Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRESS REFORM IN GEORGIA - September 2009 - Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM IN GEORGIA I. Introduction The overall objective of the Criminal Justice Reform is to strengthen the rule of law and human rights protection in Georgia through developing a process of reforms in open and participatory manner. Criminal Justice Reform Inter Agency Council (hereinafter the Council) has been serving the role of a tool leading this process and observing the pace taken by the Government. Establishment of the Secretariat of the Council and of the working level environment brought the Criminal Justice Reform on a new dimension where the adoption of the Strategy and the Action is not viewed itself as a final outcome of the process. Therefore, the report covers not only the institutional developments of the Council and its accessories, but the continued process of the developments following adoption of the Strategy and Action. In addition, this report serves as an introductory document to the process that has been initiated with the creation of the Council and adoption of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy/Action Plan. In addition to this, the Report briefly summarizes the activities that are already underway. II. History of the Development of the Criminal Justice Reform and the Policy Behind the Idea In 2004, the President of Georgia established the working group charged with a task of developing a strategy for reforming Georgian criminal legislation (the Strategy) that aimed at ensuring compliance with international standards. Subsequently, in 2005, when the Strategy was drafted, it was approved by the President of Georgia followed by elaboration of the Implementation Action Plan for the Strategy on Criminal Justice Reforms and its adoption on 12 June 2006. The 2005 Strategy focused on the following aspects: - amendments needed in the legislation of Georgia, including the Code of Criminal Procedure; - changes in the competences and organization of key institutions; - and changes in the education and training of legal professionals. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council The working group, established in 2004, created nine subgroups for the implementation of the Strategy in following areas of law: 1. Police authorities and crime prevention; 2. The Prosecution; 3. The Bar and Advancement of the Legal Aid System; 4. The Judiciary; 5. Reforms of the Criminal and Administrative Violations’ Codes; 6. Execution of Penalties; 7. The Criminal Procedure Code; 8. Reform of the Public Defender’s Institute; 9. Reform of the Education of Lawyers. The subgroups were given a task to elaborate concept papers in respective areas. However, upon the necessity the Strategy and Action Plan has had to be updated and refined in order to reflect achieved objectives, new challenges and ongoing developments. Therefore, by Decree No. 591 (on “Approving the Composition and Statute of the Inter-agency Coordination Council implementing the Criminal Justice Reform”) of 13 December 2008, the President of Georgia established the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council that has been entrusted with the elaboration and implementation of the reforms in line with the principles of rule of law and human rights protection. The Statute of the Inter- Agency Coordination Council defines its objectives, responsibilities and authorities, as well as its mode of operation, including the appointment of working groups to study particular issues and make recommendations. Later, the Presidential Decree No. 591 of 13th December 2008 was amended by Decree No. 129 of 18th March 2009 and Decree No. 196 of 22nd April 2009 in order to reflect the institutional structure of Government’s management of the sector, merging the Prosecutor’s General’s Office with the Ministry of Justice and creation of a new Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance dealing with prisons, probation and legal aid. According to the amended Decree the Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance was appointed as the co-chairman with the Minister of Justice1. The Council has revised 2005 Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and respective Action Plan. At the same time, it is the main coordination body among relevant state institutions that apart 1 Minister of Justice – Mr. Zurab Adeishili: http://www.justice.gov.ge/minister.html Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance – Mr. Dimitri Shashkini: http://www.mcla.gov.ge/content.php?id=34&lang=eng Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council from defining platform of action/reforms also monitors implementation of the reforms in respective spheres, such as: - Criminal Procedure Code; - Legislation on Administrative Offence; - Juvenile Justice; - Penal System Reform; - Probation; - Legal Aid Service; - Prosecution; - Police; - Judiciary; - Legal Education; - Office of the Public Defender. The primary objective of the Strategy is to list in comprehensive manner guiding policy considerations in criminal justice sphere and develop a realistic, time bound implementation plan. In this regard, Criminal Justice Reform Inter Agency Coordination Council has created four Working Groups in the following spheres: - Juvenile Justice - Penitentiary - Probation - Legal Aid The Working Groups were not only entrusted with the drafting of the respective Strategies and Action Plans, but responding to such challenges as prison overcrowding, measures aimed to improve situation of juveniles, etc. Recently, the Council has formalized the fourth Working Group on Statistics. Other parts of 2005 Strategy/Action Plan has been updated by the respective state institutions, discussed at the ad hoc Working Group and adopted by the Council. The effective management of working of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council, as well as working Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council groups and ad hoc working group is maintained through an assistance of the Secretariat placed at the Ministry of Justice2. Variety of Working Groups as well as establishment of the Secretariat as an institutional structure subordinated to the Council was primarily aimed to meet the demands arising out of the existing past experience: - Need to create a proper working level environment that would allow all interested parties to participate in the process on permanent basis; - To create an institutional memory where all respective information, proposals and technical needs are accumulated; - To develop a system that would allow the Government through the Council observe the phase of the reforms and timely identify challenges faced by the relevant stakeholders while implementing the Strategy and Action Plan. On the fourth session, on 27th July 2009, the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy and its Action Plan have been