NGOs Publish Special Report on Penitentiary Establishment No. 8

In accordance with the rules of cooperation of the Public Defender's Office with non-governmental organizations, the Human Rights Center and Penal Reform International published a monitoring report on Penitentiary Establishment No. 8. The monitoring revealed problems relating to prisoners' safety, contact with the outside world, living conditions and personal hygiene.

The report presents the key findings of the monitoring conducted at Penitentiary Establishment No. 8 on August 4-7, 2020, as well as recommendations. The visits were made by representatives of non-governmental organizations together with representatives of the National Preventive Mechanism of the Public Defender of Georgia. The purpose of the monitoring was to study the conditions of detention and treatment of three groups of prisoners belonging to a special, vulnerable category: juvenile defendants and convicts, persons serving life sentences and foreign nationals (accused, convicted).

The monitoring revealed cases of oppression and harassment of prisoners by other prisoners, such as misappropriation of their items and extortion of money. In addition, de-escalation rooms and solitary (safe) confinement cells are used to informally punish prisoners. The practice of placing accused and convicted persons together is also problematic, as it often serves as a precondition for inter-prisoner conflict. The visit to the facility also revealed problems relating to living conditions and contact with the outside world, walking in the fresh air, access to hygiene products.

In accordance with the rules of cooperation with non-governmental organizations, the Public Defender of Georgia allows representatives of non-governmental organizations, under the mandate of the National Preventive Mechanism and together with representatives of the Public Defender's Office, to implement joint projects, which may include thematic visits to places of detention and deprivation of liberty. Project applications are selected on the basis of a competition by the Consultative Council of the National Preventive Mechanism.

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