Regulation on the provision of library services in situations where a prisoner cannot access the prison library (9/004/2017)
Legal basis: chapter 11, section 9 of the Imprisonment Act and chapter 7, section 6 of the Remand Imprisonment Act
In force: from 1 January 2018 until further notice
For: Criminal Sanctions Agency
This document issued by the Central Administration of the Criminal Sanctions Agency is a regulation on the provision of library services in situations where a prisoner cannot access the prison library.
If an open prison does not have a library, the prisoners have to be provided with an opportunity to visit the public library or mobile library usually once a week.
Generally speaking, the prisoners have to be given access to the prison library once a week and they must be provided with guidance in the use of the library. Exceptional cases include prisoners, who are accommodated separately at their own request, placed in a high-security ward, serving a solitary confinement, segregated during the investigation of a disciplinary infraction, or subject to precautionary measures referred to in chapter 18 of the Imprisonment Act or chapter 13 of the Remand Imprisonment Act. Precautionary measures include physical restraint, observation, isolation under observation, as well as segregation and, in the case of remand prisoners, the restriction of communications.
In the aforementioned exceptional cases, the prisoners have to be provided with an opportunity to use library services as often as other prisoners. However, the mental health of the prisoner has to be taken into account. The prisoner may be taken to the prison library based on the consideration of an official. Another alternative is to borrow books from the reference library located at the ward or from the book cart.
The selection of the possible reference library at the ward or the book cart circulating at the ward have to be updated regularly based on the needs of the prisoners. In addition, the prisoners have to be provided with an opportunity to borrow books from the prison library or a public library as interlibrary loans with the help and guidance of the prison officials. The prisoners have to be told about this possibility.
Director General of the Criminal Sanctions Agency Esa Vesterbacka
Senior Specialist Kati Sunimento