Updated on: 1 April 2020
In all prisons, meetings with family members have been cancelled.
In order to maintain family contacts, 64 computers have been deployed in all institutions for Skype communication. On average, 45 video calls are completed per day (in a population of 5400 prisoners).
Prison staff are aware of the responsibility, mission and the risk. It is to be welcomed that in this difficult situation, but also in other situations such as the earthquake, prison staff have been highly mobilized and ready to respond to their duties without any complain.
There have not been any days of unjustified absences at work.
No breach of security rules and procedures has been registered.
Transportation difficulties have been created and this has been overcome so far by collaborating with the employees themselves.
In the framework of measures to prevent the spread of COVID 19 inspections were carried out every day in all IEPDs.
All IEPDs report on daily basis (twice a day on 8:00 am and 4:00PM) on the measures and the general situation .
GDP, also reports on daily basis to the Ministry of Justice and the Prime Minister and to the GDPR Task Force there is intense communication on whatsapp and email between members of the TASK Force of the GDP.
The GDP has adopted a checklist (see under attachments), which is at the disposal of the inspection staff but also of the directorates themselves from time to time for self-audit.
Immediate measures have been taken for the equipment with protective means such as (masks, gloves, disinfectants, detergents, soaps, thermometer, etc.) of all employees who enter the regime of residence of convicts. It is estimated that on average every day 3,000 security personnel, basic and intermediate level, social workers, medical workers and other maintenance workers, cooking services, etc. are introduced into the living space.
Measures were taken to place protective and hygienic means at all IEPDs at entry points and implementation of health protocol.
At all duty shifts, security personnel and others are subject to health control, temperature measurement, interviewing, disinfection, and protective equipment. As to 01.04.2020 data no symptoms associated with COVID-19 have been identified in prisoners, pre-trial detainees and prison staff.
The health staff has been assigned as the main structural body for the situation management. COVID-19 prevention protocols are applied daily, along with disinfections.
Chronic patients and the elderly prisoners are kept under constant control.
The staff was also kept under control, where they were checked during the assignment. Employees who have been identified with fever and who have had contact with returnees have been left at home and in co-operation with the family doctor and 127 have been examined without problems.
Prisoners and pre-trial detainees have been informed of restrictive measures and have generally agreed to this situation without any reaction. It is understandable that their ability to adapt to constraints is higher than that of free people, as they are already isolated and only a few other constraints such as visits, lack of group activities, etc. have been added.
The level of complaints and requests has been low. There is a general concern but no panic. Mitigation measures such as skype communication have eased the tension of missing meetings.
For any further questions regarding the procedures in the state of emergency taken by the General Directorate of Prisons of Albania please contact the following:
General Directorate of Prisons of Albania
Supported by the Justice Programme of the European Union