Special Penitentiary Service Follows Public Defender’s Proposal relating to Improper Protection of Convict’s Legal Interests
Based on the substantiated proposal of the Public Defender, the inspection carried out in the Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service revealed the improper performance of duties by an employee of the penitentiary system and failure to comply with the requirements established by legislation of Georgia in the process of considering the commutation of the unserved part of convict T.B’s sentence. As a result, a disciplinary penalty was imposed on the employee of the Special Penitentiary Service.
The Public Defender’s Office thoroughly studied the case of convict T.B. and revealed that the administration of the penitentiary institution had not completely forwarded the personal case of the convicted person to the first local council of the Special Penitentiary Service. The files lacked important documents and information, which might have had a significant and decisive impact on the decision taken by the Council. As a result, the prisoner was refused commutation.
It is known to the public that various incentive mechanisms are applied in the penitentiary system, however, one of the most important of them is the parole/commutation mechanism. This mechanism is a kind of condition and hope for the prisoner that positive change in his behavior and aspiration towards resocialization will not go unnoticed and will be responded. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure that this mechanism functions properly and fully. The Public Defender’s Office, within its mandate, tries to be actively involved in strengthening this mechanism and eliminating gaps in legislation and practice, so that positive changes in the behavior of prisoners are motivated and encouraged.
Regarding the violation detected in this case, the Public Defender addressed the Minister of Justice of Georgia with a proposal to ensure appropriate legal response to the violation of the prisoner's legal interests. It is welcome that the proposal was taken into account by the Ministry of Justice/Monitoring Department of the Special Penitentiary Service.
The Public Defender’s Office will continue to actively monitor the effective functioning of the parole/commutation mechanism.