adopted. It represents a guiding policy document that was adopted by the Council through the active involvement of all relevant stakeholders and NGO sector. The Strategy underlines the challenges existing in criminal justice spheres and aims to develop comprehensive sectoral approach to such complex issues as juvenile justice, prison overcrowding, system of alternatives to detention, development of linkage between penitentiary and probation, importance of the National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT and proper implementation of the new Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia. The Council itself, Secretariat as well as representatives of the various Working Groups have on several occasions stressed the fact that the Strategy and particularly its Action Plan is a leaving document and it does not coexist with the ongoing challenges in static manner. At the same time, the Strategy as well as Action Plan aims to strike a balance between the existing challenges and the means available at the disposal of the government to address those issues in timely and proper manner3. 2 The Working Groups members receive via mailing list minutes both in English and Georgian along with the materials used during the working process; 3 The enclosed Action Plan provide details with respect to activities planned for 2010. As it was decided at the second Steering Committee the Council shall instruct relevant authorities to prepare a detailed action plan for every upcoming year in parallel with the budgetary planning. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council III. Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council and Relevant Institutions The Main Objectives of the Council are: - To elaborate relevant recommendations regarding the Criminal Justice Reform in line with the principles of the rule of law and human rights protection in Georgia; - To review and periodically revise Criminal Justice Reform Strategy; - To coordinate intergovernmental activities in course of the elaboration of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy; - To elaborate proposals and recommendations regarding the issues related to penal reform, probation, juvenile justice and legal aid. The Council has both general as well as specific type of objectives as the drafters of the Council’s Statue envisaged on one hand to underline some of the priority areas (such as juvenile justice, penal reform, probation and legal aid) while retaining flexibility for the Council’s discretion. A. Composition and Structure of the Council Composition of the Council and its functions are prescribed by the Statute of the Inter-Agency Coordination Council adopted on 13th December 2008. According to it, the Council is co- chaired by the Minister of Justice and Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance. Its composition includes governmental agencies, such as: - Deputy Ministers of Justice, Internal Affairs, Labour, Health and Social Affairs, Education and Science, - as well as the First Deputy of the Chief Prosecutor of Georgia; - the Heads/representatives of the Department of Prisons of Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance, the Deputy Head of the National Service on the Enforcement of Non-Custodial Punishment and Probation Service of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance, the Director of the Legal Aid Service of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance; - and two members of the Parliament of Georgia. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council Apart from the abovementioned members, the Council includes respective representative from the Office of the Public Defender, judiciary, international/donor organizations, NGO sector and independent experts (representatives from the EC Delegation, OSCE, NORLAG and UNICEF, GYLA, Article 42, etc.). Since the Council has been empowered with the task to revise the 2005 Criminal Justice Reform Strategy/Action Plan and meet requirements of relevant developments in the criminal justice sphere, the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council has created aforementioned Working Groups. The scheduling of the meetings of working groups and ad hoc working group, as well as the preparation of relevant documents, falls under the responsibility of the Secretariat placed at the Ministry of Justice. The information regarding the abovementioned Working Groups, Ad Hoc Working Group and the Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council is provided in the detailed manner below. The first session of the Council was of introductory character, outlining major objectives set forth before the Council, discussing prospects for its future activities. During the session, particular attention was paid to the establishment of working groups to support the development of that Strategy with respect to the Juvenile Justice, Penitentiary, Probation Reform and Legal Aid. The following second session was held on 18th May 2009 where the Council adopted draft Strategies for Juvenile Justice, Penitentiary Reform and Probation prepared by the relevant working groups. The draft Strategies, including Actions Plans, for the Legal Aid and other relevant fields of the Criminal Justice Reform, except the draft Strategy and Action Plan of the Office of Public Defender, were adopted on the third session held on 2nd July 2009. The Office of Public Defender Strategy and Action Plan was presented and approved at the fourth Inter-Agency Coordination Council session (held on 27th July 2009) along with final amended versions of the overall strategy and action plan. The Council represents a final forum for adoption of the all respective documents and discussion of policy considerations; in addition to that it has an authority to instruct agencies to act in line with the criminal justice policy. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council B. Composition and Structure of the Working Groups The Working Groups are institutional bodies within Council that meet on regular basis. The membership of the working groups is open to the representatives of relevant governmental agencies, donor/international organizations, NGOs and individual experts. The mandate of the Working Groups has been defined and agreed by each Working Group and the Council. Their functions include inter alia: - Drafting of the strategy and action plan - Revision of legislative developments and draft laws in relevant sphere; - Discussion of the various issue and presentation it before the council; The decision to create Working Groups in aforementioned four priority areas was triggered by the need to address ongoing reforms in detail manner. Namely, the 2009 Strategy and Action Plan identify two new components – Juvenile Justice and Probation in comparison with the 2005 strategy and action plan. In addition, the institutional challenges within the penitentiary required development of comprehensive strategy, while the Legal Aid Service represents a newly established institution. The membership of the Working Groups and the terms of reference have been determined by the respective Working Groups with the assistance of the Secretariat; although upon the request from the interested parties the composition of the Working Group has been amended (adding new members). Each Working Group has Rapporteur/Co-Rapporteurs whose responsibilities include: - guidance of the meetings according to the agenda and time available; - insurance that all discussion items end with a decision, action or definite outcome; - review and approval of the draft minutes before distribution. Co/Rapporteurs have been elected by the respective Working Groups upon the proposal of the Secretariat. The meetings of the Working Groups are held based on necessity but at least once per month. