EU invests €4.8 million into improving penitentiary system in Serbia
The European Union and the Administration for the Enforcement of Penal Sanctions of the Ministry of Justice of Serbia have launched two projects with the aim to improve the living conditions in Serbian penitentiary facilities and bring them closer to the EU standards. Works on building sites in Nis and Krusevac have started, as planned on March 1, 2011.
The works entail the reconstruction of the security wall around the prison in Niš and building of completely new housing units in the only juvenile correctional facility in Serbia which is located in Kruševac. The overall value of the projects is €4.88 million which include construction works as well as supervision. The projects will enlarge existing prison capacities, as well as contribute to the improvement of the efficiency within the system of penal sanction in Serbia by offering better living conditions while bringing security measures to the higher level. The works are expected to be finalised within 12 to 15 months.
In its 2010 Progress Report for Serbia, the European Commission has identified that Serbia made little progress in reforming the prison system. In line with the EU standards, in order to be considered a democracy, a society must consider and respect human rights of all its citizens, including those serving their sentences in correctional institutions.
Therefore, the funds invested in the two projects in Niš and Kruševac are directly assisting both, prisoners through a concrete action that would make a difference in their daily lives, as well as increasing the security and working conditions of the staff.
These two projects are yet another example which shows determination of the EU to offer all necessary assistance and, through concrete actions, give support for the most crucial reforms in Serbia which are needed for further progress in the European integration process..