Proposal to the Minister of Corrections Regarding a Draft Decree
The Public Defender of Georgia addressed the Minister of Corrections of Georgia with a proposal regarding a draft decree “On approval of provisions of types of convicts’ risks, risk-assessment criteria, rules of risk identification and risk reassessment, also rules and conditions of transferring of a convict to similar or other type of institution of deprivation of liberty, as well as composition and authority of a multidisciplinary group”.
The Public Defender of Georgia welcomes the above initiative and unambiguously assesses introduction of the system of convict risk-assessment and their periodic reassessment as a step forward. Another issue that is to be welcomed is reaffirmation with the decree of the right to appeal against decisions made by a multidisciplinary group on identification of a risk type or/and a head of the department on transfer of a convict.
Despite the above-mentioned progress, in the view of the Public Defender, certain norms of the draft decree are vague and have legislative drawbacks. With this respect, we should especially mention the annex 2 of the draft decree that defines criteria of identification of assessment of risk types. The Public Defender believes that the above criteria are vague and insufficient that creates danger of their different interpretation and incorrect application in practice. Namely, the criteria formulated in the annex 2 create impression that when assessing risks based on them attention will be explicitly paid to graveness of punishment.
It is to be noted that a group of primary data elaboration and a multidisciplinary group that are envisaged by the draft decree do not include a medical doctor. In the view of the Public Defender, when transferring a convict from one establishment to another it is important to take into account state of his/her health.
Additionally, the draft decree does not envisage possibility of transfer of a convict from one establishment to another on the basis of his/her application. According to the Public Defender, the above-mentioned right is affirmed by the current legislation of various European countries.
The Public Defender believes that when defining risks rights should be explained to a convict in advance. For example, a convict should be informed in advance about criteria of assessment of risk types. Also, they should be informed in advance about their right to appeal against decisions made by a multidisciplinary group on identification of a risk type or/and a head of the department on transfer of a convict. Also, it is important to draw up an appropriate act on realization of the above procedures that will be signed by a convict. The aforementioned is a guarantee for a convict to effectively realize his/her rights and determines higher standards of protection of human rights.
According to the Public Defender, the proposed draft decree envisages provisions that create possibility for unjustified delay in the risk assessment procedure.
Therefore, the Public Defender of Georgia addresses the Minister of Corrections of Georgia with a proposal to rectify shortcomings of the draft decree in order to bring it in line with international standards of human rights and expresses readiness to actively participate in the work process.