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council Secretariat of the Council provides all technical assistance required for the arrangement of the Working Group meetings. Working Group on Juvenile Justice The Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council established the Working Group on Juvenile Justice System. The mandate of the Working group has been to elaborate the revised strategy and action plan in Juvenile Justice Sphere. Prepared Strategy as well as the action plan underline following major directions in the reform: - concept of prevention and respective preventive programmes; - raising fair trial standards in relation to juveniles; - development of the intervention schemes varying from the alternative mechanisms, alternative sanctions and the concept of detention as a last resort; - support of the re-integration programmes for juveniles - capacity building of the professionals working in the respective sphere; Apart from the overall strategic drafting, following components fall under the mandate of the Juvenile Justice Working Group: Work on the improvement of the education and living conditions for juvenile prison inmate (sentenced and pre-trial); Measures taken by the probation service to improve conditions for juvenile probationers with particular emphasis being played to their individual cases; Review legislation in juvenile justice sphere; Working Group on Penal System The Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council established the Working Group on Penal System which in parallel regime worked on the development of the penitentiary strategy/action plan and the Draft Code on Imprisonment. That is why the Strategy represents a guiding document on the development that should have been depicted in the Draft Code: - Conditions of the imprisonment - Several propositions aimed at combating prison overcrowding, which included among other revision of length of sentencing, development of strong release on parole Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council mechanism, increase of the alternative to pre-trial detention, including community work and development of proper infrastructure; - Provision of adequate rules on legal safeguards of the prisoners - Support of proper international and external – independent monitoring mechanisms. As major aspects of the aforementioned conditions were incorporated in the Draft Code on Imprisonment to be discussed below, it is notable to address the length of sentencing issues. The Rapporteur of the Penal System along with the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia has prepared analyzes on length of sentencing and the proposed draft to the Criminal Code of Georgia that would be shared in the upcoming session of the Working Group. Working Group on Probation System The Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council established the Working Group on Probation System that has drafted the new chapter to the Criminal Justice Strategy specifically addressing probation issues on: - The development of the structure and administrative capacity of the Probation Service; - The improvement of the legislative framework regulating the Probation Service; - Increase of the skilled workforce in the probation service along with the improvement of the supervision system - Development of the appropriate rehabilitative programmes with the direct involvement of the community. These respective components have been included in the Probation Action Plan which among others pays particular attention to the juvenile probations. In addition to this, the Working Group on Probation would quite soon embark upon the discussion regarding the legislative framework governing Probation Service. Working Group on Legal Aid The Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council establishes the Working Group on Legal Aid System, which has drafted strategy and the action plan in the following directions: Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council - Increase in the accessibility of the legal aid system through development of the infrastructure, support of modern technologies, opening of the new offices and increase in the mandate of the legal aid system; - Development of high quality service through improved human resource management and professional trainings; - Increase of public awareness on legal aid issues; - Establishment of the Legal Aid Council. In the nearest future, the WG on Legal Aid shall discuss the draft rules on the establishment of the Legal Aid Council as well as Internal Conduct Guidelines for the legal aid employees; Working Group on Statistics Working group on Statistic is aimed to support the development of a comprehensive crime statistics in Georgia. It comprises two tire of the membership: - Representatives from the relevant governmental agencies – policy making gorup; - IT expert group. The working group is currently working on several issues such as: - Assessment of the current situation in crime statistics; - Development of integrated case management system; - Organization of the Georgian Crime Survey; Ad Hoc Working Group of the Council Apart from four working groups, the Council has established ad hoc working group for the discussion of the Strategy/Action Plan in the areas of the criminal justice reform not covered by the existing Working Groups4. Namely: Criminal Procedural Legislation; Legislation on Administrative Offences; 4 The Minutes of the Ad Hoc Working Group is available in English and has been send out by the Secretariat to all Council members and other Working Group representatives; Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council Prosecution; Police; Judicial System; Legal Education and Professional Training; Public Defender. On 20th July, 2009, the Secretariat convened the ad hoc Working Group Meeting of the Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council. The aim of the Meeting was to enable Council members in detail discuss 2005 Strategy and respective action plans presented at the 3rd Session of the Council. In addition, the