Director of the Icelandic Prison Administration Páll Winkel said it is planned for operations to begin in a new temporary prison facility in Bitra, southwest Iceland, in two weeks, which was established in response to the current prison housing crisis.
The maximum security prison Litla-Hraun. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
Originally, operations were supposed to begin in the Bitra prison at the end of February but there were delays to the treatment of this case in the general land use plan, Morgunbladid reports.
“Now security cameras are being established, the facility is being painted, all necessary permits are being obtained and all details taken care of that need to be in order before the first convict will enter the prison,” Winkel said.
It is assumed that 16 to 20 prisoners will be transferred to Bitra and that nine employees will work there. Winkel said the prisoners haven’t been chosen yet, but they will come from the maximum security prison Litla-Hraun as well as other prisons.
Bitra will have a low security level and is therefore not suitable for all prisoners. “Dangerous prisoners will not be facilitated there and the need for a larger prison is still pressing. But it saves us for now,” Winkel said.
All prisons and custody cells are full in Iceland and there is serious need for new prison facilities; Bitra is only a temporary solution.
Click here to read more about the prison housing crisis in Iceland.