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According to the Imprisonment Act, all convicted persons who are under 64 years old, not studying and without medical contraindications, are obliged to work. The working detainees are divided into two: those who are employed in the internal economic activities in prison – the assistant workers, cleaners, kitchen staff etc – and the detainees employed in production. 

A state-owned business association, AS Eesti Vanglatööstus, was founded in 2001 to increase the detainee employment rate, to raise the competitive level of the production and to reduce the prison costs.