Meeting served as a forum to discuss Public Defender’s Draft Strategy. Meeting followed the Agenda presented by the Secretariat and has been attended by the members of the Council (apart from the Co-Chairs). At the end of a meeting, relevant amendment were made to the Strategy/Action Plan 2009 that lead to adoption of all parts of Strategy/Action Plan on the fourth session of Inter-Agency Coordination Council (27th July 2009). C. Secretariat of the Council The Criminal Justice Reform Inter-Agency Coordination Council is assisted by a Secretariat placed at the Ministry of Justice. The Secretariat comprises of the Secretary of the Council and National Coordinator. The Secretariat is the resource for all Council members. The Secretariat through the National Coordinator in general provides administrative and technical support to the Council, working groups and independent experts. The National Secretary of the Council is entrusted with coordination of the activities undertaken by the state institutions. For that reason, the responsibilities of the Secretariat include: Preparation of the agendas and issuing notices for meetings, and ensuring all necessary documents requiring discussion or comment are attached to the agenda. Scheduling meetings and notifying working group members; Invitation of the specialists to attend meetings when required by the Council; Taking notes of proceedings and preparing minutes of meeting; Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council Distributing the minutes to all working group and Council members after the meeting and be made available to all staff; Coordination of the Donor Support Activities; Apart from this, upon the Council’s Decision at its 4th Session on 27th July 2009, the Secretariat has been entrusted with the task of monitoring implementation of the respective action plans. It is also entrusted with the preparation of the activity reports that would be submitted before the Council for assessment. D. Monitoring Implementation of the Strategy/Action Plan 2009 Pursuant to the decision of the Council adopted at its 4th Session, management of the monitoring process is the obligation of the Secretariat. The Council has entrusted its Secretariat to monitor realization of the strategy and action plans on permanent basis. Activity reports prepared by the Secretariat would be submitted to the Council for proper analyzes and evaluation. In addition, the Secretariat has been advised to employ existing Working Groups as a forum for discussion of the activity reports and on-going challenges arising in context of the Strategy. Each institution engaged in the process (governmental agency and international/donor organization) has designated a contact point who will be responsible for providing details of activity reports in line with the implementation of the Action Plan to the Secretariat once every two months. At the beginning, contact points have been asked to submit reports with respect to summer activities 2009. From September, the contact points have been asked to present activity report on two-month basis. Secretariat shall prepare reports that would be publicly available5. A six-monthly progress report shall be submitted for discussion to the Inter-Agency Coordination Council. Since the monitoring phase requires proper evaluation of the implemented activities, the Secretariat has embarked upon the new process that aims to develop the information gathering process with the identification of the appropriate 5 The Ministry of Justice of Georgia is under construction of the new website that would include Criminal Justice Reform Component with all relevant information and documents enclosed; Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council indicators6. As a first step, it would include implementation of a common information fact sheet for all actors involved in the reform process; As a next step, the Secretariat aims to propose development of indicators that would serve as an evaluation tool for the Council. IV. Participation of Civil Society and Donor Community Considering uniqueness of this opportunity and importance of creating a participatory process, Council as well as four Working Groups/Ad Hoc Working Group served as a forum open to all relevant stakeholders, international/donor organizations and non-governmental organization; thus, enabling engagement of all interested parties in the process (for example Georgian Bar Association, etc). Council itself considers that the civil society and donor community participation in the process ensures transparent and effective implementation of the criminal justice reform in Georgia. Therefore, from the beginning it was decided that Inter-Agency Coordination Council should have a participatory character with the direct involvement of the international community, civil sector and relevant experts as invited members in the Council. For that reason, initial letters of invitation were sent to wide range of non-governmental organizations active in the relevant fields of criminal justice reform, as well as to donor organizations. Those that responded and proposed a representative were included among the list invited by the Presidential Decree No. 591 to participate in the activities of criminal justice reform7. Secretariat acknowledges that the current criminal justice process is unable to fully cover all interested parties and encompass such target groups as regional NGOs or representatives of the civil society who potentially can be involved in program/projects covered by the Strategy and Action Plan. Therefore, the decision taken by the Council has entrusted the Secretariat to 6 Secretariat is being assisted by EC Funded/Human Dynamics led project (expert); The draft reporting document has been prepared and shared for comments with the contact points; 7 Only one organization has refused direct participation in the Council due to lack of sufficient resources on spot, while the other institution has kindly asked to be included in Working Groups without having the formal representative at the Council although they are invited and present at all Council meeting. Secretariat does not name those institutions in this report as no proper authorization has been taken from the respective organization to be named in this paragraph; Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council prepare presentation of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy to the community as well as organization on yearly basis in a form of a conference aimed to discuss ongoing implementation of the Strategy and Action Plan. Respectively: - Presentation of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy has been organized on the 5th of August 2009 for the wide spectrum of audience including government institutions/agencies, donor/international community/organizations, diplomatic community and non-governmental sector8; - Preparation of the one day round-table/ conference in mid