Natisni vsebino

Prisoners May Be Asked to Contribute Towards Accommodation

07.03.2014 12:33
Category: work and news

Dob, 7 March (STA) - The ministry plans to propose legislation to make prisoners partly pay for their accommodation while doing time, as part of a complete overhaul of the prison system, Justice Minister Senko Pličanič told the press on Friday.

Initially, the charge would fall upon the prisoners who are serving their sentence only on weekends but otherwise work full-time during the week.

The scheme would save the state between EUR 50,000 and EUR 70,000 annually. This is not much but "we need to start somewhere," Pličanič said after a visit to Dob, Slovenia's biggest prison.

Director of the Dob prison Jože Podržaj said he did not oppose the idea, but warned that the state should implement contributions only for premium services, while the basic accommodation services should stay free of charge.

Prison Administration head Dušan Valentinčič pointed out that the measures were being considered especially because of the privileges that the weekend prisoners are currently enjoying: the inmates who are not getting paid for their work in prison are actually already pitching in for their share.

Human rights ombudsman Vlasta Nussdorfer on the other hand called for a thorough consideration of the measures before implementing them.

In a press release following Pličanič's statement, she urged the authorities to look at experience from other countries as well as take into account opinions provided by the home experts.

Otherwise, Nussdorfer expressed support for including all prisoners into work processes "because it has a positive effect not only on their rehabilitation but also enables them to raise funds to repay the damaged caused by their offences".

Pličanič also said that workshops which are operating as part of the Dob facilities had improved their performance by 30% since they switched to a foreign operator recently.

However he did not wish to comment on the fact that a total of 25 prisoners and 12 employees had not received their salaries for several months.

Podržaj said these problems were a consequence of previous management decisions and that the Dob administration is doing all they can to resolve the situation.

Nussdorfer also pointed to her proposal to implement alternative ways of serving sentences which would not only reduce expenses of prisoners' accommodation but also decrease the need to expand prison facilities in the country.

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