Prison situation worsens in Latvia

  • 2009-07-03
  • TBT staff

The number of prison inmates continues to grow

RIGA- The Latvian PrisonAdministration has announced that as the number of inmates grows, by the end ofthe year the administration may run out of money. The number of inmates hasgrown is recent months, said General Visvaldis Pukite, chief of the PrisonAdministration.

Pukite told Justice MinisterMareks Seglins that the budget cuts introduced greatly affected prisons in Latvia. The number of inmates hasincreased in the last six months from 6500 to 7200, said Pukite, with numbersreaching 7800 by the end of 2009.

The Prison Administrationsaid that it will need over 2 million lats to cover costs. The administrationdid say that had the budget not been cut by 30 percent, they would have beenable to make ends meet.

Pukite told reporters thathe did not see a viable solution to the problem.

"We are already economizingon everything we can: Parlielupe Prison has been shut down, several prisonadministrations have been merged, but the desired effect has not been achievedbecause utility bills have increased on the average all over Latvia," saidPukite.

Seglins said that the Prison Administration is inthe worst situation of all the institutions and agencies under the JusticeMinistry.