Analysis of the implementation of the infrastructure measures of the action plan pertaining to the ECHR judgement in the case REZMIVEȘ and others v. ROMANIA

Wednesday - 26 June 2019
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On the 25th of April 2017, ECHR has adopted a pilot judgment in the case REZMIVEȘ AND OTHERS v. ROMANIA which concerned prison overcrowding and inadequate prison conditions.

Following this judgment, on January 25th 2019, the Romanian Government sent out to the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (appointed for the implementation of ECHR judgements) an action plan aimed at solving the problem of prison overcrowding and the improvement of detention conditions.

The action plan also includes a timetable for the implementation of these measures spanning over 7 years (2018-2024).

We are currently in stage II of the implementation. Investments in infrastructure are the key component of this plan, which in turn will increase the number of detention places (to solve overcrowding) and modernize them (to address the other problems related to conditions of detention).

APADOR-CH has submitted many freedom of information requests (based on the Law on the freedom of information no. 544/2001) to establish whether the implementation of this plan adheres to its timetable.

The modernization of prisons

Promises: 8095 new places of detention and 1351 modernized places

I.A. According to the action plan, 8095 new places for detainees will be created along with the modernization of 1,351 places, over the span of 7 years. The creation of these new places will be done by the construction of 2 penitentiaries (the Berceni Penitentiary and the Unguriu Penitentiary) which will also ensure an extra 1,900 places (paragraph 47 of the action plan).

According to Annex 1 of the action plan, the new detention places will be created by:

– changing the use/transforming some existing facilities into detention areas (e.g. by turning places such as the canteen, festivities room, production workshops, offices or storage areas into detention spaces).

– the construction of new detention spaces (by building new wings/ sections in some prisons and by creating two new penitentiaries: Berceni and Unguriu)

The action plan contains 6 stages (paragraph 48) as follows:

Stage 1 (2018) – objective: the creation of 1 new detention place and modernization of 500 existing places.

Stage 2 (2020) – objective: the creation of 44 new detention places and modernization of 85 existing places.

The answer received from the Ministry of Justice in April 2019 states that 70 new detention places were finalized between January 2018 – February 2019 (30 at the Giurgiu Penitentiary and 40 at the Deva Penitentiary) and 282 detention places were modernized (Deva Penitentiary). We can already see a negative deviation from the plan, both regarding the creation of new detention places (there should have been 316 new detention places at the end of 2018) and the modernization of existing places (by the end of 2018 500 detention places should have been modernized).

Stage 3 (2021) – objective: the creation of 508 new detention places and modernization of 85 existing places.

Stage 4 (2022) – objective: the creation of 3.997 new detention places and modernization of 666 existing places. At the end of 2022 the Unguriu Penitentiary, with 900 places, should be finalized. Furthermore, also at the end of 2022, the modernization of the existing detention places should be finished, because stages 5 and 6, which refer to 2023 and 2024, don’t include any modernizations but only the creation of new detention places.

Stage 5 (2023) – objective: the creation of 2730 new detention places. At the end of 2023, the Berceni Penitentiary should be at least partially finalized, it will ensure 500 new detention places (of its full capacity of 1,000 places).

Stage 6 (2024) – objective: the creation of 500 new detention places and modernization of 85 existing places. The 500 new detention places will be ensured by the Berceni Penitentiary, which should be fully functional by the end of 2024 (1,000 places).


Achievements in 2019: 70 new places, 282 upgraded places, 0 steps to build new prisons

I.B. Under point 3 of Annex 1 the action plan establishes the stages and the calendar for the construction of the Berceni Penitentiary with a total capacity of 1,000 places which must be finalized and operational by December 2024.

According to this action plan, the following activities should have been finished by June 2019:

  • preparation of a feasibility study [target date: June 2018]
  • approval of this feasibility study by the Interministerial Council (IMC) [target date: December 2018]
  • adoption of a Government Decision (GD) to approve the technical and economic indicators of the investments [target date: June 2019]

The answer received by the Association from the Ministry of Justice stated that as of March 27th, 2019 none of the above-mentioned activities had been carried out.

