The Secretariat of the Pompidou Group visited the Republic of Moldova on 20-21 April to discuss with national authorities ongoing and future cooperation activities. At a meeting the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, Mr Sergiu Litvinenco, endorsed positively the work of the Pompidou Group saying that ‘The support offered to penitentiary institutions, the training of their staff, as well as the assistance offered to detainees with substance use disorder are very valuable for the entire penitentiary system. We continue to count on your support and hope that together we will succeed in improving the situation in prisons’.
The Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group, Denis Huber, also held meetings with the Chair of the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliament and the newly appointed State Secretary in charge of prisons. During the visit the Pompidou Group presented, at the presence of the State Secretary responsible for penitentiaries and senior staff of the National Administration of Penitentiaries, a joint study carried out with the Yale University addressing the role of criminal subculture on access to medication assisted treatment in Moldovan prisons, identifying what could be practically done to mitigate this influence. On the occasion of the visit, the official launch of the recently developed e-learning module on Opioid Agonist Treatment (OAT) to be used for training of medical staff working in the Penitentiary System took place. Furthermore, the Secretariat visited the first Therapeutic Community ‘Catharsis’ which was set up in 2017 with the assistance of the Pompidou Group and which represents one of the milestones of joint cooperation. Since its creation it has helped several generations of TC residents to successfully complete the therapeutic programme and reintegrate into society, so far without a single recorded recidivism case.
For its part, the Secretariat presented results of 10 years of cooperation within the Criminal Justice and Prison Project and assured its partners to stand ready further supporting the Republic of Moldova to prosperously implement projects upholding the human rights of people who are incarcerated.