Government decision on spending limits relieves the situation in the prisons in Southern Finland

Published 16.4.2020

An additional building to Vantaa Prison will ease the overcrowding in the prisons located in Southern Finland. Over the past few years, overcrowding has been common in the prisons of that region.

- We are very pleased with the Government's significant contribution to securing the operational capacity of the Criminal Sanctions Agency and improving prison safety and security. The decision of the Government has been received with great satisfaction in the Criminal Sanctions Agency, says Director General Arto Kujala.

According to the decision on spending limits for 2021-2024, the Criminal Sanctions Agency was granted approximately EUR 13 million for the costs and extra staff of the additional building to Vantaa Prison. The additional building will be completed in 2024. The decision on the additional building provides Vantaa Prison means to secure and even increase the number of staff.

The additional building with 160 places enables Vantaa Prison to have wards with different levels of supervision, arrange more activities for prisoners, and advance interaction with the prisoners. The additional building to Vantaa Prison will have 19 places for female remand prisoners. At the moment, the Criminal Sanctions Region of Southern Finland has no places for female prisoners. The need for extra staff in the additional building is 80 person-years.

The number of remand prisoners will increase in Southern Finland due to demographic trends and legislative reasons. The reform of the legislation concerning remand imprisonment and coercive measures, which entered into force on 1 January 2019, shortened the maximum period of remand imprisonment in the custody facilities maintained by the police from four weeks to seven days and tightened the prerequisites for remand.

The aim is to transfer remand prisoners from the police to the Criminal Sanctions Agency directly after the remand hearing. For that reason, the Criminal Sanctions Agency needs more places for remand prisoners. The additional building to Vantaa Prison is a solution to that need. In the new facilities, it will be easier to make sure that the restrictions of communications imposed on remand prisoners are followed. There will also be separate interrogation facilities where remand prisoners can be questioned or take part in court hearings on coercive measures via video connection.

The estimated cost of the additional building to Vantaa Prison is EUR 52.6 million.

Functional security technology protects the safety of the staff and prisoners

The modernisation of the prison security technology was allocated EUR 3.2 million for 2021 and EUR 2.9 million for 2022. The modernisation of the security technology is a necessary investment in prison safety and security. The majority of the supervision technology used in the prisons is outdated.

Functional security and supervision technology is a prerequisite for ensuring the safety of the staff and prisoners.

The appropriation of the Criminal Sanctions Agency for 2024 will be increased by EUR 2 million in order to ensure the functioning of the entire criminal procedure.

Further information:

Criminal Sanctions Agency, Director General Arto Kujala, tel. +358 29 56 88500

Criminal Sanctions Agency, Head of Planning Pia Raassina-Terho, firstname.lastname(at)om.fi, tel. +358 29 56 88421