Giorgi Tugushi presented the first report to the President of Georgia

The Minister of Corrections and Legal Assistance, Giorgi Tugushi presented the first report to the President of Georgia regarding the existing situation in the prisons of Georgia. The new Minister familiarized the President with the current conditions of the penitentiary system, and the changes he is planning to make. The Head of State discussed with him alternative punishment opportunities, which means replacing punishments of the convicts with other types of punishment.

According to Giorgi Tugushi, there is absolute peace in every prison of the country and a lot of things have changed despite the harsh deadlines.

“A report by the Ombudsman was published today which proves this. Several hundred prisoners, surveyed in every prison of Georgia, say that they don’t remember the last time they were treated like that. It was also mentioned that during the recent times nobody has even harassed them verbally, not to mention physical abuse. We will maximally try to keep this standard” – stated Giorgi Tugushi while addressing Mikheil Saakashvili.

As the President noted, the attention must be focused on the social rehabilitation of prisoners. According to him, the most important thing is for the person leaving prison not be a threat to society anymore.

“I have been observing the situation in recent days and as I can see, the situation has mostly reached the state of order everywhere. The families and relatives of the prisoners who are free are also important to me. It’s a good thing that they are no longer afraid but we need constant monitoring now. On the other hand, we cannot weaken security because prison doors will open and everybody will come out of there. I agree with the conception regarding depopulation. We are already on this road. If it is possible for a person not to be in prison because of the crimes that person committed then we should not arrest that person under any circumstances. We have to make this very clear. On one hand we should secure the society but on the other hand we must not have a counter effect. In the end, this is a long term decision in terms of their rehabilitation. This is why we should work on adopting alternative punishments in the cases when it is possible. Humanization of the system is also a huge meter of this system. However, we should not allow organized crime to try to influence things in prisons. We should approach this issue with utmost responsibility. We have to achieve this and the entire state must be alert in this sense. This is a decisive thing. Shortcomings can be discovered in any system, but one should not allow it to get out of hand so that it reaches some kind of a disaster. We reacted in a manner that many European states would not. So I would like to thank you for accepting this position. You have big experience and we have complete trust in you and the first steps have proven to be effective. We will closely review every new initiative and just like other systems, we will change this system fundamentally. The implemented reforms were beneficial but changes must happen in fundamental issues. This is the most important thing now” – stated the President of Georgia. 

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