After two visits of the National Preventive Mechanism to the Penal-Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica and after submitting the report and recommendations to the competent authorities, the Administration for the Enforcement of Penal Sanctions informed the NPM in its response that it had drafted instructions or protocols with standard operating procedures related to the functioning of health services in the institutions, that include the report forms on the application of coercive measures and a body chart for recording injuries, as their integral part. The instructions shall be distributed to all institutes as soon as possible.
The NPM expects that the introduction of these forms will solve the long-standing problem of inadequate reports drawn up by health care services in institutions when implementing coercive measures.
The Penal-Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica will also employ 24 new members of the Security Service, which will, to some extent, alleviate the chronic shortage of members of that Service. This shortcoming was also noted in the previous report, which stated that there were only two commanders in every shift per 125 persons deprived of their liberty in the admissions department.
In its report on the visits to the Penal-Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica, conducted in February and April of 2019, the NPM stated that during its first, unannounced visit, team members checked the use of video surveillance, enforcement of coercive measures and conditions in the admissions department, since during the previous visits, certain problems were recorded regarding these issues. The second visit was announced and focused solely on checking whether the persons who spoke to the NPM representatives during the first visit suffered some consequences and it was determined that they did not.
The cooperation of the management and the employees of the Penal-Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica during both visits was good and the representatives of the NPM team were allowed to fully exercise their competence.
During the first visit, the NPM also visited the animal shelter, since a unique project called „Accept for a new life“ is being implemented at the Penal-Correctional Facility in Sremska Mitrovica. This penal-correctional facility is one of three in Europe to carry out a program of re-socialization of convicts with the help of dogs, and is the only one to have a shelter for stray dogs.
The reports of the Security Service on the enforcement of coercive measures and the internal procedure for accessing and isolating video surveillance footage were assessed by the NPM in its report as examples of good practice. However, it was also found that the measures taken after the 2017 visit did not sufficiently and systematically contribute to a lasting solution to the problem of overcrowding in the admissions department.