The State Probation Service of Latvia as a Project Promoter in the framework of the Programme LV08 “Reform of the Latvian Correctional Services and Police Detention Centers” of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism will implement the pre-defined project “Increasing the application of alternatives to imprisonment (incl. possible pilot project on electronic surveillance)”.
The rate of imprisoned persons in Latvia is one of the highest in the European Union – at the end of 2011 there were 6570 imprisoned persons, out of which 4548 were convicted.
The main aim of the project is to provide more alternatives to imprisonment and reduce the imprisonment time.
The project is aimed at establishing a system of electronic surveillance. To accomplish it, electronic monitoring equipment (bracelets) and the necessary equipment will be bought and tested. The electronic monitoring will be simultaneously available for 200 clients, who would not be considered dangerous to the society according to the legislation, and would agree to take part in the Electronic Monitoring Program.
Another intention of the project is to establish a resocialisation system for imprisoned persons. In Latvia, currently there is no correctional programme for young people (14-25 years) after imprisonment. Under the State Probation Service’s supervision there are more than 1000 clients of this age group daily, the average number of clients per year is 3000, and the number of imprisoned persons in the age group up to 25 years old amounts to around 1000. Implementation of the resocialisation system would broaden the range of resocialisation instruments, as well as reduce the risk of recidivism.
The project will include exchange visits to learn from the best practices as regards the electronic monitoring and other probation mechanisms, and their possible application in Latvia. There will be various undertakings to increase the professional capacities of the probation and prison staff. It is also planned to establish a system of professional support to probation officers, including consultations by a supervising psychologist.
The Project partners are:
- Latvian Prison Administration, http://www.ievp.gov.lv/;
- Court Administration of Latvia, http://www.ta.gov.lv/lv/main;
- Oslo Probation Office, http://www.kriminalomsorgen.no/friomsorgskontor.242494.no.html;;
- Ila Detention and Security Prison of Norway, http://www.ilafengsel.no/;
- Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Estonia, http://www.just.ee/?set_lang_id=2;
- European Organization for Probation, http://www.cep-probation.org/.
Total estimated project cost is 2 650 428 EUR, of which 2 252 864 EUR is the funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, and 397 564 EUR is Latvian co-financing.