According to legal definitions the Hungarian Prison Service is an armed law enforcement agency that carries out measures and sentences of imprisonment and criminal procedure enforcement measures and also executes confinements of fine defaulters. The Prison Service is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior. The Minister of Interior is responsible for the Prison Service and also controls the employment of inmates in the limited companies operated by the Prison Service. The supervision of lawful operation is exercised by the Prosecutors’ Office.
Legally classified, detainees are grouped in five categories:
- pre-trial detention
- deprivation of liberty
- mandatory psychiatric treatment
- temporary psychiatric treatment
In compliance with the effective legal regulations the overall capacity of the establishments is lower than the accommodated number of the prisoners; therefore penal institutions are characterized by overcrowding. At present the average overcrowding rate is 130% percent.