27 July 2021
On 1 April and 14 May 2021, discharging the NPM tasks, the Protector of Citizens team led by Ms. Nataša Tanjević PhD, the Deputy Protector of Citizens, has made a visit to the Penal-Correctional Institution (PCI) for Women in Požarevac in order to monitor the implementation of the United Nations Rules for the Treatment of Women Prisoners and Non-custodial Measures for Women Offenders (the Bangkok rules). The Report with recommendations was issued to the authorities with a view to rectifying the identified shortcomings and improving the acting towards the women prisoners.
The PCI for Women and the Administration for the Enforcement of Penal Sanctions have acted upon all recommendations of the Protector of Citizens i.e. they have taken the measures to act upon them. In following the recommendations, the visits of a neuropsychiatrist to the Institution were provided more often and a proposal has been submitted to the Administration to provide for the job position of a psychiatrist for a permanent period. The new job classification envisages four new job posts for treatment officers employment. Furthermore, the Institution regulated the searches of children via in-house procedures, ensuring competence, professionalism and sensitivity and respect for their dignity during searches. The convicts were enabled to make contacts with family members even during the enforcement of solitary confinement disciplinary measure. Also, the Institution’s in-house procedures specify that children visitors are to leave the premises where the visit took place before the convict they visited, as the ending of the visit may be particularly difficult for children and parents, while seeing a parent leave upon the prison officer’s orders can make this even harder for children.
The PCI took measures to enable pregnant mothers, nursing mothers and women convicts with children to participate in the work and other activities tailored to their needs and possibilities and suggested to the Administration to extend the job classification with a kindergarten teacher job position, in order to create conditions for caring for children in the absence of immediate maternal care.
The PCI also notified the Protector of Citizens that through observing the NPM’s visit, getting acquainted with the Report on the visit and working on rectifying the identified shortcomings and improving the process of enforcing penal sanctions against women, the employees have had the opportunity to grasp the functioning of the Institution from an external, neutral, impartial and expert side which they deemed beneficial and necessary to be realized in the future.