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New regulations to give prisoners additional rights

New regulations coming into force will give individuals serving time additional means to maintain contact with others outside of prison. The rules have also been relaxed with respect to meetings with next of kin, smoking and the right of appeal.

Viidestä väkivaltarikoksesta tuomittu vanki Pyhäselän vankilassa.
Prisoners will have more access to communication channels such as mobile phones and email. Image: YLE / Mari Itkonen

New incarceration regulations coming into force Friday will give prisoners additional rights. The regulations relate particularly to prisoners’ channels for maintaining contact with others outside of prison, such as mobile phones, the internet and the use of email, as well as their supervision.

In the future, subject to authorisation, prisoners will be able to use email and the internet, as long as their use does not put prison order and security at risk.

At the same time the supervision required for these means of communication will expand and deepen, for example, emails will only be sent via the prison’s email server.

In closed prison facilities, use of the internet will be permitted on condition that prisoners are allowed access only to certain pre-authorised websites.

However remand prisoners facing communication restrictions will not be given access to electronic communication channels.

New regulations have also been introduced to govern meetings with next of kin, smoking and the right of appeal.

Offenders will enjoy improved conditions for meeting their children and while smoking is still prohibited in prison living quarters, special smoking areas will be created for prisoners.

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