge of enforcement decides on the conditional release in cases where the remand imprisonment equals or exceeds the proportion of the only enforced sentence to be served. The procedure of making the decision does not require the sentenced person to come to the prison. The sentenced person is notified of the enforcement of the sentence and the fact that the period of loss of liberty equals or exceeds the proportion to be served. At the same time, the sentenced person is informed that, starting from the date of delivering the notification, the person is conditionally released from the enforced sentence. The notification includes the length of the remaining sentence. In addition, the sentenced person is informed that the date when the probationary period ends will be calculated starting from the notification date and delivered to the person on a separate notification.
The sentenced person is not separately notified of the enforcement of the sentence if the court deems the loss of liberty to be a full service of the only enforced sentence. The sentenced person can find the enforcement details directly in the court decision. According to the government proposal HE 262/2004 (parliamentary document p. 40) regarding the enactment of chapter 2c of the Criminal Code of Finland, the loss of liberty as a remand prisoner in police custody facilities is comparable to a prison sentence and considered service of the sentence pursuant to chapter 6, section 13 of the Criminal Code of Finland. Such sentence is deemed served on the day the final or enforceable judgement is given because the sentenced person can be considered informed of the service of the imposed sentence then. Thus, the three-year period that influences the calculation of the number of previous prison sentences starts on the day the judgement is given.
LAST DAY OF PROBATIONARY PERIOD
A probationary period is equivalent to the length of the remaining sentence at the time of release but it can be at most three years. The maximum length of the probationary period is calculated based on the number of days.
TIME COUNTED AS TERM OF SENTENCE
Time that is counted or not counted as part of the term of sentence is calculated based on the number of days.
In case of a monitoring sentence, the length of the period of suspension is calculated based on the number of days just as the time counted or not counted as part of the term of sentence provided in chapter 3, section 7 of the Imprisonment Act.
EARLIEST DATE FOR PERMISSION OF LEAVE BASED ON LENGTH OF TERM OF SENTENCE
Separate provisions on the earliest date for permission of leave concerning a person, who serves a sentence imposed pursuant to the Non-Military Service Act or the Conscription Act, are not laid down in these special acts; therefore, the Imprisonment Act is applied when calculating the date.
The earliest date for permission of leave is calculated based on the number of days.
When calculating the earliest date for permission of leave, the deduction pursuant to the Criminal Code and the period of loss of liberty linked to a sentence of life imprisonment are taken into account as deductions based on the definition of the prison time in chapter 2c, section 10a of the Criminal Code of Finland and section 77, subsection 2 of the Imprisonment Decree.
A remand prisoner may be granted permission of leave for a particularly important reason under chapter 9, section 9 of the Remand Imprisonment Act. Hence, the date for permission of leave is not calculated in the case of remand prisoners.
DECISION ON TERM OF SENTENCE
For a conditionally released prisoner, the decision on the term of sentence is also the decision on the conditional release in cases where the conditional release is not postponed. The decision on the release of a life sentence prisoner or a person ordered to serve the entire sentence in prison is made by the Helsinki Court of Appeal.
The following dates are calculated when a sentence is enforced:
- date when the sentence is served in full
- release date
- earliest release date
- earliest date for permission of leave on the basis of the length of the term of sentence
- last day of probationary period.
The release date can be 1) the date when the sentence is served in full, 2) the date when the prisoner can be conditionally released, or 3) the date when a sentence ordered to be served in full is served in full and the proportion of other sentences enforced at the same time is served as provided in the Criminal Code of Finland.
The earliest release date is calculated for life sentence prisoners in accordance with chapter 2c, section 10 of the Criminal Code of Finland (the person has served twelve years in prison or ten years if the offence was committed before the age of 21 years) and for a person serving the entire sentence in accordance with section 12 (5/6 but at least three years has been served).
The earliest date for permission of leave on the basis of the length of the term of sentence is not recorded if the release date is before that or the same. An advanced date for permission of leave provided in chapter 14, section 3 of the Imprisonment Act is calculated only at the request of the prisoner or the public official of the prison who prepares or decides on the permission of leave of the prisoner.
TERM OF PROBATIONARY LIBERTY UNDER SUPERVISION
Probationary liberty under supervision is part of the term of sentence. The length of probationary liberty under supervision ordered in months is calculated based on the number of days.
TERM OF SERVING MONITORING SENTENCE
The period of time when a monitoring sentence has to be served (term of serving) is calculated based on calendar days. Pursuant to an established practice, the term of serving ends as specified in the provision on the end of the period of limitations in chapter 8, section 17 of the Criminal Code of Finland, i.e., at the end of the day preceding the day of the month corresponding to the date on which the period began. According to section 47, subsection 2 of the Community Sanctions Enforcement Act, a period of suspension starts at the beginning of the day following the suspension of the enforcement of the monitoring sentence. Pursuant to chapter 2, section 1, subsection 1 of the Imprisonment Act, the length of the period of suspension is calculated based on the number of days just as the time counted or not counted as part of the term of sentence provided in chapter 3, section 7 of the Imprisonment Act. The period of suspension is added to the term of serving starting from the day following the last day of the term of serving. Just as the period of suspension, the period of postponing a monitoring sentence is also calculated based on the number of days and added to the term of serving.
The calculation of the terms of prison sentences and monitoring sentences was changed from a system that was based on the calendar days to a system that was based on the number of days on 1 May 2015. The terms of sentences that were being enforced when the change entered into force are calculated based on both the calendar days and the number of days in accordance with the government proposal HE 45/2014 (parliamentary document p. 63) regarding the legislative amendment. The decision on the term of sentence is made based on the calculation method, which results in the earliest release or conditional release of the person serving a prison sentence or a monitoring sentence. The same applies when, after the entry into force of the new Act, all imputed offences of the enforced sentences have been committed before 1 May 2015 and the court has calculated the period of loss of liberty provided in chapter 6, section 13 of the Criminal Code of Finland based on the calendar days.
In the aforementioned cases, if the result of the comparison is the calculation based on the number of days, the terms of sentences are calculated only based on the number of days if new sentences are enforced later.
The terms of sentences are calculated only based on the number of days if even one of the imputed offences of the enforced prison or monitoring sentences has been committed during the new Act or a conversion sentence for unpaid fines is enforced or a decision on the time counted or not counted as part of the term of sentence is made during the new Act.
Director General of the Criminal Sanctions Agency Esa Vesterbacka
Director of the Enforcement Unit Juha Hilska