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Tartu Prison



 Tartu, Tartu County



 Type of prison

 Maximum-security prison (with cells)


 Adult males and females being held in custody; convicted adult males

 Max. no. of inmates

 993 (including  60 in open prison)

Tartu Prison covers an area of 94,000 m2 on land beside the Emajõgi River. The prison itself is 23,000 m2 in size, with an administrative building, reception rooms, recreational and sports centres, classrooms, rooms for religious purposes and production premises for metalwork, woodwork and textiles.

There are 479 cells in the prison, with each cell measuring approximately 10 m2You can see the number of prisoners of Tartu Prison here.

The prison employs 422,3 people, 261 of whom are prison officers.

Security is provided through a system of video cameras, alarms (in the event of attacks on staff) and special monitoring devices covering the kilometre of fences surrounding the complex.

Inmates are educated by teachers from Tartu Secondary School for Adults and Tartu Vocational Education Centre.

The prison provides work in the field of domestic care, assistant jobs etc, for almost 250 inmates, and up to 40 inmates work outside of the prison.

History of Tartu Prison

Tartu Prison accepted its first inmates on 16 October 2002, marking the transition in the Estonian prison service from the dormitory-style accommodation of prisons to a cell-based system. The construction of the prison also laid the foundations for the development of a regional prison service.

An escort department was established as an independent unit within Tartu Prison as a result of close work between the Prisons Department of the Ministry of Justice and police agencies in 2004. The department organises the transport of prisoners under armed guard between detention centres and prisons all over the country.

In-patient psychiatric services have been offered in Tartu Prison’s medical department since 2005, as the psychiatric department for all Estonian prisons forms part of Tartu Prison.

A drug-free centre was created at Tartu Prison in 2007. In the same year the prison received an award from the World Health Organisation for a HIV-themed project it had run.

Tartu open prison opened in the autumn 2015.