Priorities planned for 2012
The year of 2012 will be the most active period for the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia (MCLA) in terms of implementation of reforms.
To achieve harmonization with European standards, the MCLA has defined 10 key priority areas.
1. All inmates in new correctional establishments
We will start the construction process of a mixed type penitentiary establishment in Laituri township of the Ozurgeti region, Georgia.
As a result, all the left over old prisons will be closed and the infrastructure of the entire penitentiary system of Georgia will be commensurate with European standards.
2. Limited Liberty/Halfway House establishment
We will start the construction process of a Limited Liberty/Halfway House establishment.
It will be another alternative way of serving sentence, oriented on persons who are in need of rehabilitation and painless return to society after long-term custody.
3. Personal doctor for every inmate
We will actively carry on implementing comprehensive reforms, to make penitentiary healthcare service equivalent with the quality and standards of that of the civil sector.
Introduction of Primary Healthcare, a personal doctor for every inmate and opening of tuberculosis treatment center will bring health condition of inmates under full control.
4. Public reception at people’s service
We will operate service oriented Public Receptions at every penitentiary establishment.
Visitors will be offered wide variety of services and simplified procedures in a comfortable environment, consequently their communication with the penitentiary system will be significantly improved.
5. Professional education for every inmate
We will actively carry on supporting inmates’ professional education.
Thus, we help them to adjust to the labour market that will contribute to providing them with employment opportunities after release.
6. Family strengthening program
We will continue the construction process of infrastructure for long term family visits and meetings by video conference.
Long-term family visits will allow inmates to regularly staying in close touch with their family members. Meeting by video conferencing gives any person (family member as well as others) the possibility to have regular contact with inmates at a distance. This, in turn, will contribute to maintenance of social contacts and will ensure transparency of the penitentiary system.
7. Paid jobs for inmates
We will continue supporting employment of inmates by introducing various types of enterprises in the penitentiary system.
Consequently, inmates will be able to receive salaries, master various professions and to receive work experience, which will significantly contribute to their rehabilitation and employment after release.
8. Individual programs for probationers
We will introduce new-types probational bureaus, where in order to avoid re-occurrence of crime, probationers will get enrolled in rehabilitational activities on the basis of individual approach and risk assessment. New control mechanisms will be carried out to provide painless expiration of a probational term.
Strengthening of the National Probation Agency will contribute to developing alternative sentencing in Georgia.
9. Legal Aid service
We will create a mobile group of the legal aid service. Our qualified lawyers will constantly visit villages and regional centers to offer free legal consultations to local population.
10. Qualified staff for effective reforms
We will develop and introduce new, European standard training programs.
We believe that all reforms require a strong team. Thus the Penitentiary and Probation Training Center is actively ensuring the permanent process of professional development of staff by means of reform-oriented educational programs.