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The Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions defines searches in Act Art. 238(1): »In order to ensure security, order and discipline, judiciary police officers may issue decrees, conduct a personal search of a convict, search living units, inspect personal luggage of convicts and persons coming to a protected building, carry out identification and a security search of persons entering a guarded building or being in a guarded area of guarded buildings or obstructing the work of judiciary police officers in carrying out work outside guarded buildings«. Our judiciary police officers perform searches in a prevention mode and if there is any suspicion of illegal activities. There is however no particular time periods or intervals for searches established. Searches are recognised as a regular task for judiciary police in term of providing security and safety. There have to be a directive for every search issued and as well a record written after the search. In general there is no difference in performing searches depending on the category of the persons and regime they are placed in.
1. There are two types of security search activities in Finnish prisons: basic inspection and special searches. Basic inspections are part of daily routines in Finnish prisons. They are made randomly. On the other hand, special searches are more thorough in nature. It means the whole cell/cell block is emptied and is thoroughly searched. The yearly amount of searches is not fixed, they can be done whenever there is a need for them. For example, year 2015 there were 38 special searches in Finnish prisons; in 2016 there has been 7 special searches so far. Special searches are made in every type of prisons, but more often in closed institutions than in open institutions. Special searches are stipulated in the Imprisonment Act (chapter 16, 5§) 5 § Special search A special search may be carried out in the prison or in a ward or other premises thereof if this is necessary in order to combat a serious threat endangering prison order or security or to find unlawful articles or substances referred to in chapter 9, section 1, subsection 1 or 2. When a special search is carried out in a ward or other premises of the prison, all prisoners placed in the ward or staying in the premises searched may be subjected to a body search. Chapter 16, 2§ mentions the daily inspections according the need: 2 § Inspection of accommodation premises and property The accommodation premises of prisoners and the property in their possession and in the area of the prison may be inspected in order to maintain prison order and security or to investigate a suspected disciplinary infraction. Chapter 9 applies to the possession of utility articles, money and other means of payment as well as of other property.
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Definition of terms used: Strip search: inmates to the skin and visitors to the underwear. Inspection of cell: a visual safety inspection – including that windows, bars and walls are intact, and that there are no visible prohibited items. Cell search: a search where every item is examined and if necessary x-rayed or disassembled– including windows, bars, walls and fixtures. Category 1 prisons (maximum security): Inmates are (strip) searched before and after visits, leaves and transportation. They are also searched when they return to the section after having attended work, school and other activities outside the section – and on suspicion and when the cell is searched. All cells are inspected daily and searched twice a week. Portable mobile phone detection equipment is used every day. School, workshops a. o. is searched twice a week. Outlying areas are searched every morning and the yard before and after being used. Category 2 prisons: Inmates are (strip) searched before and after visits, leaves and transportation. They are also searched when they return to the section after having attended work, school, on suspicion and also when the cell is searched. All cells are inspected daily and searched once a week. Portable mobile phone detection equipment is used every day. School, workshops a. o. is searched once a week. Outlying areas are searched every morning and the yard before and after being used. Category 3 prisons: Inmates are (strip) searched before and after visits and leaves. They are also searched on suspicion and also when the cell is searched. All cells are inspected daily and searched once every two weeks. Portable mobile phone detection equipment is used every day. School, workshops a. o. is searched once every two weeks. Outlying areas are searched every morning and the yard before being used. Category 4 prisons (open prisons): Inmates are (strip) searched on suspicion. All cells are inspected daily and searched once a month. Portable mobile phone detection equipment is used randomly. School, workshops a. o. is searched on suspicion. Outlying areas are searched on suspicion.
All prisons are required to have a Local Searching Strategy in place which is agreed by the Governor and the Deputy Director of Custody and which sets out the type and frequency of searching to be conducted for prisoners, visitors and staff and all prison areas. The strategy must comply with nationally agreed minimum requirements and contain additional arrangements that address specific locally identified risks. This approach recognises that prisons all have different security risks to manage depending on a variety of factors. These include the security category of the prison and the prisoners it holds, the location and physical layout of the prison and the flow of prisoners in and out of the prison either for work, to court or on escort to hospital. Prison Service Instructions 07/2016, “Searching of the Person” and 09/2016, “Cell, Area and Vehicle Searching”, available on the Ministry of Justice website (https://www.justice.gov.uk/offenders/psis), contain the minimum requirements for searching which prisons must comply with.
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The inmate’s searches or frisk should be done systematically, when the inmate enters prison, as set out in Article 18.1 of the Prison Regulations (RP). The normal assumption is usually a superficial frisk of the person and their personal effects. By frisk means superficial palpation of the body scheme of the person. Typically, the use of this measure, or the proper use of metal detectors is sufficient to determine whether or not the inmate has in its possession or banned substances or instruments (Article 71 RP). When the searching involves the nudity of the person, according to Article 68.2 of the RP, must be applied in exceptional circumstances and in accordance with the criteria of proportionality, the necessary motivation to practice up a measure that affects the right to privacy of the inmates necessarily should be based on concrete and specific security reasons when there are single and contrasting reasons that make you think that the inmate body's hides a dangerous object or substance that can harm health or physical integrity of persons or alter the security or orderly coexistence of the establishment. When taking it out, must take into account the specific situation of the center and the previous behavior of the inmate and the following assumptions: - When the inmate enters the prison center - In cases of entry permit, must take into account the specific situation of the center and the previous behavior of the inmate. - In the case of termination of special communication (vis a vis) only when, for some reason, there is suspicion that it has introduced narcotic or dangerous objects. In the event of transfer and placement of inmates in special departments or closed regime modules where this situation implies the existence of a situation of exceptional risk for people, good order or security of the establishment, in these cases performing a search with nudity is justified by specific concurrent reasons, making them record the corresponding statement/report. Article 83.2 of R.P. establishes the mitigation of these measures in open regime centers. In this regard and in order to unify the criteria for action, the Directorate General of Prison, dated 14 March 2008, approved Circular 1/2008 on searches and applying of appropriate means.
