National Preventive Mechanism Report on the Visit to the Prison N17 (1-2 December 2014)
The present document is a report on the visit undertaken by the National Preventive Mechanism of Georgia on 1-2 December 2014 to the Prison N17. During the preparation of this report, along with other materials, the technical reports of members1 participating in the visit of the Special Preventive Group were also used. The documents acquired during the visit, as well as the reports of the members of the monitoring group, are stored in the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia. The present report contains the main findings of the monitoring group and is structured in a way that will not allow the identification of the respondent prisoners in light of the confidential nature of interviews.
The area in the residential cells does not comply with the requirements prescribed by the Prison Code of Georgia and needs renovation. The infrastructure in quarantine cells is not in line with their goal of disease control. The tiles in the shower rooms are broken. The water drainage system malfunctions and causes a blockage of water and moisture. During the visit, the sewage system in the yards in the regime buildings was damaged, and there was a pool of water in the yard.
Nutritional standards for prisoners are not fully observed. A portion of the prisoners complained about the taste of the food. It was found that the facility shop is not properly supplied with products. According to the explanation of some convicts, the water would periodically contain pieces of sift and a peculiar taste. The sanitary and hygienic situation in the medical unit in Facility N17 is unsatisfactory. The number of medical personnel is not sufficient. It was ascertained that the waiting time for prisoners registered for appointment with doctors of narrow specialization is quite long, which negatively affects the health of the convicts. There are problems related to the access to medicines in the facility. It is noteworthy that in Facility N17 there is no suicide prevention program, and the determination of the need for consulting a psychiatrist presents a problem.
Convicts encounter problems with regards to making phone calls because of defective phone cards. In the shop on the territory of the facility, there is a constant deficiency of phone cards that hinders prisoners’ right to exercise phone calls without restriction.