The Open Olaine Prison Resettlement Centre - a Safe and Modern Newly Erected Building

Today, on 5 October, upon participation of the highest level officials in the area of justice from Latvia and Norway, as well as representatives of the construction company RE&RE, Olaine Prison Resettlement Centre was officially opened. The addicts centre in the total area of 3792,4 m², will ensure valuable involvement of persons, who are addict to narcotic and psychotropic substances, in the resettlement measures. Construction costs constitute EUR 4 448 595.92, 85% out of which consists of funding from the Norway Financial Fund and 15% - co-funding of the Latvian state budget.

Construction works were performed by RE&RE on the site in accordance with the high quality requirements proposed for the construction site, as well as regulatory enactments of the Republic of Latvia. During the designing and construction process there were also all specific quality and security requirements, proposed by the customer of the site - Prison Administration of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Latvia - with regard to specific function of the building taken into account.

Resettlement Centre consists of eight subdivisions, enabling to maintain a separate psychological microclimate in each of them, and ensuring availability of environment for disabled persons. Massive concreting, convertible reinforced concrete constructions and hollow concrete blocks, which are reinforced and concreted hard, were used for construction of a constructive and risk excluding stability of the centre. Doors of residential premises (cells of prisoners) are produced pursuant to individual order - it is impossible to touch them from inside of the room or cause damages, the surface thereof is smooth, they embed in the door opening in a dense manner.

Additional suction ventilation is built in for toilet facilities in the residential premises and toilet. The huge equipment of the microclimate of the building of the prison are installed outside - with the well-known purpose to decrease risks and possible access of prisoners to the equipment. In addition, the prisoners may regulate quantity of the outdoor air supply by a metal fastener located near the window. This a special inserted detail - an opening in the convertible reinforced concrete panel. When planning the construction of ceilings, walls, floors, crossbars and doors of the residential building, they were constructed in a way they would be safe and solid against the attempts of escape of prisoners. Water supply, sewerage, power supply and low intensity current networks were built in accordance with regulations and instructions of the customer regarding security considerations. Utilities in the construction of such type are concealed in constructions, which was comparatively complicated. Communications and utilities become as a place of risk in prisons - the most imaginable non-permitted items may be hidden there. Any access to ventilation shafts, wiring, water-pipe, sewerage and other systems has to be completely excluded during the designing and construction. High quality technologies, comfort guaranteeing, convenience of use and exclusion of the risk of vandalism - these and other provisions are mandatory to be complied with in modern prisons.

“This was a big challenge for us, constructors, regardless of the huge work experience, because arrangement of a construction site within a short period of time and organisation of the construction process had to be performed within a closed and restricted territory of the prison, by strictly complying with all security measures and procedures. Construction methodology in the buildings of increased security is different, because the comfort of the 21st century has to be provided and any acquisition of information regarding the structure of the building and possibilities of vandalism has to be excluded. Thanks to the close and professional cooperation between all involved parties, we can describe this project in three words: security, competence, quality!” tells Dainis Učelnieks, the responsible project manager of RE&RE. 

The new Resettlement Centre is the first criminal punishment execution institution of the new concept in Latvia, which is a new building in the current Olaine Prison, Latvian Prison Hospital. Resettlement Centre is provided for 200 convicted persons, who are suffering from addiction to narcotic and psychotropic substances.