January 2010 for discussion of the one year report with the public audience; Significant part of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy rests upon the coordinated efforts of the relevant institutions/agencies and donor community. Therefore, the Secretariat in parallel to all other respective activities is actively engaged in the development of donor coordination mechanism. For Donor Community, presentation of the reform programs has been held at Bazaleti Donor Conference on 18th of February 2009, with the follow up Donor Conference to be held on 25th of September 2009 in Tbilisi, Georgia. This is a new initiative taken on board by such a government institution as the Council and its respective Secretariat. Currently, donor community have been asked like all other participants of the process to submit activity report once in two months that would allow the Secretariat to trace all the ongoing activities. Although, the Secretariat acknowledges that this is only part of the proposed activities and a more structured approach/rules of engagement is required. Therefore, the Secretariat with the support of international expertise is planning to develop a comprehensive donor coordination mechanism that would go beyond monthly donor round table meetings9. V. Information on the Developments in Respective Sphere of the Strategy/Action Plans 8 Minutes of the Meeting are publicly available; Notably, the comment made by the various representatives during the Launch of the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy in relation to Strategy and Action Plan has been taken on board by the Secretariat and Council – including respective amendments into the Strategy and Action Plan; 9 EC Funded/Human Dynamics run project; Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council This part of the report refers to those activities that have been implemented/realized by government institution, donor/international community and NGOs by summer 2009. Therefore, it sets a notable background for the activity reports to be presented in relation to the implementation of the Action Plans. The Criminal Justice Council is particularly thankful to the following donor/international organizations and diplomatic community that have supported various projects in respective strategic directive: - European Commission - Council of Europe - UNICEF - UNDP - US Embassy - Netherlands Embassy - US Department of Justice - ABA/CEELI Particular appreciation also goes to the work and support done by NORLAG and PRI. The Activity Report for summer 2009 to be prepared by the Council’s Secretariat in the nearest future shall include detailed information regarding the activities briefly summarized below along with the detail information regarding the projects/programmes funded and/or lead by the international/donor organizations and NGO community. A. Developments in Penal System Draft Code on Imprisonment The elaboration of the various parts of the new draft Code on Imprisonment fell under the authority of the Working Group on Penitentiary. The Draft Code provides some of the innovations in the penal system. In particular: - The Draft Code deals with the procedure of lodging complaint by prisoners. According to the article 99 of the said draft Code, every prisoner, individually or collectively as well as family members or relatives of a prisoner have the right to Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council lodge a complaint against any violation of the right of prisoner by the employees of the respective penitentiary facility. - Under the draft Code, the complaints on torture, inhuman and degrading treatment are deemed as a special case and have to be reviewed immediately. The guarantees of confidentiality of the complaint are envisaged. - To further safeguard procedural rights of prisoner disciplinary proceedings within the penitentiary institution gave been drafted in line with international standards. According to the Code it is possible to appeal disciplinary sanctions in the common court. - the draft Code also consider the possibility of short term leave from a semi-open custodial establishment, twice a year for a prisoner. Juveniles, pregnant women and women with children under the age of 3 may enjoy the right of short leave three times per year. The short leave should not last more than 5 days. - The Draft Code on Imprisonment introduces parole boards/commission for Conditional release. Members of the Board shall be persons with the relevant education and professional experience. The Board reviews applications and its decisions on rejection of the parole, or substitution of the punishment can be once appealed to the court The Draft Code has been submitted to the Parliament of Georgia in summer 2009 for the hearings. At the same time, the Secretariat of the Council has submitted the Draft to the CoE for expertise. The decision taken by the Council and the Government of Georgia has been to wait for the CoE expertise and only aftermath to continue with the hearing at the Parliament of Georgia. This is due to the fact that the substantial amendments/changes to the draft proposals take place during the second Parliamentary hearing. Therefore, it has been regarded important to consider all comments/suggestions made by the CoE experts prior to 2nd hearing. Healthcare System at the Penitentiary Institutions A new department of Healthcare has been created at the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance. The said department provides improved management of medical services. Moreover the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance elaborated general plan for the development of healthcare system at the penitentiary institutions. According to the general plan the reform of the healthcare system aims at integration of civil and penitentiary Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council healthcare systems; improvement of the healthcare service in penitentiary facilities; bringing healthcare system in compliance with international medical standards. To achieve this goals public healthcare strategy will be elaborated. In the general plan the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance identified the following priority areas: - development of penitentiary healthcare in line with plan of development of national healthcare system; - raising qualification of medical personal; - elaboration of specific guidelines and standards and establishment of system of quality control; - rehabilitation of healthcare facilities; - Development of IT system. B. Designation of the Public Defender of Georgia as a National Preventive Mechanism under OPCAT The Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (hereinafter OPCAT) entered in force in respect of Georgia in August 2005. Since that time Georgia took specific steps in order to fulfill requirements set forth in the OPCAT. In particular, the Government made a step forward for the creation