The Republic of Moldova should take determined action to eradicate informal prisoner hierarchies in prisons, which expose inmates to intimidation and inter-prisoner violence, says the Council of Europe anti-torture committee (CPT) in a report published today.
The CPT visited the country from 5 to 11 June 2018 to assess progress made in implementing the CPT’s previous recommendations concerning the situation in prisons, in particular the persistent problem of informal prison structures and related problems as well as the conditions of detention of adult male prisoners.
The central and local authorities met by the CPT’s delegation acknowledged that the system of informal prisoner hierarchies still existed. The delegation noted that attempts were made in the establishments visited, with varying degrees of success, to address this deep-rooted problem.
At Goian Prison for Juveniles in particular genuine efforts were being undertaken to develop positive relationships between staff and juveniles and to ensure that no prisoner was in a position to exercise power over other inmates. However, the visit brought to light that, at Chișinău and Soroca Prisons, the root causes of the problem were far from being addressed and that these establishments still largely failed to provide for the most basic requirement of prisoners: a safe environment. Acts of inter-prisoner violence, intimidation and exploitation continued to prevail, which were a direct result of the existence of informal power structures among inmates.