President calls for stepping up prison system reform

Foto: DELFI / Rafael Achmedov

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė on Monday called for stepping up reforms in the country's prison system after meeting with Elvinas Jankevičius, a candidate for justice minister.

"To get rid of the practice of non-transparent public procurement and alleged corrupt links, we need to step up the started reforms and ensure transparent and purposeful use of funds in the penitentiary system," Rasa Svetikaitė, presidential advisor on legal affairs, told journalists on Monday.

In her words, the decision on Jankevičius' appointment will be made soon.

The prison system in Lithuania is undergoing structural changes after then an employee of Kaunas Interrogation Isolator disclosed violations at the facility last spring, which led to the resignation of Prison Department's director Živilė Mikenaitė.

After the same employee reported new violations in Kaunas last summer, it sparked inspections at other penitentiary institutions.

Modernization of correctional facilities should also be stepped up, Svetikaitė underlined, adding that only sparse maintenance work has been done, with no fundamental changes seen over the last decade.

The meeting with Jankevičius also touched up the need to make activities of bailiffs more transparent.

"Now people with even small debts get trapped over bailiffs' fees which sometimes exceed the original debt several times," the presidential adviser said.

Source: BNS
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