Head of Mission visits pre-trial prison

May 28, 2015

To obtain a first-hand account on the conditions of detained persons in prison facilities, the Head of Mission of the EU Advisory Mission Ukraine ‪EUAM‬, Kálmán Mizsei, recently visited the pre-trial prison (SIZO) in Kyiv. He was accompanied by Mykola Iltiay, Deputy Head of the Penitentiary Service of Ukraine.

Many challenges were raised in a meeting with senior prison staff, including Olexandr Vasiuk, Director of SIZO, such as how to manage the prison, its budget and how to deal with recruitment issues. During the visit, Mr. Mizsei took also time to meet with prisoners on remand, juvenile prisoners and life inmates. He received personal reflections from the inmates how they cope with the conditions in the detention facility.

Mr. Mizsei expressed the missions’ support in this field of work: “Our experts are already invited to participate in the legislative process in the sphere of prison issues. They will be part of working groups to advise and thus eventually improve several important penitentiary laws, such as for instance the Law ‘On Improvement of Detention Conditions of Prisoners’.” He added: “Changing the approach and practices between the penitentiary system and prisoners is complex and it needs our long-term deep engagement that we are willing to provide. Some of the reforms will, admittingly, also require physical investments.”