The talks focused on the longstanding concerns of the Committee regarding the treatment of patients in forensic psychiatry, currently held in Shënkoll Prison in Lezha and the Prison Hospital in Tirana. The delegation was particularly keen to learn about the steps being taken to implement the CPT’s recommendations in this regard, as set out in its report on the 2023 visit. During the talks, other matters of concern such as the detention conditions in certain prisons and the living conditions in residential social care homes were also raised by the delegation.
The talks were an occasion for the Minister of Justice, Ulsi Manja, and the Minister of Health, Albana Koçiu, to announce their firm intention to engage in an enhanced cooperation in the area of forensic psychiatry, which includes the transfer of the responsibility of care and treatment for forensic patients from the Ministry of Justice to the Ministry of Health. In this context, the CPT delegation was also informed about the relocation of female patients from Tirana Prison Hospital to Shkodra Psychiatric Hospital in the near future.
The President of the CPT, Alan Mitchell, supported the measures announced by the Albanian authorities and very much welcomed the open atmosphere and constructive spirit in which talks were held.
The delegation also held an exchange with ambassador Silvio Gonzato, Head of the European Union delegation in Albania.
The CPT delegation was led by Alan Mitchell (President of the CPT) and included Hans Wolff (1st Vice President of the CPT), Karin Rowhani-Wimmer (member of the Committee), and Marco Leidekker of the CPT’s Secretariat.