16 Sep 2015 - 18:57
Georgia’s criminal justice sector is undergoing a major reform that will transform the country’s probation system so it meets European standards and encourage a more tolerant attitude to inmates and their families.
Minister of Corrections Kakha Kakhishvili today revealed costly appointments with inmates will be scrapped and prisoners’ families and friends will be able to enjoy free-of-charge meetings with their loved one behind bars.
We have already drafted a bill that envisages abolishing several fees in prisons. We will represent the bill firstly before Government and then in Parliament,” Kakhishvili said.
The Minister added his agency was in the process of introducing special GPS monitoring bracelets for inmates on home detention. This method of punishment will initially be trialed on juvenile prisoners, he said.
Efforts to introduce GPS monitoring bracelets have already begun in Georgia. Once in force, Georgia will be the first nation in the region to have GPS tracking. The initiative aimed to decrease the number of inmates in Georgian prisons and reduce overcrowding.
Those who commit minor crimes should not be sent to jail,” Kakhishvili said.
Another aspect of the reform involved training industry staff to offer rehabilitation courses to prisoners. Specifically the Ministry planned to empower social workers in prisons to ensure better psycho-social support for inmates.
Earlier this month Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili said the GPS monitoring bracelets was innovative and modern, and would bring Georgian into alignment with European punishment methods.