Number of prisoners could grow due to migration

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Prisoner numbers could grow in Latvia due to influx of refugees and migrants, Ilona Spure, the Chief Administrator of prisons, told Latvian Radio Tuesday.

She said that a total of 4,390 inmates are imprisoned in Latvia, and the number could go up only due to 'foreign policy', 'migration' and 'the refugee matter'. She mentioned an Iraqi citizen and several Vietnamese citizens are imprisoned because of illegally crossing the Latvian border.

While formerly the number of foreigners in Latvia's prison system was at about 40, it's about 140 now, said the chief prison administrator.

Latvia plans on building four modern penitentiaries in the regions of Latvia, with the first planned to be rolled out in Liepāja by 2018. It would be the first jail to be built after the country reinstated its independence in 1991. 

Latvia's prison system is notorious, with some inmates turning to the European Court of Human Rights over rights violations in prisons.

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