CPT report on the 2017 visit (excerpts), 2019

B. Establishments under the authority of the Ministry of Justice

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3. Conditions of detention

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52. As regards the regime, the CPT acknowledges the efforts made by the Estonian authorities to provide sentenced prisoners with purposeful out-of-cell activities. It is also noteworthy that many sentenced prisoners benefited from an open-door regime for much of the day.

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Further, at Tallinn Prison, almost one-third of the sentenced prisoners had access either to education (including language classes in Estonian) or to vocational training in workshops (such as carpentry, shoe repairs, welding and metalwork). At Tartu and Viru Prisons, such activities were offered to approximately one-fifth of the sentenced prisoners.

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53. In the three prisons, remand prisoners generally had only very few opportunities for work and educational activities. 42 Further, they were usually not allowed to use the existing sports facilities, and other recreational activities were very limited.

42 For instance, at Tallinn Prison, seven remand inmates were enrolled in formal education and five attended Estonian language courses.

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5. Other issues

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d. legal remedies and complaints procedures

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87. Further, prisoners could in principle lodge complaints with external bodies, in particular to the relevant Prison Committee60 and the Chancellor of Justice (Ombudsman).

60 For further details, see paragraph 101 of the report on the 2012 visit (CPT/Inf (2014) 1).

That said, a number of prisoners interviewed by the delegation appeared to be unaware of the existence of such complaints procedures. The CPT reiterates its recommendation that measures be taken in all prisons to provide prisoners with the necessary information, in a language they understand, on all existing external complaints mechanisms.


Document data: CPT/Inf (2019) 31; published 19.11.2019. Link: https://rm.coe.int/168098db93

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