Contributor(s)Human Rights Center (HRIDC)

The penitentiary system

According to the new prison code which came into force in May 2014, prisoners are to be sent to one of four different establishment types according to security risks: low, semi-open, closed and special. Depending on this classification, prisoners have different rights including access to education, conjugal visits, phone calls etc.

There are 15 prison facilities in the country. 12 are located in East Georgia, while four are located in West Georgia.

Prison N6 and N16 reopened in 2016 after being renovated. The Public Defender of Georgia, has for years, called on the relevant bodies to close the N7 prison due to unbearable conditions and improper infrastructure. This has not yet happened.

The Public Defender of Georgia has expressed concerns about the hostile relationship between prison staff and prisoners. Education and qualifications for prison staff are said to be inadequate. Ill-treatment, a lack of response to complaints, a lack of knowledge of prisoners’ rights, and inadequate services, create a tense environment.

Hunger strikes and self-harm are frequent. Security is not up to international standards. Processes for documenting injuries suffered in the facility are also flawed.

Prisoner harassment by prison staff was one of the main subjects of complaint addressed to the Human Rights Centre in 2015 from Batumi N3 prison.