New centre and former prisoners
By Messenger Staff
Wednesday, June 8The Ministry of Justice of Georgia has opened a new office of the Crime Prevention Centre, the facility that will support former prisoners by allowing them to receive free legal consultations, psychologists’ and social workers’ service, training programmes to get jobs, as well as gain grants for business ideas.
The office, which was located on Tsereteli Avenua, quite near to Tbilisi central districts, has been divided into various halls in order to provide comfortable service to former prisoners with similar or different needs.
The Former Prisoners’ Rehabilitation and Re-Socialisation Program, which was named as a major focus for the new facility, was initiated by Georgia’s Minister of Justice Thea Tsulukiani in 2012 with the aim of providing a range of support programmes to former prisoners to prevent them from committing further offences.
In 2013-2015 1,6 21 former prisoners in total enjoyed the services offered within the program.
In particular-403 former inmates were provided with necessary legal consolations; 235 former prisoners were given psychological assistance; 203 former prisoners were helped to find jobs; 205 beneficiaries were retained in their professions; 232 beneficiaries were ensured with free transport cards, and 42 business ideas of 43 beneficiaries were financed within the Ministry of Justice Grant Competition.
In previous years, Georgia took leading positions in Europe with its number of inmates. Through the large scaled amnesty that was initiated by the current Government of Georgia in 2013 hundreds of prisoners left prisons or benefited from eased sentences.
As unemployment is still a major problem in Georgia, the risk remains that some former prisoners might re-offend, despite the fact that sentences are harsher for pardoned convicts.
Georgia must somehow decrease the number of unemployed, as unemployment often causes an increase in the crime rate.