Improved Living Conditions for Juvenile Girls in Detention
Tbilisi, 26 October 2009. With joint efforts by the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia, UNICEF and EU, a separate room for underage girls has been refurbished and equipped with the necessary furniture and items in the Tbilisi Prison N5 for Women and Juveniles.
A special learning room for juvenile girls has also been established in the institution where they can get education and spend free time. The room has been equipped with computers and the necessary learning items.
Until now convicted underage girls served their term together with adults in the Tbilisi Prison N5, which contradicts international standards.
Arranging a special living space and learning rooms for girls in the women and juvenile prison has become possible within the framework of the EU and UNICEF supported two-year project which assists the Georgian Government in the reform of the penitentiary and probation system.
The project started in March 2009 and is a part of the ongoing reform in the juvenile justice system aimed to facilitate rehabilitation of children in conflict with the law and their re-integration into the society. The reform should ensure non-criminalization of children, existence of prevention programmes, alternative schemes, clearly defined system of conditional sentencing. It should also make sure that the staff working with juveniles is trained appropriately.
Apart from Prison N5 for Women and Juveniles the project is also implemented in Avchala Educational Institution for Convicted Juveniles where the learning rooms are being refurbished and equipped and vocational trainings are being introduced.
It is planned to improve education programmes for children in detention facilities so that they have appropriate environment for learning and development; sports activities will be organized, life skills programmes introduced; legal and individual psycho-social assistance provided.
Within the framework of the project the staff working with juveniles has been trained in both institutions. In November it is planned to train the staff of the probation services on juvenile justice issues. Within the project special rooms will be opened in Tbilisi, Rustavi, Kutaisi and Batumi probation centres for juvenile probationers where various rehabilitation programmes will be carried out.
The so-called “restorative gesture” for probationers will also commence in November. The objective of the programme is to prevent crimes through making juveniles understand the impact of their crime and assume responsibility for it.
Within the framework of the project computer and English language courses for probationers are already underway in the Penitentiary and Probation Training Centre.