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Report on the activities carried out in the penitentiary sector

07/05/2018

The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia presents the report on activities carried out in the penitentiary sector in 2017-2018.

1.     The following have been adopted:

(1)    Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 782-N of 6 July 2017 "On making a supplement to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1543-N of 3 August 2006", by which the peculiarities of the conditions for keeping detained persons and convicts (persons on hunger strike) having refused to take food have been regulated;

(2)    Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 995-N of 17 August 2017 "On establishing the procedure for supplying a penitentiary officer with government-issue weapon and ammunitions by the right to keep and carry them, keeping, carrying and delivering the weapon supplied";

(3)    on 6 July 2017, Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 800-N "On making an amendment to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 825-N of 26 May 2006" was adopted for the purpose of specifying the list of diseases considered as incompatible with serving of punishment and the criteria thereof and bringing them into compliance with the tenth revised version of international classification of diseases;

(4)    Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1559-N of 14 December 2017 "On making an amendment and supplements to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1543-N of 3 August 2006", by which the opportunity for a video call will be granted to foreign detained persons and convicts as prescribed and in prescribed cases. For the purpose of implementing the mentioned opportunity, works for installing, testing and running video calls have been carried out at "Vardashen" and "Nubarashen" Penitentiary Institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia;

(5)    Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 204-N of 1 March 2018 "On establishing the "Penitentiary Medical Centre" State Non-Commercial Organisation";

(6)    Law of the Republic of Armenia HO-149-N of 7 March 2018 "On pardon";

(7)    Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 425-N of 12 April 2018 "On making supplements to Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia No 1717-N of 28 December 2017 and on allocating funds to the Penitentiary Department of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia", by which the estimated amount paid to junior officers of the Penitentiary Service will make up AMD 163578 instead of the previous AMD 157939.

(8)    Order of the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia No 162-A of 23 April 2018 "On approving the Statute of the "Penitentiary Medical Centre" State Non-Commercial Organisation".

2.     The following have been developed:

(1)    draft Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia "On approving the 2018-2038 National Strategy for Improvement of the Situation in the Penitentiary System of the Republic of Armenia and the Action Plan for Implementation of the Strategy";

(2)    draft Laws of the Republic of Armenia "On making an amendment and a supplement to the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia", "On making supplements to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia", which regulate the right of appeal of a convict against the actions, inactivity or adopted acts of officials of bodies and institutions executing punishments and the procedure for appeal;

(3)    draft legal acts arising from the Concept Paper on Modernisation of Medical Services at Penitentiary Institutions of the Republic of Armenia, approved by Protocol Decision No 2 of the session of the Government of the Republic of Armenia of 19 January 2017;

(4)    draft Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia "On approving the rules of procedure of the inter-agency medical commission for exempting persons kept at penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia from punishment due to severe illness";

(5)    draft Law of the Republic of Armenia "On making an amendment to the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia", which has established specific grounds for holding outgoing court sessions at closed and semi-closed penitentiary institutions and guarantees for ensuring the right to a fair trial;

(6)    draft Decision of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia "On approving the working procedure of an advisory committee for consideration of pardon-related issues";

(7)    draft Decision of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia "On approving the individual composition of an advisory committee for consideration of pardon-related issues";

(8)    draft Decision of the Government of the Republic of Armenia "On approving the procedure for archiving materials related to consideration of petitions for pardon";

(9)    draft Laws of the Republic of Armenia "On making amendments to the Criminal Code of the Republic of Armenia", "On making amendments and a supplement to the Penitentiary Code of the Republic of Armenia", "On making amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Republic of Armenia" and "On making amendments and a supplement to the Law of the Republic of Armenia "On probation"", which are aimed at raising the level of effectiveness of institutions for conditional early release from serving punishment and replacing the unserved part of punishment with a lighter punishment;

(10)  draft Law of the Republic of Armenia "On making an amendment to the Penitentiary Code", which recommends granting at least six short visits and two long visits during the year for persons convicted to imprisonment for a certain period or to life imprisonment for a particularly grave crime.

3.     For the purpose of raising the level of effectiveness of the activities of the Penitentiary Service:

(1)    the libraries of the penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia have been replenished with books as a result of co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia, the Ministry of Diaspora of the Republic of Armenia and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Armenia. The process of replenishing the penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia with books is currently ongoing;

(2)    the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia has reached an agreement with "Master Service" company to carry out, at a penitentiary institution with up to 100 convicts, a pilot programme for introducing a new effective system for making, delivering and supplying food at penitentiary institutions. Taking account of the fact that the factory of the organisation is currently deployed in the city of Jermuk, the programme is being piloted at "Goris" Penitentiary Institution;

(3)    necessary medical products have been provided to convicts and detained persons with disabilities through the combined efforts of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia and the Republican Centre for Humanitarian Aid SNCO of the Ministry of Healthcare of the Republic of Armenia;

(4)    11 penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia have been provided with necessary medical equipment for primary health maintenance;

(5)    training courses on healthcare, human rights and medical ethics meeting European standards have been organised for the personnels of the penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia. Training courses have been held for nearly 800 employees of the Penitentiary Service;

(6)    one-week vocational courses have been held for 14 psychologists of all penitentiary institutions for the purpose of improving professional knowledge and skills;

(7)    within the scope of the Project "Strengthening the Health Care and Human Rights Protection in Prisons in Armenia" being jointly carried out by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia (hereinafter referred to as "the Project"), the needs for obtaining additional medical equipment for primary healthcare services have been assessed, the types and quantitative composition of the necessary medical accessories and equipment have been drawn up, a tender has been announced;

(8)    a study on the sanitary-epidemic and hygienic situation at penitentiary institutions has been conducted within the scope of the Project;

(9)    vocational training programmes for the medical personnels of penitentiary institutions have been prepared in the following directions: ischemic heart disease, acute psychoses, gastrointestinal tract diseases, sharp disturbances of cerebral blood circulation, exogen poisonings;

(10)  all penitentiary institutions have been provided with the necessary thermal and hygienic conditions within the scope of the energy-saving programme being carried out at penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Armenia.

 

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