I.C. Under point 4 of Annex 1 the action plan establishes the stages and the calendar for the construction of the Unguriu Penitentiary, with a total capacity of 900 places, which must be finalized and operational until December 2022.

According to this action plan, the following activities should have been finished by June 2019:

– definition of the concept and design brief [target date: January 2018]

– approval by the technical and economic council of the Romanian Prison Administration Authority of the concept and design brief [target date: January 2018]

– preparation and submittal by the Ministry of Justice of a GD proposal to be approved by the Romanian Prison Administration Authority for the tender of the feasibility study [target date:

– performance of the technical reports and feasibility study [target date: June 2018]

– approval of the feasibility study by the Romanian Prison Administration and submission for approval to the Ministry of Justice of the technical and economic indicators by the Interministerial Council and preparation for the GD proposal to the approval thereof [target date: December 2018]

– preparation and approval of the requirements specification for awarding the works, course of the procedure and preparation of the technical project [target date: throughout 2019, until December 2019]

The answer received by the Association from the Ministry of Justice stated that until the 27th of March 2019 none of the above-mentioned activities had been carried out.

 The overcrowding of prisons in 2019 – constantly 111%

Regarding occupancy index in the penitentiaries, a detailed situation was published for June 25, 2019, on the website of the National Prison Administration (ANP). Essentially, on 25th of June 2019 the rate of occupancy was at 111.12% (19,083 prisoners and 17,173 detention places observing the 4 sqm per person standard). For prison hospitals, the occupancy rate at that date was 68.38%, for provisional detention centres it was 42.41% and 71.23% for juvenile detention centres.

Thus, on the 4th of June 2019, the rate of occupancy was at 111.68% (19,178 prisoners and 17,173 detention places observing the 4 sqm per person standard). For prison hospitals, the occupancy rate was 61.93%, 43.86% for provisional detention centres and 75% for juvenile detention centres.

A similar overview was published on the website of the Romanian Prison Administration Authority on May 21st, 2019. Thus, on May 21st, 2019 the rate of occupancy was at 111.45% (19,179 prisoners and 17,209 detention places observing the 4 sqm per person standard). For prison hospitals, the occupancy rate at that date was 66.12%, for 43.73% for provisional detention centres and 75% for juvenile detention centres.

Furthermore, an overview on the occupancy rate was published by the Romanian Prison Administration Authority in February 2019 as well. Thus, on February 19th, 2019 the rate of occupancy was at 111.83% (19,244 prisoners and 17,209 detention places observing the 4 sqm per person standard). For prison hospitals, the occupancy rate at that date was 71.10%, 46.74% for pre-trial detention and 73.97% for juvenile detention centres.

Solutions to reduce the overcrowding in the short-term

The 111% occupancy rate for penitentiaries could be reduced to 100% either by a reduction of the number of prisoners by 2,000 (19,178 – 17,173 = 2,005) or by creating/modernizing approximately 2,000 detention places (and maintaining the same number of inmates).

According to the action plan, the proposed 2,000 new detention places or modernized places should be achieved only by the end of 2022, provided that there are no deviations from the timetable. However, as shown above, the calendar hasn’t been observed. Although there should have been an extra 816 (new or modernized) places in prisons by the end of 2019, by February 2019 only 352 had been created (70 new places and 282 modernized), i.e. only 43% of the planned number of places. We are safe to assume that there will be further delays in the future.

At this pace, we can conclude that the reduction of the occupancy rate from 111% to 100% by adding 2,000 places in prisons is likely to occur in 2022 – 2023. The most feasible target date, however, would be 2023.

