Major Rīga prison to be closed in 2019

Rīga's Brasa prison will be closed starting April 1, 2019 as part of an ongoing prison reform, Aija Fedorova, a representative of the Latvian Prison Administration told the press November 7. 

Inmates will be relocated to other detention facilities, while personnel will be offered similar jobs in Rīga and its vicinity.

Fedorova told the press that this will help spend less money and improve public safety. 

The Latvian Prison Administration says about €3.5 million will be saved by closing the prison, and the money will be spent on improving infrastructure elsewhere and increase wages across the administration.

Meanwhile Raivis Kronbergs, State Secretary at the Justice Ministry, told Latvian Radio later that the prison building is likely to be handed to the public real estate company. 

Brasa, located next to a residential neighborhood, is a male prison for inveterate criminals. It houses about 340 inmates.

According to Ilona Spure, head of the Latvian Prison Administration, the 1905-built prison is in a very poor state and inmates had been able to extract compensations to the tune of €35,000 from the state last year over the fact that adequate living conditions can't be ensured. 

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