Number of prisoners drops below 3,000

The number of people kept behind bars in Estonia has dropped below 3,000 for the first time since the restoration of independence in 1991, figures released by the Justice Ministry show.

As of  March10,2014, imprisoned persons numbered 2,980. The figure was 3,123 at the end of last year, 3,371 at the end of 2012, 4,410 in the middle of the last decade and 4,576 ten years ago.

The number continued decreasing in the first two months of this year, dropping to 2,980 by Monday. Of this number 2,442 are convicts and 538 detainees.

While the number of imprisoned persons has kept declining in Estonia mainly as a result of a drop in the number of detainees, it is still almost double the EU average, Jako Salla, adviser on criminal policy at the Justice Ministry, said in January. “In the EU only Latvia and Lithuania come ahead of Estonia when it comes to the number of imprisoned persons. To achieve the average level of the EU, we should have about 1,500 imprisoned persons,” he told reporters.

Source: BNS / Estonian Review

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