Meetings of the convicts with their relatives are disproportionately restricted in Kaunas Remand Prison

11 September 2019

The flawed practice of Kaunas Remand Prison officers, following which convicted persons are not allowed to use washing machine free of charge if they are visited by relatives, drew the attention of the Seimas Ombudsman, Augustinas Normantas. It turned out that officials did not provide the convict with the necessary articles for personal hygiene even after the convict was declared insolvent.

Upon further examination, it appeared that administration of Kaunas Remand Prison had rejected the convict's request for the necessary hygiene measures because, on the date of the request, money available in the convict's account had been reserved to cover production costs of his lost ID card.

The Seimas Ombudsman noted that it is very important to assess the case of a particular person not only formally but also realistically - whether it is proportionate not to provide the convict with hygiene measures when his money was used to acquire a lost personal document. The penitentiary institution has a duty to enable convicted persons to maintain personal hygiene; therefore, it must ensure that convicted persons are provided with hygiene measures, adequate facilities for shower, washing their clothes and bedlinen.

“The fact, stated by the administration, that a convicted person must be socially inactive in order to be able to wash his outerwear free of charge (he has to have no visits by his relatives or close ones) is abundatly disproportionate, as well as his right to have access to the laundry service. The real possibility for a convict to maintain personal hygiene must be in the interest not only of the convict but also of the penitentiary institution,” noted the Seimas Ombudsman Augustinas Normantas.

At the same time, the Seimas Ombudsman has raised doubts about the fact that the convicted person may lose his identity card while in Kaunas Remand Prison, although his personal documents must bekept in the institution – in the file of the convicted person. In view of this, the Seimas Ombudsman drew the attention of the Director of the Kaunas Remand Prison to take measures to investigate the circumstances under which the identity document of the convicted person had disappeared.

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