The effects of the law on conditional release

A fast solution for reducing the occupancy rate to 100%, would be the reduction of the number of inmates by 2,000, which seems to be an alternative to increasing the number of places in prison. This is the solution currently used (to reduce the number of inmates) and translates into several legislative changes: such as the law on conditional release  or the use of alternative penal sanctions to imprisonment.

Considerations on the law on conditional release (Law no. 169/2017). The compensatory measures introduced by Law no. 169/2017 consist in the reduction of sentences with 6 days for every 30 days executed in unsuitable conditions. Thus, for every 30 days executed, 36 days are counted (for one actual month, one month and 6 days are counted, thus almost one month and one week, and 5 months for every 4 actual months etc.)

The action plan also mentioned this law as one of the measures which will contribute to solving the problems related to penitentiaries (paragraph 34 of the action plan).

According to the Romanian Prison Administration Authority’s press release no. 21652/14.01.2019, in the timeframe since the law on sentence reduction became effective (21st of July 2017) and the press release (January 14th 2019), so within two and a half years, 14,402 inmates benefited from this law and were thus released. Out of the total number of inmates 2,551 were released due to the “reductions” provided by the law and their sentence was deemed as fully executed, while 11,851 were released on probation, because based on the “reductions” they had executed a quota (fraction) of their sentence, thus allowing them to be released on probation.

The actual concern regarding the “law on conditional release” is that it was applied with no differentiation whatsoever (for all inmates). Thus, it allowed and still allows the early release of inmates imprisoned for severe and grave offences, since this reduction also applies to them. However, such a law could apply only to those who were subjected to the same conditions of imprisonment throughout their sentence, for the law not to be discriminatory.

The public reacted vehemently especially when the “beneficiaries” of the law on conditional release committed new serious offences after their release (murders, rapes, robberies etc.).

Maybe a different political approach would have found alternatives to the “law on conditional release”, solutions which would not have permitted the fast-tracked release of recidivists (inmates who had previous convictions besides their current sentence) and to inmates who have committed serious and grave offences.

For example, legislative measures could have been taken to accelerate the release of first-time offenders and for the release of prisoners convicted for less severe offences. This would have freed up new places in the penitentiaries and would have enabled the relocation of the prisoners detained in substandard facilities, without the accelerated liberation of repeat offenders and the prisoners sentenced for serious or very serious offences.

At present, it would be possible to repeal the law on conditional release and to adopt alternative measures with less harmful effects for society, so that the penitentiary occupancy index, which is currently 111%, falls below 100% (see also APADOR-CH opinion on the law on sentence reduction.

Obviously, the ideal measure would be the accelerated construction and modernization of new prison places, which in return would eliminate the accelerated release of repeat offenders, but within a tense social climate, the most reasonable solutions are often the hardest to implement.

The Council of Europe is not convinced and calls for further modernization measures, but also financial compensation for inmates

In this context, the recent Decision No. H46-21/2019 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (which oversees the execution of the ECHR judgements) in the meeting no. 1348, 4-6 June 2019 on the implementation of the European Court’s judgment in the case Rezmiveș and Others and Bragadireanu group v. Romania (Application. 61467/12) is worth mentioning.

This decision established that:

  • regarding the current efforts to upgrade prison infrastructure, clarifications are still required to enable the Committee conclusively to assess the authorities’ strategy; requested them to specify whether the modernization work envisaged covers all premises in need of such intervention and, should this not be the case, to state their intentions in respect of the rest of these premises(point 4 of the decision)

  • the authorities must review and adapt their current plans to modernize and renew the existing network of arrest detention centres, to ensure that all facilities intended for holding remand prisoners before trial offer Convention-compliant conditions, adapted to the length of their stay, including sufficient living space, adequate material conditions with direct access to natural light and air, an appropriate regime of out-of-cell activities and suitably equipped premises for such activities (point 7 of the decision)

  • alongside improvements in the living conditions in prisons and pre-trial detention facilities, accessible and effective preventive and compensatory remedies at domestic level are necessary to allow the European Court, in due course, to refer back to national courts the thousands of applications pending before it relates to the problems raised by these judgments [Rezmiveș] (point 8 of the decision)

