Creating a Penal System in the Republic of Latvia, 1919–1921

Aiga Bērziņa


The government of the Republic of Latvia began creating a penal system as soon as it took controlof the territory it claimed. According to the international understanding, imprisonment was notonly seen as the isolation of a person, but also included serious steps in ‘correctional practices’. Thearticle deals with the first stage of the creation of a penal system in Latvia, of which the end canbe linked to the ‘Instructions for Prison Employees’, the first law regulating prisons in the Republicof Latvia, which was passed on 16 April 1921. This stage coincided with the period when Latviaswitched to peacetime order after the end of the War of Independence. By presenting an overviewof the creation of the state penal system, the author highlights the most important steps taken bythe prison administration, and the conditions the state prison system faced.

Key words: criminal justice, corrections, penal system, incarceration, prisons, Latvian War ofIndependence.

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