In a ceremony on Tuesday, Estonia laid the cornerstone for the new Tallinn prison that is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2018.
The minister of justice, Urmas Reinsalu, said the new prison will offer a better environment for the re-socialization of convicts and in the new and safer surroundings also staff will have better opportunities to influence inmates to opt for a law-abiding way of life.
Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur said that in the new detention house that will make up a part of the Tallinn prison complex there will be better conditions for detainees and staff alike and also the transport of individuals between the prison and the detention house will become easier.
In addition to Reinsalu and Pevkur, governor of the Rae rural municipality Mart Vorklaev, director of Tallinn Prison Hannes Liivak, CEO of the state real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS Urmas Somelar and the CEO of the builder Fund Ehitus, Ott Kikkas, took part in the ceremony.
RKAS and Fund Ehitus OU signed the construction contract concerning the new Tallinn prison in November 2015. The value of the contract is 73.9 million euros exclusive of VAT.
The complex of buildings with a net enclosed area of more than 60,000 square meters in Soodevahe village in the territory of the Rae municipality bordering Tallinn will be made up of a prison plus a detention house and a center for the detention of foreigners situated outside the prison perimeter.
The residential section of the prison will be made up of 512 cells for male and 92 cells for female inmates and detainees. In addition there will be 16 punishment cells for men and four punishment cells for women. The design capacity of the prison is 1,208 prison beds.
Estonia has built two prison complexes meeting contemporary requirements so far. The first of the new prisons, Tartu prison, was completed in 2000, and the second, Viru prison in the country's northeast, in 2006. The prisons have a capacity of 993 and 1,075, respectively.