  • while Romania established a preventive remedy in 2014 and a mechanism providing for reduction of sentence of persons detained in inhuman or degrading conditions in 2017, it remains for the authorities to enact legislation allowing persons who did not, or will not, benefit from a reduction in sentence, who have lodged or could lodge complaints with the European Court about their conditions of detention, to claim financial compensation (point 9 of the decision)

  • it expressed its deep concern at the delay in establishing the compensatory financial remedy, urged the authorities to step up their efforts with a view to finalizing draft legislative proposals and engaging the necessary procedures for their adoption; in the event that no tangible progress in the legal process is reported by 1 October 2019, instructed the Secretariat to prepare a draft interim resolution for consideration at their 1362nd meeting (December 2019) (DH) (point 10 of the decision).

Modernization of prisons, release of inmates or financial reward – what would the public opinion choose?

To this day, the Council of Europe considers that all problems related to overcrowding and living conditions of prisoners are not solved and requests new measures pertaining both to the modernization of the infrastructure and the adoption of new laws to establish compensatory remedies for the prisoners.

Currently, the Romanian Civil Code (art. 1349 and following) contains provisions which allow the payment of injuries, either moral or material, suffered by a person regardless of the circumstances in which these injuries occurred. Thus, the courts have the ability, to judge every individual case within the legal statute of limitations and to evaluate whether or not an injury existed, the nature of the injury, what the exact injury was and to determine the best remedy.

In the current social and economic environment, the idea of adopting new laws enabling the financial compensation of convicted persons is quite challenging to put into practice under different conditions than those stated by the Civil Code. It’s not the first time this option was on the public agenda, and the reactions weren’t positive.

The modernization of police arrests

 

Promises: 1596 new places and 187 modernized places

  1. The action plan also establishes the creation of new places and the modernization of the existing places in the pre-trial detention centres (commonly known as “police arrests”). The action plan establishes the creation of 1,596 new places and the modernization of 187 places over the span of 6 years (2018-2023) (paragraph 55 of the plan).

The action plan contains 3 execution stages (paragraph 56) structured as follows:

Stage 1 (2018) – target new/modernized places – 114

Stagiul 2 (2019-2021) – target new/modernized places – 153

Stagiul 3 (2021-2023) – target new/modernized places – 1.516

The answer received by the Association from the Romanian General Police Inspectorate (RGPI) in March 2019 states that no new places have been created between January 2018 – February 2019, but 147 places have been modernized as follows:

– Provisional Detention and Pre-trail Detainment Centre of the Maramures Police Inspectorate (30 places) – currently being commissioned;

– Provisional Detention and Pre-trail Detainment Centre of the Galati Police Inspectorate (34 places);

– Provisional Detention and Pre-trail Detainment Centre of the Iasi Police Inspectorate (50 places);

– Provisional Detention and Pre-trail Detainment Centre of the Maramures Police Inspectorate (33 places) – currently being commissioned.

Thus, the target for stage 1 (2018), i.e. 114 modernized places was achieved together with a part (33) of the total number of 153 places established under stage 2, with the commissioning date December 2021.

It bears mentioning that the highest number of new/modernized places is planned for stage 3 (2021-2023) i.e. 1,516, for the provisional detention and pre-trial detention centres. The total number of places for stages 1 and 2 (2018-2021), i.e. 267 is quite easy to achieve. However, there is a significant difference between the initial two sages where the target was 267 places (for 2018-2021) and the last stage with a goal of 1,516 places (for 2021-2023).

Occupancy rate in police arrests: 55,7%

Regarding the occupancy rate of pre-trial detention facilities, the Romanian General Police Inspectorate declared that on 19.03.2019 the total number of detainees was 779 out of the 1398 places which fulfilled the 4 sqm per person standard. Thus, there was an average of 55.7% on 19.03.2019.

