The prisons in Azerbaijan live in a transitional period, the member of the House of Lords of Great Britain Baroness Vivien Stern told a Press Conference on October 5, Trend reports.
She stressed that Azerbaijan is the member of the Council of Europe and has accepted all its terms. The Baroness came to the conclusion that there are soviet systems still in place in Azerbaijan such as the prisons which were considered homes for prisoners. According to the European system, the prison should be a rehabilitation for prisoners. The Baroness stated that the prisons in the former Soviet countries need to change not only their attitude towards the prisoners, but also the world view of the observers should be altered radically. This process is happening in Azerbaijan, Stern stated.
According to the Baroness, another problem is the employment of prisoners. She stressed that this problem belongs not only to Azerbaijan, but all countries of the region. The Baroness touched upon the health in the prisons. She said that she had met with the Ministers of Justice and Health on October 5 and discussed the problems of SPID and tuberculosis.
Touching upon the subject of suicides, the Baroness emphasized that these indicators are higher in Great Britain as compared with Azerbaijan. There are 78,000 prisoners in Great Britain. Nearly 100 suicide cases have been prevented. It is related to the issue that there are many mental patients amongst the prisoners who should be treated in the hospitals, the Baroness said.
The Baroness added that prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment in Azerbaijan differed to the systems which exist in Great Britain. In Azerbaijan, they are kept in one location which is Gobustan prison. But in Great Britain, they are held in all the prisons.
Speaking about the differences between the penal systems of Azerbaijan and Great Britain, the Director of Edinburgh Prison David Croft who participated in the press conference said that generally 2 prisoners are kept in one cell in Great Britain, but in Azerbaijan the numbers to one cell is more. In Great Britain the Government ensures the employment of prisoners. In addition, the conditions for those who are kept in insulators do not differ from other prisons. Speaking about the positive properties of the penal system of Azerbaijan, Croft stressed that in Azerbaijan the prisoners are presented with the opportunity to meet with their families and the level of illegal drugs use in Azerbaijan is lower than in Great Britain.
The Deputy Director of the Fund named after John Smite Johanna Lamb who arrived in Azerbaijan with the delegation discussed the program of the Fund. She invited Azerbaijanis under 25-35 years old to co-operate with the organization. She added that 3 people from Azerbaijan pass 5-week courses in Great Britain who may get information about the values of the British democracy. This year only 1 person will be invited to Great Britain within the program of Smite Fund and this candidate should work relating to security of roads.