The prison was built in the period of 1915-16, during the First World War. The most recent chapter in its history began in April 1997 when, following a series of alterations and repairs,the first prisoners were escorted thereto.
Originally, the prison was profi led as a remand prison, at present it serves for the placement of inmates sentenced to imprisonment. The prison contains a controlled, or supervised, unit, as well as a specialised highly-guarded unit for prisoners who are permanently unable or not allowed to work, parts of which are a section for immobile convicts placed in the prison type with increased security, and a section for convicts placed in a specialised unit for imprisonment of mentally retarded persons designed to serve their term in a prison with increased security.
The standardised accommodation capacity of Karviná Prison is 179 places. The largest cell contains four beds, the dormitory six; however, two-bedded cells prevail. There are two accommodation areas available within the supervised unit. They are intended for prisoners with appropriate work qualifi cations, who are assigned to workplaces ensuring the running of the prison. Involved is work in the kitchen, in petty repair and manufacture workshops, in cleaning, in storage and in other services.
Some other convicts have been at present assigned work with certain private firms. Treatment programmes are conceived by specialists according to the particular individual traits of prisoners and are appropriately tailored to contain, at a reasonable level, specifi ceducational, leisure, sporting and special educational activities.
Amongst these are leisure groups (such as, for example, the chess, body-building, music, and drama groups), sports clubs (fl oorball, „little“ football or „futsal“) and others, such as board games, an aquarist club, and, if approved by the tutor, inmates may also engage in their own individual activities.
Educational programmes on offer include foreign language classes, IT and computer basics, typing classes etc. Staffin the imprisonment unit organise voluntary working schemes, which especially benefit non-profit organisations such as regional children and youth centres and charitable organisations, such as the Salvation Army, the Silesian Deaconate or the Red Cross. Prisoners help with maintenance and repairs, furniture removal, they have prepared tent camps for youth centres, decorated the tourist centre, etc.
The prison is also visited by the representatives of various churches and religious organisations, who, in co-operation with the prison chaplain, see to the spiritual wellbeing of inmates. The prison co-operates with a number of organisations participating in complementary activities in prisoner treatment programmes or staff education, etc.
Prison staff prepare educational visits, excursions and shortterm attachments for selected students from regional secondary schools, vocational colleges and universities, and give lectures and talks on delinquency, crime and drug prevention for school pupils, students and teachers.
The total number of employees in Karviná Prison is 156, of whom 99 are members of the Prison Service and 57 are civilian employees. When not at work, prison staff may take part in tourist excursions and/or attend theatre and cinema performances, concerts of musical bands, etc. Players representing the prison have traditionally achieved good results in regional and national sports competitions, particularly in football or ice hockey events.