The first penitentiary forum of Tajikistan took place in Dushanbe on 20 November 2019.
The forum is organized by the initiative of the Main Directorate for the Execution of the Criminal Sentences of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Penal Reform International (PRI) within the support of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Tajikistan, the British Embassy in the Republic of Tajikistan, the OSCE Programme Office in Dushanbe, UNODC and OHCHR.
“A study of the best practices of Central Asian countries shows that it is necessary to reduce the number of people who are serving sentences in closed institutions in the Republic of Tajikistan. Thus, it is necessary to use alternative measures not related to the deprivation of liberty by creating a probation service. This will allow those who have committed less serious crimes to compensate the society and the victims without serving their sentences in closed institutions”, said Mansurjon Umarov, Deputy Minister, Head of the Main Directorate for the Execution of Criminal Sentences of the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Tajikistan (right).
The probation service has been operating in Kazakhstan for four years, and since 2018 it has been implemented in Uzbekistan and has been introduced in Kyrgyzstan since the beginning of this year.
“Penal Reform International, in the framework of the ongoing projects in Tajikistan, launched rehabilitation programmes in women and children colonies, which provided psychological and social support to offenders. Technical support was also provided to the working group on amendments to the Criminal Executive Code of the Republic of Tajikistan, as well as training of prison system staff and the creation of a new rehabilitation center in the children’s colony. Today is a historic moment in Tajikistan – the country launched a large-scale prison reform. In subsequent years alternative measures will appear, including electronic bracelets and 4 stages of probation”, said Azamat Shambilov, PRI’s Regional Director for Central Asia (right).
The forum is attended by about 150 representatives of state bodies of the Republic of Tajikistan, public and international organisations, as well as experts from Norway, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.
The forum participants analysed the current situation in the prison system of Tajikistan and acquainted themselves with international practice. Recommendations will be developed during the event on the establishment of a probation institution and the application of alternative measures not related to the deprivation of liberty, the prevention of radicalization in closed institutions and the work with prisoners for crimes of a terrorist nature and extremist orientation, as well as the re-socialization and reintegration of prisoners into society.