Furthermore, the Romanian General Police Inspectorate sent us the statistic for the inflow and outflow of detainees for the entire month of February, split for each day of the month. This enabled us to determine that during the month of February 2019 the number of persons held in custody varied between 719 and 751 per day, with a total number of 1398 of places (hence an occupancy rate between 51.4% and 53.7%).

Observations during monitoring visits in arrests and prisons

 

APADOR-CH representatives visited 10 units of detention ( policearrests and penitentiaries) during January-June 2019, namely: Prisons and Police Arrest and Pre-trial Detention Centres from Giurgiu, Miercurea Ciuc, Galati, Craiova, Bucharest and Târgu Jiu.

Detention conditions in police arrests

The use of alternative arrest methods as well as the investments made in recent years in the rehabilitation of police arrest and pre-trial detention centers have made the arrests no longer overcrowded, with the occupancy rate being far below the capacity of the centres in all the visited units.

Although extensive investments have been made in many units, there are still issues to be resolved regarding the hygiene of premises, the placement of too many beds in rooms related to their surface or other aspects such as:

  • There are still rooms without toilets in which inmates use the classical bucket during the night for their needs, while during the day they have to resort to the goodwill of the officers to be taken to the toilet or shower;
  • In some police arrests that are located in the basement there is still the problem of illumination and insufficient ventilation of the rooms. Even though air conditioners have been installed, in some places they do not work and they do not replace natural light and fresh air anyway;
  • In most police arrest centres there is no medical assistance dedicated to the detainees. The same medical staff of the County Police Inspectorates, which provides medical assistance to the police staff, also sees the inmates. And this assistance is not always assured;
  • Psychiatric or psychological assistance is still lacking, although a significant percentage of the arrested population has mental health problems;
  • In most arrest centres, the right to shop is solved by sending police officers to the market, which reduces the dignity of their function, being practically turned into a messenger for the inmates.

Detention conditions in prisons

In the penitentiary system, despite the important releases of the past two years, the overcrowding continues to exceed the detention capacity. Investments in the modernization of existing premises or in creating new ones are at this moment lacking taking into consideration its necessary amplitude in order to see a considerable improvement.

In order to improve the life of the inmates, in 2019 the food allowance was doubled from 3.5 lei / day / prisoner to 7 lei / day / prisoner and the value of hygienic-sanitary materials received monthly by each prisoner increased substantially: razors, two rolls of toilet paper, toothpaste, shaving paste, comb, soap, shampoo, nail clippers, detergent, etc. According to the statements of inmates, these materials are sufficient, but most of the inmates with whom APADOR-CH has been interacted continue to complain about the quality of the food.

According to administrative estimations, the monthly expenses with a prisoner are 505 lei, plus the amount representing the salaries of the staff.

With few exceptions, such as the new and modern building of the Giurgiu Penitentiary, put into use at the beginning of 2019, attempts were made to rehabilitate the existing premises, a third row of overlapped beds was removed in order to create a less crowded space to existing rooms.

Overall, the following problems persist:

  • Poor hygiene in many of the detention rooms or food blocks;
  • Disabled or insufficient bathrooms for the number of inmates per room and a hot water program too short for everyone to shower;
  • Few or no medical staff (except for the Galati Prison, all the other visited prisons had a deficient number of physicians or did not have at all – Miercurea Ciuc case);
  • As with police arrests, there is a chronic lack of psychiatric medical staff;
  • Lack of testing programs when entering the prison system for sexually transmitted diseases and generally lack of methods to prevent the spread of these diseases, eg condoms;
  • Lack of effective programs for qualification of inmates, to facilitate their reintegration after release;
  • Insufficient staff to carry out socio-educational activities that most inmates say they need;
  • Insufficient jobs for inmates, with or without payment. Given that the Romanian labor market lacks staff and the prisons have people wanting to work, it would be desirable for the Ministry of Justice to find solutions together with the Labor Ministry to link the two segments.