of the national preventive mechanism (hereinafter NPM) that fully meets requirements envisaged by OPCAT as an independent and effective mechanism for the prevention of torture, inhuman and degrading treatment. According to the amendments dating July 2009, to the Organic Law on Public Defender of Georgia, the Public Defender’s Office has been designated as a National Preventive Mechanism. The amendments adopted envisage following components: - Designation and cooperation: PDO being officially designated as a NPM (article 31 (1)), being expressly obliged to cooperate with all relevant international human rights bodies/institutions in line with the NPM mandate and creation of the National Preventive Group (article 31 (3 )); - Provision of adequate resources for carrying out the mandate (article 31 (2)); PDG being in charge of the organization matters PDO has already organized one internal Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council meeting designated to the planning/management of the NPM related tasks by the PDO; - Unimpeded access to all places of detention, access to relevant information and right to conduct private interviews (article 19 (1) and (2)). - Confidentiality criteria: respect towards confidential/private data of a detainee (article 19 (3)). - Expertise and professionalism of the members of the National Preventive Group; (article 191 (2)). - Right to make recommendations and receive considered response, including the presentation of the NPM report before the Parliament of Georgia (article 21 (a)). - Necessary privileges for the members of the National Preventive Group: they have a right withhold giving testimony concerning the facts that were provided to them during the accomplishment of their functions; (article 191 (5) and (6)). It should be noted that the places of deprivation of liberty reflected in the Organic Law on “Public Defender” of Georgia, is broad as it includes all potential and actual places of deprivation of liberty (i.e. police stations, psychiatric institutions, homes for juveniles, penitentiary facilities, military barracks and etc). At the 4th Session, the Council has made decision to support the Office of the Public Defender of Georgia in acquiring funds for realization of the NPM related duties. The Letter addressing this issue has been send by the Chair of the Council to the Ministry of Finance. Accordingly, the Public Defender of Georgia unlike other state institutions whose budgetary allocation would decrease in 2010, not only shall retain the budgetary allocations it had in 2009 but also will have additional 131 000 GEL for the implementation of the NPM related activities. C. Juvenile Justice Sphere Educational Activities One of the main priorities of the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia is to ensure accessibility of the educational programmes in relation to convicted juveniles. Therefore, the Ministry of Education and Science has announced and carried out the competition for the Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council recruitment of teachers and appointment of a head of teacher’s group in order to ensure the fulfillment of this task. For that reason, special trainings were held for the selected teachers. The Ministry has carried out identification of basic necessary materials as for convicted juveniles as for teachers. Furthermore, the space/place for teaching has been already prepared and in parallel to this, meetings with the selected teachers and respectful employees of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance have been held. Furthermore, the special educational programme “Educational course on informational technologies for convicted juveniles” is provided to prisoners. According to this course the group of 10 people during 4 months will have possibility (September, October, November and December 2009) to learn basic elements of informational technologies under instructions of the qualified expert in line with elaborated plan. In case of successful finishing of the course, successful students will receive certificates. If students successfully overcome the course that meets international standards, they will have possibility to gain CISCO’s certificate that has international recognition. For that reason, the plan for the mentioned educational programme has been already drafted and 10 computers have been purchased for convicted juveniles. In parallel to this, the special educational programme was drafted for Woman and Juvenile Prison # 5. In current year approximately 5 convicted juveniles (girls) will have opportunity to learn basic subjects which are stipulated by the plan of national education. At the same time the educational course on informational technologies will be provided for them in compliance with the elaborated plan in duration of 4 months. And for that reason, 5 computers have been purchased for the implementation of this course. Civil Society Run Projects for the Juveniles - Project “Setting up computer classes” – proposed by charitable Center for Assistance and Development “Tanaziari”, targeting juvenile pre-trial prisoners and women probationers in Zugdidi. - Project “re-socialization of juvenile probationers through vocational training”, proposed by the Antiviolence Network of Georgia (AVNG), targeting juvenile probationers and aiming at providing vocational training, specifically teaching them Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council skills for working on enamel, as well as some psychological counseling. (Tbilisi probation bureau). - Project “enamel workshop” proposed by GCRT, aiming at the continuation of enamel vocational training course for convicted prisoners at the juvenile penal establishment in Tbilisi. - Project “New possibilities in a closed environment” proposed by Center for Democracy and Freedom, aiming at the computer training for convicted male prisoners at Geguti colony in western Georgia. - Project “social rehabilitation of young convicted women” proposed by Women in Business Association, proposing to provide vocational training for 176 young women prisoners up to the age of 35. - Project “developing professional skills for prisoners with addiction problems to facilitate their reintegration into the society after release” proposed by NGO PEONI targeting women prisoners with addiction problems and includes activities such as provision of vocational training to women prisoners (wool processing, weaving, etc.), psychotherapy, assistance to the reintegration into the society, reduction of harm related to excessive free time in the prison setting. - Project “setting up a model library at Rustavi Prison #2”, proposed by Charity Foundation Zarebi. The project aims to set up a modern library at this facility, with regularly renewable book fund, and electronic library as well. It also envisions the training of prisoners to work as librarians. Juvenile Justice related Activities of the Community Prosecution Project Since March 2009, all prosecutors’ offices across Georgia have been running a separate element of the community prosecution project, namely, law lectures/classes at local schools. All schools in Georgia were regularly visited by prosecutors, who discussed various legal/crime matters with children in interactive and participatory dialogue; some prosecution offices went further in organizing out-of-school social events for children. The entire process was coordinated by and regularly reported to the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice. School visits were finalized in May 2009, just before the final exams and closure of the school season. These events were widely covered in central and local media. