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Authorities launch AI project to modernise Finnish prison labour

The pilot project will be rolled out in four different prisons around Finland.

File photo. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The Criminal Sanctions Agency (CSA) plans to help prisoners improve their digital skills with a project rolling out in four Finnish prisons.

The year-long trial in Helsinki, Hämeenlinna, Sukeva and Turku will involve the use of artificial intelligence (AI), offering prisoners skills that they need in modern work and study environments.

"Teaching artificial intelligence is easy in a closed environment and it does not require a large space or investment. It can be taught in a short time, which allows prisoners serving a short sentence to participate as well. It can be motivating for prisoners to participate in a more modern labour activity than we’ve been able to offer previously," senior specialist Satu Rahkila explained.

The CSA will deliver the project in collaboration with Metroc, a company specialising in developing technology solutions for the construction sector.

The work offered to prisoners will focus on the Finnish construction field and teach them how to find information on documents through repetitive tasks and questions. The prisoners will receive the standard prison labour compensation for their work in the AI project.

By modernising prison labour, the CSA aims to equip prisoners with the technical skills they need in order to secure work in the modern job market and to help them better integrate into society.

In their press release, the agency added that a previous trial on artificial intelligence training for prisoners had yielded positive results, confirming the suitability of such work within the prison environment.