The problematic issues of reorganisation of imprisonment system were disccused

10 February 2019

IMG 3170The problematic issues of reorganisation being held in places of imprisonment were discussed on the initiative of the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas together with Edita Žiobiene, the Children's rights ombudsperson with the representatives of the Lithuanian Trade Union "Solidarity," the Ministry of Justice and the Prison Department.

One of the most debated issues has been raised by representatives of the Lithuanian Trade Union "Solidarity", which questioned the abolishment of the health care professionals at night shifts in prisons. A. Normanas pointed out that the ongoing reorganisation may lead to a worsening of access to health care for prisoners. 

The Seimas Ombudsman noted that the reform of the imprisonment system should not undermine the quality of health care services: “The state assumes unlimited liability for the person from the moment of deprivation of liberty, and such person is absolutely in the hands of the state”.

Furthermore, the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen's Office pointed out that, in particular, to ensure high-quality health care in prisons, the salaries of those working there should be taken into account.

"The fact that a health care professional working in prison is earning less than an employee in a regular health institution is wrong because the working conditions of such a person are much more complex," the head of the Seimas Ombudsmen noted during the meeting.

At the meeting, considerable attention was also paid to juveniles executed the sentence at Kaunas Juvenile Remand Prison-Correction House who are a particular type of convicts. The Seimas Ombudsman pointed out that minors are the social group to which exceptional attention should be given, and therefore, the reorganisation of detention facilities must ensure that juveniles having particular social needs are protected and have no negative impact from other prisoners.

The meeting concluded by consensus that all emerging problems need to be addressed only through dialogue and that decisions taken by the Ministry of Justice must not violate fundamental human rights and freedoms.

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