Prisons start unsupervised visits and wider use of prison leaves

Published 1.7.2020

As of 1 July 2020, prisons return to the normal practice of granting different types of visits, such as unsupervised visits, as well as prison leaves.

In open prisons, visits may also be arranged outside. In prisons and community sanction offices, attention is paid to sufficient distances and hand hygiene and the use of protective equipment is continued.

If necessary, prisons can set up temporary handwashing facilities.

- The correct use of protective equipment is emphasised in particularly now that the activities are opened up in the regions. The occupational safety of the staff plays an important role when the coronavirus restrictions are lifted, says Director General Arto Kujala.

The prisons arrange activities normally bearing in mind the safety distances. Activities arranged by the cooperation partners of the prisons begin where possible. However, activities, where the necessary protection measures are difficult to maintain, are not arranged yet. Such activities include, among others, cooking groups where the prisoners prepare food together under guidance.

Outside parties may hold religious events in prison in the same way as before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. During the events, attention must be paid to sufficient distances and, for instance, shaking hands is forbidden.

If people are sick, they should not come to a prison or a community sanction office. Visitors who have the typical symptoms of the coronavirus are denied entry into prison even if they have a scheduled visit.

The community sanctions offices will gradually return to normal work as of 1 July. When the clients are met in the offices, attention is paid to safety distances and hand hygiene. Community service work will be increased as the service places open.

At the moment, there are about 2 500 prisoners in total. There have been no cases of coronavirus infections in the prisons. The preparedness group of the Criminal Sanctions Agency monitors the coronavirus situation in society and in the closed prisons, open prisons, and community sanctions offices. Provisions are made to introduce new measures to the regions and units if need be.

Further information:
Criminal Sanctions Agency
Director General Arto Kujala
Tel. 029 56 88500

Director of Security Ari Juuti
Tel. 029 56 88456