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Frontpage News 2013 Modernising the Lithuanian correctional services

Lithuanian prison.Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy Vilnius
Photo: Tomas Griskevicius

Modernising the Lithuanian correctional services

Lithuanian prisons are facing several challenges, such as overcrowding and pervasive violence. The Norway Grants help the country address this.

The issue of Lithuanian prison conditions is being addressed through the programme for Correctional Services, including Non-Custodial sanctions. At the launch of the programme, the Lithuanian  Minister of Justice, Juozas Bernatonis, noted that the programme gives Lithuania a unique opportunity to adapt the experience of the Norwegian correctional system, which he regards as one of the most progressive in the world, to its local conditions.   

Several measures

Around €7.7 million has been allocated to the Lithuanian programme for Correctional Services, including Non-custodial Sanctions. The programme has a comprehensive approach and supports a wide range of measures, including the following:

  • Building and rehabilitating detention facilities for 200 inmates in line with international standards. This includes replacing dormitory accommodation with cells 
  • Increase the use of alternatives to prison, including electronic monitoring of prisoners on probation. Two hundred and sixty inmates will participate in this project
  • Training about 700 prison staff
  • Establishing four open prisons

The programme also pays special attention to vulnerable groups in Lithuanian prisons and other correctional facilities. The training programmes for inmates will be improved. This will contribute to making it easier for them to return to society after they have served their sentences. A particular focus is given to juvenile delinquents.

Cooperation

The programme, which was launched earlier this month, includes a strong cooperation component and has been prepared in close contact with Norwegian Correctional Services. Several projects will be implemented with Norwegian partners.

The justice sector is among the core priorities of the Norway Grants in Lithuania 2009-2014 and receives a total allocation of €19 million. In addition to correctional services, the Norway Grants also support reforms related to the Schengen Agreement, efforts to combat organised crime and measures to improve the efficiency of Lithuanian courts