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Finnish prisons to establish gang wings

Finnish prisons are creating separate units for gang members, reports local news conglomerate Lännen Media (LM).

Helsingin vankila.
Finland's Criminal Sanctions Agency (Rise) wants to separate gang members from other inmates in Finland's prison system. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle

Finland’s closed prisons will soon feature gang wings, writes Lännen Media (LM). The move aims to protect other inmates, according to Finland's Criminal Sanctions Agency (Rise).

In the future, Finland will also have two maximum security facilities for the country's most dangerous inmates. Rise said the changes aim to ensure the safety of inmates not affiliated with gangs.

While some of Finland’s closed prisons already feature gang units, Rise is requiring that all penitentiaries establish separate areas for housing gang members.

Law enforcement officials are meanwhile looking to improve the safety of prison guards by introducing more security checks for prison personnel.

The organised crime syndicate United Brotherhood exercises great unofficial power in Finnish prisons, according to LM.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has said United Brotherhood dominates the prison drug trade, forcing inmates and their families to commit crimes.

Rise has earlier described the United Brotherhood — a coalition of three previously independent criminal groups — as the most powerful and feared criminal organisation in Finnish prisons, which employs tactics such as violence, threats, blackmail, invented debts and promises of brotherhood membership.

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