We perform searches of imprisoned persons: 1) upon arrival at a place of imprisonment; 2) upon departure and arrival of their living space (cell) – daily walks, meetings, school, etc.; 3) upon transfer from one living space (cell or department of prison) to another. Searches can be planned and extraordinary. Planned cell and room searches are carried out in accordance with the schedule approved by the chief of prison, but no less than twice per month. Extraordinary searches of imprisoned persons and cells are carried out in case there are reasonable suspicion that in the cell or on the imprisoned person there are objects, goods or substances that are not allowed to be kept in prison, as well as objects that can be used by inmates to commit an offence or to try to escape. No less than twice per year, a planned complete search of prison is carried out. During which all prison territory, rooms, cells are searched at the same time as all the imprisoned persons and their belongings are searched.
We have two main forms of searches in the Norwegian correctional service: a) Searches on the person / visitation b) Searches in cells, common rooms and visiting areas Pursuant to the Act relating to the execution of sentences etc. (The Execution of Sentences Act) the Norwegian correctional service may: § 27. Examination of persons and objects The Correctional Services may examine persons and objects in the prison area by means of technological equipment or dogs in order to prevent the bringing in of objects that are not permitted. If such objects are found, or the person does not cooperate in the examination, the prison may refuse the person entry. If objects that are not permitted are found, the provisions of section 26, third paragraph, apply. If the result of the examination pursuant to the first paragraph is positive, or the Correctional Services otherwise so decides, a person may be searched if he or she consents thereto. If the result of the examination pursuant to the first paragraph is positive, or there is otherwise reason to assume that a person is attempting to bring objects that are not permitted into the prison, the person may be detained by the staff until the police arrive even though the person does not consent to a search. If objects that are not permitted are found, the provision in the second and third sentences of the first paragraph, shall apply correspondingly. An examination pursuant to the first paragraph by means of technological equipment or dogs involving public defence counsel or a representative of a public authority, including a diplomatic or consular representative, can only take place in a department with an especially high security level. These persons can be refused entry pursuant to the first paragraph only if they do not cooperate in the examination. If the result thereof is positive, such control measures as are mentioned in section 31 third paragraph, cf. sixth paragraph, may be implemented. Valid identification may be demanded of any person in order to establish his or her proper identity. Before the Correctional Services grants permission to visit prisoners, information concerning the visitor’s character may be obtained beforehand. In the event of telephone calls the identity of the caller may be checked beforehand. Prisoners may be photographed in order to establish their proper identity. § 28. Inspection of prisoners, rooms and possessions The Correctional Services may inspect prisoners, their rooms and possessions in order to prevent disorder or criminal acts. The inspection may be done by means of technological equipment or dogs, search or bodily search. § 29. Inspection in order to expose the use of intoxicants etc. The Correctional Services may order convicted persons who are serving sentences pursuant to section 10 first paragraph items a, b, c and d, to provide urine samples, and breath or blood specimens, or to cooperate in other forms of inspection which may be carried out without risk or particular discomfort, in order to expose the use of intoxicants, anaesthetics, hormone preparations or other chemical substances that are not lawfully prescribed. Blood specimens may only be taken by health-service personnel. If it is probable that a convicted person is concealing in his or her body intoxicants, anaesthetics, hormone preparations or other chemical substances that are not lawfully prescribed, the Correctional Services may decide that the convicted person shall be placed in a secluded room equipped with a special lavatory. A medical opinion shall be obtained and taken into account in considering whether this measure shall be implemented. While so placed the convicted person shall be subject to constant supervision by health-service personnel. If it is highly probable that a prisoner is concealing in his or her body intoxicants, anaesthetics, hormone preparations or other chemical substances that are not lawfully prescribed, the Correctional Services may decide that a bodily search or other measure may be carried out in order to bring the substance to light. A medical opinion shall be obtained and taken into account in considering whether this measure shall be implemented. The intervention may only be carried out by health-service personnel. Consent shall be obtained from the regional level beforehand if this is practically possible. We assume that the question is narrowed to searches conducted in cells, common areas and visiting areas. Extraordinary security units: Searches are conducted every day, both in the cells and in the other areas connected to the unit. The visiting areas are searched before and after each visit. High security and lower security units: Searches are conducted in the cells and in the common areas regularly, but not all cells every day. In lower security prisons the intensity of the searches is significantly lower, even though all areas are regularly searched. The visiting areas are searched before and after all visits. The intensity of searches both on persons, their cells and the areas they dispose is depending on individual risk factors, such as the potential for self inflicting damage, the assumed risk of escape, known drug abuse and so on. The inmate's formal status as convicted or pre-trail detainees is not decisive neither for the regularity or the intensity of the searches
Supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union