One-third of Latvian inmates drug addicts, alcoholics

  • 2005-08-10
RIGA 's About one third of Latvia's inmates are drug addicts or alcoholics, and one tenth of them have AIDS, new data shows.

Karlis Serzants, a spokesman for the Latvian Penitentiary Administration said that currently there are about 7,500 people in the country's 15 penitentiaries. About 5,000 are convicts, and others are detainees. The average age of inmates is 30 years, the average education 's nine grades, he added.

One third of inmates have actively used drugs (1,100 people) or alcohol (820 people) before their imprisonment, most of the inmates (6,500 people) have been mentally deranged. About 700 inmates have AIDS.

Serzants said the penitentiary administration has created a profile of "the average inmate" for the first time since the restoration of independence in Latvia.

The daily maintenance of one inmate costs 5.96 lats (8.48 euros), he said.