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Education in prison


General education

General education is provided by Tartu Upper Secondary School for Adults and Tartu Kroonuaia School in Tartu Prison, Tallinn Upper Secondary School for Adults in Tallinn Prison, and Kohtla-Järve Upper Secondary School for Adults in Viru Prison.

Basic education is available to prisoners in both Estonian and Russian. Prisoners that were acquiring basic education based on a simplified curriculum before imprisonment may continue their studies on the same bases.

A total of 196 prisoners acquired general education in prison in 2016.

Vocational education

Vocational education is provided by Tartu Vocational Education Center in Tartu Prison, Tallinn Construction School in Tallinn Prison, and Ida-Virumaa Vocational Education Center in Viru Prison.

Vocational education is provided in the specialties of Gardening, Landscaping, Sewing, Painter/Interior Finisher; Construction of Stone and Concrete Structures, Construction Carpenter, Bench Operator, Welder, Electrician, Assistant Chef, Cleaning Services, and Hotel Services. In relation to the vocational education reform, the vocational education centers that operate in prisons are currently developing new curricula, enabling vocational education to be acquired quicker than before.

A total of 113 prisoners acquired vocational education in prison in 2016.

National language

In addition to the opportunity to acquire general and vocational education, prisoners can also learn Estonian. Proficiency in the national language reduces social exclusion once out of prison, while promoting a law-abiding lifestyle and better competiveness in the labor market. Estonian studies may be pursued up to C1 (advanced) level.

If they so wish, prisoners can take the national Estonian language proficiency examination. In 2016, 306 prisoners successfully completed the national language course.

Social programs

In 2016, 681 prisoners, 926 probationers, and 42 persons in custody successfully completed a social program.