Czech prisons are crowded with people serving multiple sentences. According to a new survey carried out by Charles University’s Faculty of Law, nearly fifty percent of prisoners in the Czech Republic are currently serving at least two sentences. The study also points out that many Czechs spend years behind bars for repeated petty criminal offences.
The Criminal Code may be amended to prevent women prisoners who become
pregnant in jail from being automatically released to care for their
babies, as is now the case.
MPs from the ANO party of Prime Minister Andrej Babiš aim to change the law so that courts will decide on a case by case basis whether to release such inmates. They plan to submit the draft proposal to the lower house of Parliament in October.
The move comes in reaction to the recent case of one Petra Janáková, who was sentenced to prison for 30 years for shooting a man and attempting to murder three others.
The 29-year-old was released into civilian life for about 15 months in accordance with current law, which allows pregnant convicts to suspend their sentences until their child’s first birthday.
The Prison Service director said a special facility for pregnant inmates and mothers with children under one year could be established in Světlá nad Sázavou within months of a change in the law.
The Czech Republic’s first open prison, which went into operation nearly two years ago, is reporting a record-low reoffending rate. So far, some 92 prisoners have served their time in the minimum-security facility and only three of them have returned behind bars. The reoffending rate at the country’s regular prisons reaches 70 percent.
Two prisoners who went on the run turned themselves in to the police for
unlikely sounding reasons, iDnes.cz reported. One of the two said he was
unfamiliar with the South Moravia Region he had escaped to and moreover had
uncomfortable shoes. The other called a police helpline after being beaten
The pair, who were aged 23 and 33 and had been convicted of theft, fled from an unguarded workplace in Prague at the end of last month.
The Czech Republic has one of the highest rates of prisoners per capita in
Europe, according to a comparative study conducted by the Council of
In 2015 the Czech Republic had 198 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 6 percent more than in 2005.
The number ranks the Czech Republic 11th on a list of 49 countries monitored.
The overall number of prisoners has grown by 10 percent in the last decade. The number of jailed women is up by 48 percent.
The Probation Service has begun putting electronic bracelets into operation
for convicts allowed to serve sentences outside of prison. A defect in the
monitoring devices delivered in an earlier tender had scuppered a previous
Despite two general amnesties and efforts over the past decade to promote alternative sentences, such as house arrest and work-release programmes, the Czech penal system remains at overcapacity.
In 2016 there were 203 prisoners per 100,000 inhabitants in the country, about 25 more than in other post-communist EU countries, at twice as many as in Austria and Germany, where alternative sentencing is common.
There are more people behind bars in the Czech Republic per capita than anywhere else in central Europe, despite efforts over the past decade to promote alternative sentences, such as house arrest or work-release programmes. With the penal system at overcapacity, Prison Service officials have renewed calls for action.
More than 70 athletes, including nine prisoners and one ex-offender, are set to run in the Yellow Ribbon half-marathon in Prague at the weekend. The first of four races, the event highlights the importance of supporting the reintegration of former offenders within broader society upon completing their sentence. The charity race takes place on Saturday as part of the broader Sportisimo ½ Marathon.