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council In May 2009, all seven regions covered by the community prosecution project have been subject to public opinion survey to uncover particular problems of crime and security perceptions, as well as attitudes towards prosecutors and the criminal justice system in general. Survey results were discussed at the meeting with regional prosecutors in August 2009. In August 2009, regional prosecutors from all seven Prosecutor’s Offices covered by the community prosecution project have been invited to discuss and plan activities for 2009. A detailed calendar of activities for all seven regions was elaborated and communicated to the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice. Activities started in September and the Analytical department is currently awaiting first reports about the calendar activities held. Training Components With respect to trainings of probation and penitentiary officers in juvenile justice, in cooperation with international community the following trainings were held: With the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNICEF and the OTP implemented a programme in which 270 Prosecutors from across Georgia received training in modern trends in Juvenile Justice, international standards and regulations in Juvenile Justice, Children’s Rights, and in basic elements of child psychology and development. The trainings were held in 2 locations in Georgia (Tbilisi and Kutaisi) and took place over several days in each location, targeting between 20-40 prosecutors in each individual training session. Throughout the reporting period, with the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, UNICEF continued support to the NGO Penal Reform International to provide rehabilitative and support services to juvenile probationers in three locations (Batumi, Kutaisi and Rustavi). In July/August with the support of the European Commission, training held for staff of # 5 Prison Regime for Women on rehabilitation work with juvenile detainees and creation of a child friendly environment within the prison. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council Moreover, within the context of the EC funded and supported programme on reform options for juveniles: Ongoing implementation of rehabilitation and reintegration activities for juvenile offenders in Avchala Colony, including on-the-job training and mentoring of reintegration coaches and other staff. June onwards: as part of the EC funded and supported programme on reform options for juveniles, ongoing procurement of supplies for educational and recreational activities for juveniles in # 5 Prison Regime for Women and Avchala Colony. D. Statistics, Integrated Case Management System and Crime Survey Analyzes of the Statistics In August 2009, the Analytical Department of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia has prepared an analytical report on crime statistics in Georgia. It is the first attempt from the Council’s side to address some of the challenges existing in crime statistics sphere in Georgia. Report depicts number of social, legal and institutional problems and the efforts taken by the relevant institution to address those matters in a coherent manner. Such as: - Definition of the crime statistics; - Collection of the crime statistics; - Analyzes and reporting of the crime statistics in Georgia; - And the Future Plans in relation to the crime statistics; In this regard particular attention is being paid to: - Develop integrated criminal case management system; - Hold pubic surveys of opinion about social causes and parameters of crime; Development of the Integrated Criminal Case Management System Objectives of the Integrated Criminal Case Management System are manifold, but can be distilled down to more basic concepts of a guiding nature, such as: - Fully electronic case file. - Reliability of data. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council - Simplicity and informational value. No duplication of efforts related to separate input into statistical or reporting templates should be necessary. - Effective means of strict data security, constant mirroring and two-stage backup, as well as authenticity of data through electronic signatures, should be put into effect. - Independence and responsibility. - Availability of analysis. Each “sector” should have at least limited access to such data and some tools for cross-sectoral analysis for internal purposes. - Policy analysis. An overarching and final objective of the system is to ensure that, starting 1 January 2010, the Ministry of Justice has effective tools to formulate well- informed, substantiated and viable criminal justice policy with the use of reliable, secure and all-inclusive electronic data. Georgian Crime Survey Similarly, the Crime Survey would serve its own objectives that are the following: To measure the level of victimization (impact of crime) among the population; To measure the level of public perceptions as to the short-term trends of crime and general attitude towards crime problems/law enforcement; To measure and approximate long-term trends of crime according to public perceptions; To measure real detection, reporting and case recovery rates; To provide a sound analysis for objective and informed criminal justice policy. E. Developments in Legal Aid Sphere Number of professional In January 2008 new list of the staff members of the Legal Aid Service was approved by the Director of the Service with the consent of the Minister of Justice. According to the document Legal Aid Service employed 160 persons out of which were 89 practicing lawyers and 23 legal advisors. In April 2008 number of the personnel was increased with 4 persons and envisaged additional legal advisors for the new consultation centers in Ozurgeti and Ambrolauri regions (the centers were open in May 2008); Furthermore amendments made to Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council the staff list in July 2008 increased number of the employees with 14 persons for Samtskhe- Javakheti Legal Aid Bureau and Akhalkalaki Consultation centers10. In addition to the growth of the number of permanent salaried personnel in 2009 Registry