Observations and recommendations for the visited police arrests

Police arrest and pre-trial detention Centre from Bucharest (Central Police arrest) (full report)

  • Although there have been large investments in the semi-basement, there is still a need for funds to be allocated to the ground floor of the detention centre where women are accommodated. All 11 rooms require rehabilitation, as they have not been rehabilitated and have dampness, water infiltrations, rusty sanitary facilities and poor hygiene conditions.
  • Further, police officers are personally involved in making the shopping and distributing the products to the arrested persons.

Police arrest and pre-trial detention Centre from Miercurea Ciuc (full report)

  • All 11 arrest rooms require urgent investment. They have water infiltrations, rusty sanitary facilities and poor hygiene conditions. There are two bathrooms on the hall, one used by women (also used by the centre staff) and a sanitary group used by men.
  • Walls are blocked with plastic bottles because the sewage odor is penetrating and difficult to bear. All sanitary facilities are rusty, old and partially functional. Using a bucket for the physiological needs during the night is inhuman and degrading treatment within the meaning of the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
  • The placement of the telephone is totally inappropriate because of the chosen location – in the medical cabinet – but also because it is not possible to provide visual supervision to those who use it.

Police arrest and pre-trial detention Centre from Galați (full report)

  • The arrest is visibly changed from the last APADOR-CH visit, freshly renovated, modernized sanitary units, insulating glass windows, ventilation system on the hall and in the rooms.
  • However, the project could have provided for the location a smaller number of beds, in order to respect the norm of the room space.
  • There is no psychologist / psychiatrist for detainees.
  • Phones should be located in an area to ensure the confidentiality of calls.
  • It is required to supplement the book fund from the library with copies of the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Code, the most required books in the system.
  • Refurbishment and equipping of the courts with minimal equipment for physical activities.

Police arrest and pre-trial detention Centre from Dolj (full report)

  • Over the last 4 years, funds have been allocated for repairs, cleaning and improvements, however, the sensation left by Dolj Centre, probably due to its basement location, is one of dirt and darkness.
  • It is necessary to install doors to bathrooms and to ensure a periodic cleaning of them.
  • It is necessary to re-establish the visiting sector for minors so that the visits to take place without a separator, according to the legislation in force.
  • Install the 4 fitness bikes and treadmills purchased in the walking courts to give people the opportunity to do sports.
  • Provision of medical assistance within the arrest, including by intensifying the efforts to fill the vacant post of arrest doctor.

Police arrest and pre-trial detention Centre from Giurgiu (full report)

  • Although it is no longer overcrowded, it is necessary to construct a new arrest centre, as employees have stated, because there are no conditions for a reorganization of the existing detention space, for example there is no technical possibility of installing bathrooms in the rooms.
  • The center is often confronted with power outages, which is why air conditioners in rooms do not work.
  • It is recommended to remove the perforated metal panels from the windows, which prevents the air from entering the rooms.
  • The phones for detainees should be placed in an area to ensure the confidentiality of the conversations.
  • Supplying the medical room with a first aid kit.

Observations and recommendations for the visited prisons

Giurgiu Penitentiary (full report)

  • It is the only visited prison that had a new building structure, built to modern standards of detention. Otherwise, only 50% of the penitentiary provides adequate conditions of detention. Even if it is not overcrowded, many rooms in the penitentiary still do not meet the hygienic legal standards.
  • According to the management, the unit has a low capacity to spend funds for the rehabilitation of the detention facilities, because it does not find skilled persons neither inside the penitentiary, among inmates, nor outside.
  • The hot water program in rooms with more than 3 people should be extended for more than one hour so that all the occupants of the room have the time to shower.
  • Intensify the efforts to collaborate with the School Inspectorate for organizing classes of 5th-8th grades in the penitentiary so that the level of schooling is no longer an obstacle in obtaining a qualification and, later, in finding a job.

