ArmInfo.The system of correctional institutions of Armenia is replenished with 30 full-time units. The government of the country at a meeting on April 18 considered this draft, but the decision on its adoption was postponed to the allotment.
According to RA Minister of Justice Artak Zeinalyan, this decision is necessary to provide a convoy for prisoners undergoing treatment in civilian medical institutions. The Minister stressed that a minimum of 2 staff members per prisoner. Currently, 11 prisoners are under treatment. As a rule, Zeynalyan continued, the staff of the correctional institutions service should receive rest every 2 days, however, taking into account the lack of staff, they carry out their mission every day. The decision will allow to avoid the escape of convicts, or the transfer of cell phones, drugs and other prohibited items to them.
In turn, RA Minister of Healthcare Arsen Torosyan informed that by August 15, 2019, four correctional institutions will be opened in four civilian hospitals in Yerevan, and by August 2020, in two regional medical institutions. Artak Zeynalyan said that employees of these departments will receive the same salary as their colleagues working in penal institutions.
The Minister stated that the work of the correctional institutions system is not so attractive, and for this reason there are several hundred vacant places. "There are no problems with prison overload at the moment, on the contrary, we are considering the issue of optimizing three correctional institutions with preserving the number of guards, which will also save resources and, possibly, raise salaries for employees," Zeinalyan said.
According to him, today, virtually all the possibilities of additional earnings on the part of guards are excluded, including through the introduction of unresolved items. He also noted that a bill had already been submitted to improve the conditions of detention in the correctional institutions, including the possibility of organizing labor for the provision of parole, as well as the possibility of transforming one correctional institution into an institution of an open type. "There is no congestion, the power has improved, which has led to a reduction in the transfer of parcels with food to the prison. I myself have tried: the power is quite normal," said Zeynalyan. The Minister also reported that a pilot program is being implemented to transfer power to the correctional institutions for outsourcing. "We have already organized a pilot program in Goris, when food for prisoners was prepared outside the prison walls, after which it was delivered to places of detention. Positive feedback has already been received, because this approach allows us to diversify the menu and the range," said Zeynalyan.
RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan immediately responded to the Minister's statement. "Be prepared that I'll somehow go to one of the penitentiaries and try the food, because you teased your appetite, having described the food in the Penitentiary in such a colorful way," said Pashinyan. Meanwhile, as Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan believes, there are prisoners in Armenian prisons who live in "concessional" conditions.
According to him, to understand what is happening in prisons it is not even necessary to visit them, everything is clear and true. There are also prisoners whose parcels are not checked, and it is not clear why, after all this, the head of this penitentiary institution remains at his post. "Many crimes in Armenia are organized directly from the prison, using mobile phones," said Pashinyan. He is convinced that without the participation of the staff of the institutions this would have been impossible. The Minister of Justice sees the solution to the problem of installing silencers on the prison territory and reducing corruption risks. Also, according to Pashinyan, meeting rooms should be put in order. Many of these premises are simply degrading to humans.