of Invited Public Lawyers was formed. Legal Aid Service contracted 123 private lawyers through the open competition to be appointed on criminal cases if contending parties apply for legal aid or there are several defendants in the criminal case and there is a risk that conflict of interest will arise or if a lawyer is required in a remote area and timely reaction is necessary. Contracted lawyers registered with the LAS gives the possibility to expand its outreach and reach more disadvantaged persons with criminal charges or victims of crime. Legal Aid Website The website of the legal aid service (www.legalaid.ge) was created as part of the grant provided by Open Society Georgia Foundation. The website contains information on Legal Aid Service, its regional offices, ongoing projects, improvements, conditions for getting free legal assistance etc. It further offers general public a possibility to get online consultation. Electronic versions of all the publications of the LAS - brochures and annual reports are also available on the web page. The web page became functional from the beginning of 2009. Number of Legal Aid Bureaus In May 2008 LAS has set up two Consultation Centers. The consultation center is the office established within the framework of the service that provides the free consultations on to the citizens any legal topic and assists them in composing various legal documents; in addition to that the centers manage the process of appointing contracted lawyers on criminal cases upon referrals of the citizens or Courts/Investigating agencies. The Centers are operational in Guria and Racha-Lechkhumi region. 10 Legal Aid Service was negotiating with the office of OSCE High Commissionaire on Human Rights about the issue of sponsoring the process of setting up two legal aid offices in Samtskhe-Javakheti region the process was hindered first with the Russian Georgian conflict in August 2008; as a result OSCE mission to Georgia ceased its operation in 2009. Opening of the two offices is planned in the course of 2009 with the financial support of the UNDP. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council The office premises for Legal Aid bureaus in Akhaltsikhe and Akhalkalaki have been searched and handed over to Legal Aid Service balance on basis of usufruct. Unified communication system/computer network The process of the introduction of the service and all its 12 offices into the Integrated Global Governmental Network (GGN) was finalized by the end of 2008. The VPN type computer network connects the offices with each other and is active in the whole territory of Georgia. The Integrated network Legal Aid simplified the process of exchange of digital data between the offices. Furthermore in order to create unified system of information gathering and generating statistics on the activities of the LAS, with the assistance from the Open Society- Georgia Foundation, the Legal Aid Service elaborated the case management computer software, which significantly simplified the lawyers’ activity and created the opportunity for the analysis of statistical data of within the legal aid system. Working on the software which was given a name “Case bank” was finalized in February 2009, after 2 months piloting of the software in 2 legal aid Bureaus it is being implemented in all the regional legal aid offices. Legal Aid Service is closely cooperating with UNDP, OSGF, ABA/CEELI and Human Dynamics Project “Capacity Building in support of Rule of Law in Georgia). F. Development in Probation Sphere Probation Service Infrastructure and Capacity Building In 2009, the Probation Service has opened 12 regional bureaus in Tbilisi, Imereti, Kakheti, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Raja-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Mtskheta-Mtaineti, Shida Kartli, Kvemo Kartli, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Guria and Adjara. The mentioned bureaus have been reconstructed and equipped with corresponding equipment and Internet. The net is centralized and finger prints of probationers in a region will be also reported parallel to the central net of Tbilisi. Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council The Probation Service has installed new soft program in the Probation Bureau of Tbilisi allowing insert of 10 000 cases in accordance with articles in the database. Additionally, finger prints gadgets were installed in bureau of Tbilisi and it became possible to insert finger prints of probationers. This process of modernization is continuing with particular emphasis being paid to the developments in regional bureaus. Human Resource Development Probation service pays particular attention to the development of the human resources. The standards for recruitment processes, job descriptions and staff capabilities and training modules are being designed. With assistance/cooperation of international community it was decided to establish the working group on the human resource management. From the initial stage it was agreed with the representatives of the Probation System that a working group for reviewing and drafting new system for human resource management for adoption is one of the urgent needs (with the participation of the representatives from UNICEF, NORLAG, PRI, Human Dynamics Project, etc). The working group will work towards elaboration and adoption of Internal Rules and Procedures for Human Resources Management. The established working group should deal with the following themes: The evaluation of the existing system with involvement of international and/ or domestic expert’s involvement; Elaboration of the internal strategy for staff recruitment referring to the conditions for staff selection based on a job analysis and corresponding requirements; Elaboration of job description for the staff of the probation service; Discussion and proposal for a system for staff evaluation and target based performance reporting Preparation of the code of conduct for probation officers. Training Component Probation Service with the active participation of the donor/international community is actively participating in the development of the comprehensive training system for probation officer that among other will specialize on: Secretariat of the Criminal Justice Reform Council - Training in specific fields of law, like the new Code on Imprisonment and Amendments in the Criminal Procedure Code, Criminal Code and Law on Execution of non-custodial punishment and probation - Stress management training; - Effective Communication Skills; - Human resource management trainings; - Basic Course of training for interns at the Probation Service; Particular attention is being paid to the development of the specific program for probation officers working with juveniles. In this respect, the Probation Service and the respective Training Center are closely cooperating with the UNICEF experts.
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