Galați Maximum Security Penitentiary (full report)

  • As for 2012 (the last visit of APADOR-CH here), some things from the Galati Penitentiary have changed for the better, but the conditions of detention in general and the overcrowding of the rooms remain to be solved.
  • It is commendable that the socio-educational sector manages to involve a large number of prisoners in educational activities. It would be desirable to emphasize the qualification courses, in order to give prisoners an advantage when leaving the penitentiary and aproaching the labor market.
  • It is understandable and appreciated the leadership’s concern to stop the traffick of drugs and mobile phones, which it says there were on a large-scale in the years before 2017. But some measures taken in this regard seem to punish prisoners and make their detention more difficult, in addition to the conditions that are so improper. These effects also seem to be reflected in a slightly increased number of aggressions and self-aggressions among prisoners, according to activity data from 2018 – 68 cases in 2018 compared to 48 in 2017, in the circumstances of a decreasing number of prisoners. According to the same report, the number of acts of violence against the staff sharply increased, from 1 in 2017 to 14 in 2018, which may indicate a latent state of frustration among prisoners.
  • The management should reconsider the decision to ban refrigerators on the hallways for the use of prisoners.
  • Extending the warm water distribution period, from one hour and a half – two hours to three hours, at least in the eight-person rooms, so that everyone can have a shower.
  • Finding solutions for keeping the prisoners busy through paid work, at least those under an open regime, which would not require such a strict guard.

Miercurea Ciuc Penitentiary (full report)

  • APADOR-CH appreciates that Miecurea Ciuc Penitentiary is one of the cleanest and most neated prisons in the country. However, there are two major problems: the overcrowding and the lack of medical assistance since 2014 to provide health care.
  • At the time of the visit, in one room there were, for example, 16 prisoners and 18 beds, each prisoner having 1.56 sqm space, much below the 4 sqm standard. The prisoners in this room have complained that there are no staircases at the overlapped beds, that the food is bad, the yards are small and the time spent outside is limited, they do not receive envelopes and stamps, they would like to work no matter if they are paid or not.
  • It is recommended to solve the problem of overcrowding, including through the development of a medium and long-term strategy considering that the space and nature of the penitentiary does not allow the extension or construction of new premises.
  • Hiring a permanent general practitioner in the penitentiary. Given that some of the nurses are about to retire, penitentiary officials have to think of solutions to replace them so they will not end up in a deadlock.

Târgu Jiu Penitentiary (full report)

  • The level of overcrowding remains high, a prisoner having a maximum of 2 sqm space, which flagrantly contradicts the 4 sqm recommended by the Committee for the Prevention of Torture. The association recommends to the prison’s leadership but also to the National Administration of Penitentiaries to find urgent solutions for the decongestion of rooms where the air is unbreathable.
  • Nearby, in Bumbeşti-Jiu, there is a fully equipped unit of the Gendarmes’ Authority that would meet the conditions for a penitentiary with a minimum investment. This location is no longer used, being left to degrade. The Târgu-Jiu Penitentiary’s management mentioned that made proposals to National Administration of Penitentiaries to take over this space starting with 2016, but no solutions were found at the level of the two ministers: the Ministry of Administration and Interior and the Ministry of Justice.
  • Investments in the food sector are needed (renovation, purchase of a ventilation system).
  • Reorganize the visitor space with minors.
  • Intensify the efforts to take over the Bumbeşti-Jiu location to be transformed into a penitentiary, given the need for new detention spaces at international standards.

Craiova Penitentiary (full report)

  • It is a visible improvement regarding the overcrowding since the 2014 visit. Also, the Craiova Penitentiary is among the few who benefits from a psychiatrist. However, in relation to the workload here, APADOR-CH recommends that there should be at least another psychiatrist.
  • In addition, it would be necessary:

– placing refrigerators in the rooms;

– placing condoms in places accessible to prisoners to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases;

– supplying the medical room with fast HIV tests;

– repairing the ventilation system at the food block.