Convicted offenders have the right to long-term visits. Such visits take place in designated facilities on the prison’s premises where the visitor and prisoner can communicate, eat, wash, and sleep. Long-term visits take place without application of constant supervision and normally last for one 24-hour period.
The prison management allows each prisoner at least one long-term visit each half a year. A prisoner is allowed to receive long-term visits from their spouse, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, child, adoptive parent, adoptive child, step parent or foster parent, step child or foster child, brother or sister. Long-term visits from a cohabitee shall be allowed on the condition that they have common children or at least two years of cohabitation prior to commencement of serving the sentence.
Prisoners submit applications for long-term visits at least one month prior to the visit applied for. Within two weeks of submission of the application, the Deputy Director of the prison, the head of the imprisonment department, decides whether an application is satisfied. If an application is not satisfied, the applicant and the prisoner are informed thereof within three working days from filing of the application. Based on satisfied applications, a monthly visit schedule is prepared.
A prison may refuse to grant a visit if there is reason to doubt the reputation of the visitor or if the prisoner has already had a visit in the last six months or if the long-term visit may endanger security in prison or the prisoner’s or visitor’s health.
A prisoner who is staying in the reception ward of a prison or in an open prison or is committed to a punishment cell to serve a disciplinary penalty is not allowed to receive long-term visits.
When arriving for long-term visits, prison officers will search the personal belongings that the visitors (incl. children) have brought along with them. Items that are prohibited in prison have to be stored at the designated place before the start of the visit. In order to discover any prohibited items, the prison has the right to search persons and their belongings with a technical device and service dog. When working with a service dog, it is necessary to follow instructions provided by the dog handler; it is not allowed to touch the dog or seek out its attention in any other way (whistle, offer treats, etc.). When arriving for a long-term visit, the visitor should take into account that they will have to undress completely in the presence of a prison official of the same gender. The complete undressing will be conducted in a separate room where the privacy of the visitor is ensured. A prison official will check the clothes and footwear of the visitor, as well as their entire body visually, in order to make sure that the visitor is not hiding any banned substances or items. When searching children, the prison official will take into account the age of the child and the search will be conducted in the presence of the adult accompanying the child. The prison official’s instructions have to be followed during the entire search procedure.
If a visitor refuses to undergo a search (incl. that of a child) or giving their belongings for temporary storage, they will not be allowed to attend the visit.
During long-term visits, the visitor and prisoner are served meals provided in prison, the applicable type and menu of such alimentation is chosen by the prison. If a pre-school child is brought along to the visit, special food for the child, necessities to care for the child, and toys may be brought along. Only juice, coffee, tea, coffee cream, sweeteners, soda pop, water, cookies, chocolate, potato chips, nuts, dried and fresh fruit, yoghurt, and other foodstuffs offered by the prison, which have been preordered and purchased from the prison store may be brought along to the visiting room.
The visitor may bring along to the visit reasonable quantities of personal clothing and cosmetics, a comb, a toothbrush, and medications taken by the visitor as well as a reasonable number of photographs. Said photographs may not be contained in a photo album. Said cosmetic products must be held in one one-liter transparent plastic bag and containers of such products must not be larger than 100 ml.
The prison ensures availability of toiletries during the visit. Female visitors may bring along sanitary pads and tampons.
If medication is brought along, the prison has the right to ask for a corresponding medical certificate. Before entering the visiting room medications are to be handed over for safekeeping to a prison officer that will bring the medications to the visitor as needed.
Smoking utensils may not be brought along.
If, after a visit is over, the visitor does not wish to take along the items they brought with them, such items are destroyed.
The costs of a long-term visit include the costs incurred on the use of premises, alimentation and toiletries of the visitor. The costs of alimentation and toiletries relevant to a long-term visit are calculated on a cost basis and based on the number of toiletries issued. The costs of long-term visits are borne by the prisoner or the visitor.
Visitors arriving to a long-term visit must bring along an identity document.
If the visitor pays for a long-term visit, the visit costs are to be transferred to the prison’s bank account three working days before the long-term visit or paid on-site by card. Wishing to pay by bank transfer, a visitation officer must be informed thereof.
Recipient: Ministry of Finance, Swedbank EE932200221023778606, EE891010220034796011; Nordea Bank EE701700017001577198; Danske Bank EE403300333416110002
Reason for payment: Payment for use of long-term visit premises (Tasumine pikaajalise kokkusaamistoa kasutamise eest)
Reference number: The reference number of the prison the prisoner is accommodated at. Prison reference numbers are as follows: Viru Prison 2100077944, Tallinn Prison 2100011913, Tartu Prison 2100012093
Long-term visits are regulated by § 25 of the Republic of Estonia Imprisonment Act and § 40 – § 46 of the November 30, 2000 regulation No. 72 of the Minister of Justice ʺInternal prison rulesʺ. Both pieces of legislation are available in the electronic version of the State Gazette (Riigi Teataja; The Imprisonment Act in Estonian and English, and the regulation in Estonian only).
List of goods relevant to long-term visits
Pursuant to § 46 (31) of the ʺInternal prison rulesʺ, visitors may bring to the visit small quantities of the following goods purchased at the prison store:
- Coffee cream,
- Soda pop,
- Potato chips,
- Dried and fresh fruits,
The prison additionally enables purchase and taking along of:
- Lactose-free yogurt,
- Curd cheese (packaged),
- Curd snacks (kohuke),
- Instant porridge for children,
- Instant cocoa.
After a visit is over, if the visitor does not wish to take along the items they brought with them and did not use, such items will be destroyed.
NB! Visitors have the right to take along to the visiting room groceries in small quantities which must fit into two plastic bags issued at a store for the packaging of goods.