Corrections Ministry adopts more humane system for new inmates

Rustavi Prison #5. Photo by N.Alavidze/, 28 Nov 2014 - 17:02, Tbilisi,Georgia

New prisoners admitted to Georgian prisons will no longer be put in an isolation cell on arrival but undergo a new more humane screening process, authorities announced today.

The country’s first modern Prison Smart Reception Unit opened today by the Ministry of Corrections. Officials said the smart reception concept would completely change the existing experience in Georgian prisons, which involved tasking prisoners into small quarantine areas to be assessed when they first arrived at prison.

Now, prisoners would no longer be taken to these small areas but instead undergo several screening procedures, including a security clearance, medical examination, conversation with a psychologist and a sanitation discussion. After this the prisoner will then be put into a temporary holding cell before being transferred to their new living space.

The Ministry of Corrections said the smart reception set a new standard in receiving new prisoners that would better respond to new inmates’ needs.

"The functions of the Smart Reception Unit are based on the dynamic security concept and brings clearance, monitoring, risk assessment, medical assistance and crisis intervention services into one space,” read the statement of the Ministry of Corrections.

"The Unit is designed and implemented according to modern standards and the personnel who will work in it have undergone special training.”

Georgia has been criticized twice by the European Committee for Prevention Torture (CPT), in its 2010 and 2012 reports about the quarantine areas in Georgian prisons. The reports stated it was "unacceptable" for prisoners to be put in these areas and on both occasions the Committee called on the Georgian Government to cancel this practice.

Watch the video depicting the reception process below: