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Compiled by Messenger Staff
Monday, November 15
Prisoners to have video dates from 2011

“Prisoners will soon be able to communicate with relatives via video – if Parliament passes a new draft law. The “Prisoner code” is to be amended to allow video appointments between prisoners and any visitor. The author is the Ministry of Correction, Probation and Legal Assistance and the initiators are MPs Andro Alavidze and Lasha Tordia,” according to Akhali Taoba.

Video-dates will be organised via probation offices. Any interested person can write an appeal that will be shown to the convict and he/she is able to agree to a video-date with that person. Later the institution names the actual date when the prisoner and the interested person can communicate visually and verbally as well,” stated Andro Alavidze.

Now there are 11 probation offices. Tbilisi probation office will pilot the project with Rustavi juvenile and women’s institutions. After this first stage the project will move to all penal institutions throughout Georgia. Not all convicts will be permitted these video appointments. According to Andro Alavidze, prisoners sentenced for very serious crimes and convicts that pose a danger to society won’t be allowed the privilege.

The duration and frequency of video-dates will be defined under the order of the Minister of Probation and Legal Assistance. Video-dates will be charged at 1 GEL a minute (paid for by the visitor), with a maximum duration of 15 minutes. Every visitor will be allowed 8 video-dates a month. Members of Opposition expressed their doubt as to whether the conversations will be controlled. Alavidze assured that only the visual part and not the verbal will be controlled, with both parties being warned of this in advance.