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Illness and death rates in Georgian prisons decreased

By Messenger Staff
Monday, July 4
Experts of the Council of Europe (CoE) claim that illness and death rates in Georgian prisons “significantly decreased” over the last three years under the current government of Georgia.

Today, the experts released an interim report of Georgia’s Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2014 – 2017, which includes Georgia’s progress in combating the causes behind potentially fatal illnesses in penitentiary institutions.

The achievements highlighted in the report include: a decreased number of prisoners; increased state finances on healthcare in prisons; an increased number of medical staff in prisons; availability of normal leaving conditions for inmates which cover enough space in cells, tidiness in cells and improving of exercise areas, as well as the successful treatment of Hepatitis C in prisons.

The major recommendations for Georgia included the necessity of better working conditions for prison staff and establishing a higher level of protection mechanisms for inmates’ rights.

The recommendation section also read: medical facilities in prisons should be permanently checked; more training should be ensured for medical and prison staff to prevent any possible violations; taking photos should be allowed at penitentiary institutions in order to ensure necessary evidence in case of any violations; prison administration should ensure maximal confidentiality of medical information, and prisoners should be offered permanent primary screenings for AIDS, hepatitis and syphilis.

The Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan for 2014 – 2017 was elaborated through the joint efforts of Georgia’s Ministry of Corrections, Georgia’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Social Affairs, the European Union (EU) and the CoE.

The main aim of the Prison Healthcare Development Strategy and Action Plan was to reveal shortcomings in prisons and take necessary steps to eliminate them.