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Council of Europe says correction reforms in Georgia are based on correct strategic views

By Messenger Staff
Friday, April 15
The Council of Europe published a report entitled ‘Overloaded prisons in Eastern Partnership Countries’, which includes Georgia and its correctional facilities.

According to the European Council’s assessment, the ongoing reforms are based on right strategic views and provides establishment of international standards. However, the report calls on Georgia’s Ministry of Corrections to continue conducting reforms and improve penitentiary system by means of cooperation with European Council.

According to the document, the aims of the project is to combat prison overcrowding and support use of community sanctions and measures; establish regional co-operation and a strategic approach on prison overcrowding; to reduce recidivism of former prisoners contributing to a healthier society and less crime.

The report reads that Criminal Justice System Reform is among the top priorities of the Government of Georgia (GoG). The GoG stands ready to create a system that will be focused on the prevention of crime, protection of human rights, establishment of fair and independent judiciary and ensuring accountability, objectiveness and efficiency of the participants of the Criminal Justice System.

Ministry of Corrections of Georgia says that the report named Georgia as a regional example for its new reforms implemented by the National Probation Agency.

“The probation system is being regularly updated with infrastructure; liberalization of legislative base was also carried out with other structural and methodological reforms,” says the Ministry.

The EU Council report also noted that the total number of prisoners in Georgia is significantly reduced and is within the regional norms. Also, a significantly reduced the number of convicted juveniles and this rate is lower than in European countries.

The Council of Europe report also noted that in recent years the number of detainees in pretrial detention was halved. Moreover, the average crime rate in Georgia is lower than average crime rate in Europe.

The Ministry of Corrections stated they are implementing various programs for re-socialization of convicts, which will help to reduce the risk of re-offending and will support the integration of the convicts with society after their release.