Today, the Ministry of Justice of Albania launched the Action Plan on the Development of the Prison System, developed in partnership with the Council of Europe and sponsored by the British Embassy in Tirana. This action plan aims to improve conditions in the prison system of Albania, in line with Council of Europe standards, notably the European Prison Rules.
The Minister of Justice, Etilda Gjonaj, stated that the reform of the penitentiary system represents an important element of the overall criminal justice reform in the country, which is a priority for the Ministry of Justice and the Government of Albania. The Head of the Council of Europe Office in Tirana, Jutta Gützkow, highlighted that the drafting process took place in a very inclusive manner, with representatives of Albanian institutions, academia and NGOs, leading to an increased inter-agency cooperation which was necessary for a successful implementation of the action plan.
The Council of Europe will support the implementation of the Action Plan through a new project under the second phase of the European Union/Council of Europe Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Turkey, which will focus on developing and piloting rehabilitation programmes for prisoners, enhancing effective provision of healthcare in prisons, supporting further development of the management structures, and ensuring sustainable induction and continuous training for all categories of prison staffs.