Criminal Sanctions Agency

The Criminal Sanctions Agency  is responsible for the enforcement of sentences and remand imprisonment. It operates under the direction of the Ministry of Justice and implements the criminal policy defined by the Ministry.

The Criminal Sanctions Agency has 2 600 employees altogether. Approximately half of them carry out guarding and supervision duties and 8 per cent duties related to the implementation of community sanctions. Women account for 41 per cent of the whole staff. The average age of the staff is about 45 years.

The employment situation is good in the criminal sanctions field. The supervision staff are often employed right after completing the qualification in prison services. As the Training Institute for Prison and Probation Services is the only institution that provides basic education for supervision staff, the student numbers can be adjusted to the prevailing employment situation.

The primary duty of the Criminal Sanctions Agency is to see that the sentences passed by the courts of law are enforced lawfully and safely. In particular, the Criminal Sanctions Agency aims to enhance the safety of society by reducing the sentenced offenders’ risk of reoffending. The goal is to guide the offenders towards a life without crime during the sentence term. The sentence term is planned and realised so that the offenders can advance their readiness to adapt to a new life after serving the sentence. If the offenders can practice skills promoting their life control during the sentence term, they have a better chance of reintegrating into society as its full members after release.

The Central Administration of the Criminal Sanctions Agency is located in Helsinki. In addition, the Criminal Sanctions Agency has two other national units: the Training Institute for Prison and Probation Services in Vantaa and the Enforcement Unit in Turku. The Training Institute arranges prison officer education and in-service training. The  Enforcement Unit is, as the name suggests, responsible for the formal enforcement of sentences. Community sanctions offices and prisons located around the country are the basic units of the Criminal Sanctions Agency. All told, there are 14 community sanctions offices and 26 prisons.

Finland is divided into three criminal sanctions regions. Each region has its own assessment centre, which is in charge of the placement of prisoners in the prisons, the assessment of sentenced offenders who come to prison through remand imprisonment, and the planning of the sentence term based on that assessment. The administrative duties of the region are centralized in the region centres. In the Criminal Sanctions Region of Eastern and Northern Finland the region centre is located in Kuopio, in the Criminal Sanctions Region of Western Finland the centre is in Tampere, and in the Criminal Sanctions Region of Southern Finland the centre is in Helsinki.

Laura Neilick works as a criminal sanctions official at the Criminal Sanctions Agency.
Kari Tauriainen works as a prison officer in Kuopio Prison.
Ilppo Alatalo works as a senior coordinator in the Central Administration of the Criminal Sanctions Agency.
Published 2014-11-17 at 16:06, updated 2020-07-09 at 9:21

The office building of The Criminal Sanctions Agency.

Contact information

Criminal Sanctions Agency,
Central Administration Unit 
Lintulahdenkatu 5 
FI-00530 Helsinki, Finland

tel. +358 2956 88500 (Switchboard)

The website of the Criminal Sanctions Agency

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