Thursday 09.07.2020
CORONAVIRUS MEASURES

Short prison sentences are postponed due to the coronavirus

Jail sentences less than six months have been postponed for 3 months.
Kerava prison. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Kerava prison. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

Short prison sentences are postponed in Finland due to the coronavirus (koronavirus, in Finnish) epidemic.

The Ministry of Justice has issued a decree to postpone the enforcement of the imprisonment for up to six months between 19 March and 19 June 2020.

The aim is to reduce the number of short-term prisoners entering prisons, thereby reducing the risk of coronavirus spreading to other prisoners and staff.

Justice Minister Anna-Maja Henriksson said in a press release, "Prison security is also important during coronavirus. These measures are now being taken to reduce the risk of infection in prisons."

Prison population reduced

As a result of the decision, the prison population is temporarily reduced by about 100-200 prisoners.

Prisoners' health is often lower than the average population, so the uncontrolled spread of coronavirus could pose serious problems for the prisons’ health care. It is also important to prevent that the staff falls ill in order to maintain the capacity of prisons.

However, the enforcement of the sentence shall not exceed eight months and shall not have the effect of enforcement the judgment.

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