OSCE supports development of prison administration

BELGRADE -- The new draft strategy for development of the penal system in Serbia will be presented at a two-day event that opened in Belgrade on Tuesday.

Ways to improve the rights of persons deprived of liberty and introduce new prisoner aftercare services that will facilitate their reintegration into society and reduce overcrowding in prisons are the focus of the conference.

The gathering is organized by the OSCE Mission to Serbia in partnership with the Prison Administration of the Ministry of Justice and Public Administration.

The conference will also provide an opportunity for a public discussion on two new laws – the Law on Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions and the Law on Probation.

“The new strategy lays the foundation for the improving Serbia’s prison system in line with the OSCE commitments and supports the country’s own EU integration agenda,” said Paula Thiede, the acting head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the organization.

“The new Law on Enforcement of Criminal Sanctions introduces effective judicial oversight over enforcement of criminal sanctions, which is crucial in ensuring protection of prisoners’ rights.”

Thiede added that the Law on Probation for the first time regulates in detail the enforcement of alternative sentences and measures and introduces proper prisoner aftercare. “Adequate prison aftercare is a valuable asset in prevention of repeated acts of crime, thus helping ex-offenders to become law abiding citizens of Serbia.”

Participants of the two-day event include prison governors, members of the judiciary, representatives of independent institutions and civil society.