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NGOs propose amendments for female prisoners

By Messenger Staff
Tuesday, December 1
Several of Georgia’s leading Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are asking for some changes to Georgia’s Criminal Code to provide better conditions for pregnant female prisoners, those with certain disabilities, and those with children under seven years of age.

The NGOs claim that the women can be sentenced to community service rather sending them to prison, as per the current Criminal Code.

The NGOs, Georgia’s Young Lawyers’ Association and Transparency International Georgia among them, claim that the women want and are capable to do various jobs outside prison walls.

They also stress that bringing amendments to the legislation will not cause any serious financial expense and will make the current Georgian Criminal Code more European in style.

It should be stressed that community service is widely used in developed countries as an alternative and more effective and productive type of punishment.

Georgia’s Ministry of Corrections also plans to use the method with regards to juvenile convicts.

It will be a welcome solution based on various benefits.

Firstly, the greater the number of prisoners, the greater the burden on the state budget.

Secondly, when one is offered an alternative method of punishment (such as community service), he/she is not far from his family and if she is a mother, she has a chance to care for and have a relationship with her child, both of which would be impossible behind bars.

If one is sentenced to community service she will have fewer problems, or will have no problems at all, with the community. The Government also pays money for re-integration programmes for former prisoners; there will be no need for such expenses if one has been sentenced to community service rather than prison.

Of course, the relevant bodies should guarantee good administration over the process.

All in all, the proposal is rather positive, as it offers a more humane type punishment that should be in the interests of the convicts themselves, the state and the public.