“Improving conditions in detention facilities and prisons makes it possible to work with people who have broken the law so that when they get out, they do not break it again. I will not tire of repeating that every dollar invested, every effort that is made for an arrest, prison or probation service affects mostly people who are on the outside. They are the ones who will be protected.”
This was stated today by Minister of Justice Krum Zarkov in Petrich at the start of the construction works on the reconstruction of an existing building, which within 400 calendar days should become a modern detention and a new probation service. With the construction of the new structure in Petrich, the total number of arrests in the penal enforcement system will become 27. Separately, the Ministry of Justice has taken action to provide half of the land it owns to the municipality free of charge, to further improve the urban environment.
The investment project for Petrich envisages a major renovation and reconstruction of all existing premises, construction of sanitary facilities in the separate sleeping quarters (cells), a meeting room, a room for sessions with a psychologist, a medical room, administrative premises for the supervisory and administrative staff, and a carriage for outdoor stay. The capacity of the detention centre is up to 40 detainees.
The funds for the reconstruction of the building are a grant within the Justice Programme under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 /NFM/ and amount to BGN 1 million 416 thousand. The facility is part of the project “Ensuring safe and secure conditions in prisons and places of detention”, which also includes infrastructure facilities. It is envisaged that the prison hostels “Hebros”, “Samoranovo” and “Stroitel”, respectively attached to the prisons in Plovdiv, Bobov Dol and Burgas, will be equipped with transitional wards /half-way houses/. Last week, the construction of a new detention facility and the modernization of the prison hostel in Samoranovo started under the same project.
The event was also attended by the Director General of the Execution of Punishments General Directorate, Chief Commissioner Ivaylo Yordanov, the project manager Commissioner Nina Glavchovska, the Blagoevgrad Regional Governor Nikolay Shushkov, representatives of the Municipality of Petrich and the contractor of the site. Vicar General Economos Father Pavel blessed the event with holy water.