Security in Finnish prisons and aftercare (Stage III)
This project is a continuation of the project which assessed the security of Finnish prisons and aftercare (Stages I and II). Stage III of the project was launched in September 2009, with scheduled completion in 2011. After the project researcher was appointed to another position, the time schedule was extended, and a replacement was recruited in September 2011. The purpose of project was to improve and develop security analysis methods and to establish a tradition of applying security information as a part of the decision-making process in the criminal sanctions field. Expert interviews were conducted in order to collect views concerning the use of security related information, possible information gaps and the role of such data in decision-making. Also an analysis was conducted of the security information collected, including existing indicators, and recommendations for new indicators were made. The final version of the project report was submitted to the Finnish Criminal Sanctions Agency in August 2012.
The final report includes a large variety of potential indicators that could be used to measure security and safety in prison and aftercare system. These include, for example, the number of positive drug tests in relation to the number of tests made, the number of different types of violations committed by prisoners (e.g. violence) in relation to the number of prisoners per institution, etc. These simple prison level indicators make it easier to follow the security situation and its fluctuations on the local level, but also on the general level. It was noted that the somewhat poor quality of different data complicates the interpretation of these indicators and that the quality of the data should be improved in order to measure security in a proactive way. The Criminal Sanctions Agency should choose the most important indicators and set target limits for them, so that the Agency could monitor and govern the overall security situation. Also several other recommendations are made in the final report.
Anniina Jokinen: anniina.jokinen(at)om.fi