Latvia: Ministry proposes abolishing conditional prison sentences

Latvia’s Ministry of Justice plans to propose amendments that would abolish conditional prison sentences, replacing them with probation, LSM reports. Anda Smiltena, deputy secretary of state at the Ministry of Justice, said that the State Probation Service’s (VPD) task would be to influence the thinking of the offender and correct their behaviour. The measures would include adjustment programmes, courses to reduce aggressive behaviour, treatment for addictions, and other other measures. Meanwhile, Andrejs Judins, chairman of the legal affairs committee of the Latvian parliament, the Saeima, warned about possible shortcomings in the ministry’s plan, noting that probation violations could lead to milder consequences than violations of conditional prison sentences. The Ministry of Justice plans to submit the proposed amendments to the government in August 2023.