Natisni vsebino

Slovenia's Prisons Still Overcrowded

08.12.2011 14:30
Category: work and news

The Human Rights Ombudsman dr. Zdenka Cebasek Travnik expressed on Thursday concern about Slovenia's overcrowded prisons and the living conditions in these facilities, as she presented the annual report on implementation of the UN's Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

The Ombudsman's Office forms a national prevention mechanism against torture alongside NGOs legal info centre PIC, the Red Cross and Primus institute that provides legal assistance.

The report and recommendations are based on 44 mostly unannounced visits to facilities housing people deprived of freedom, said Deputy Ombudsman Ivan Selih.

Although there is room for improvement at all institutions, most irregularities were recorded in prisons, which are overcrowded.

"In the summer, we pointed to temperatures that were too high, and we keep pointing out that those prisoners who want to work have no access to work," Cebasek Travnik said.

Compared to previous years the situation in the prisons visited had not changed significantly, and two thirds of them were overcrowded. There were also some issues with beds, inappropriate lights and airing. But the residents mostly did not complain over the staff.

The prevention mechanism group is more satisfied with the situation in closed psychiatric wards, as no major irregularities were recorded there. The report however says that the premises felt cold and lifeless, the same observation was made for retirement homes.

No major irregularities were uncovered in centre for immigrants and at police stations either. "We encourage family members not to visit at the same hour every time if they want to be sure their loved ones are treated well," said Cebasek Travnik.

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