Public Defender’s Report on Monitoring Carried out in Penitentiary Establishment No. 10
The Public Defender has published a monitoring report on Penitentiary Establishment No. 10. The establishment was opened on the territory of former Establishment No. 19 (so-called former tubzone) and houses former prisoners of Gldani Establishment No 8.
We welcome the transfer of prisoners from large facilities to smaller ones. In addition, we welcome that convicts in Establishment No. 10 are provided with a minimum living space of 4 sq.m., conditions are satisfactory, every cell has a shower, so that prisoners can use it any time, without any restrictions.
Despite the above, the facility has a number of fundamental problems that need to be addressed in a timely manner by the State.
Restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus have significantly limited medical care. The monitoring found that the problems facing the penitentiary health care are: insufficient number of medical staff, lack of doctor-specialists’ consultations, shortcomings in the supply of medicines and lack of medical confidentiality. The facility does not conduct emergency monitoring of the health status of older patients or those suffering from severe chronic diseases; The transfer of prisoners to the medical facilities is delayed; In addition to the supply of medicines, it is also problematic how the medicines are stored. The above-mentioned problem was very alarming in the quarantine unit of the facility, where prisoners of various penitentiary facilities were placed for two weeks in order to get medical services.
In our estimation, the management of Establishment No. 10, like other closed and high-risk facilities, is not focused on positive changes in the convicts’ behavior or their rehabilitation. No rehabilitation activities are carried out in the facility. The only entertainment for prisoners is TV and/or radio. Prisoners spend 23 hours without any interesting activities in the cell. According to the Special Preventive Group, the presence of prisoners in such conditions not only contradicts the principle of normalization, but also has a negative impact on their physical and mental health, which in many cases becomes one of the provocative factors of protest, self-harm and conflict.
During a visit paid on 26 June 2020, it was revealed that on 15 June 2020, one of the prisoners assaulted a representative of the prison administration, while during the visit paid on September 3, 2020, there were 3 cases of inter-prisoner conflict.
The measures taken to prevent the spread of coronavirus have had the biggest impact on the realization of prisoners' right to contact with the outside world. The facility does not have infrastructure for long or video visits. It should be noted with regret that the measures taken to compensate for the restrictions were very scarce in 2020.
The present report is based on visits paid by members of the Special Preventive Group on 26 June and 3 September 2020. On December 25, 2020, the report was sent to the Director General of the Special Penitentiary Service of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia, who was requested to provide information on the consideration and implementation of the recommendations offered in the report. Unfortunately, the Special Penitentiary Service did not present its position, like many other reports.