GDEP project opening conference, conceptual design of new prison publicly presented

12-05-2022 12:00

The General Directorate Execution of Penalties held an opening conference for the projects “Enhancing the capacity of the prison staff, building a pilot prison facility connected to a training centre and improving the rehabilitation of prisoners” (PDP2) and “Strengthening the application of alternative measures to imprisonment” (PDP3) of the Justice Programme, Programme Area 19 “Correctional Services and Pre-trial Detention” of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014 - 2021.  

The conference, which took place on 12 May 2022 at the Vitosha Park Hotel, was attended by the Head of the Programme Operator and Secretary General of the Ministry of Justice Desislava Gaydarova, GDEP Chief Commissioner Ivaylo Yordanov, representatives of the project partners: the Åna Prison and Agder Probation Service, the University College of Norwegian Correctional Service (KRUS) and Half Way House Sulholmen, representatives of the National Coordination Unit, heads of penitentiary institutions, etc.  

In her address to the guests, the head of the PO Mrs. Gaydarova thanked for the financial support of the Kingdom of Norway and pointed out that through the Justice Programme of the NFM key projects are being implemented concerning the material and technical base of places of deprivation of liberty and places of detention. She recalled that the NFM contributes to the implementation of a number of European framework decisions, agreements and recommendations related to respect for human rights. As an example, she referred to the project for the construction of a training centre for staff and the construction of a new pilot prison in the village of Samoranovo, near Dupnitsa, identifying it as a priority for the MoJ and the GDEP.

Presentation of the design of the new prison, training center and half way house was made by the architect of the project Bozhidar Hinkov. Such a facility has not been built in Bulgaria in the last 50 years, and the idea is not to deprive convicts of anything more than freedom, he said.

The conference provided information on the objectives and progress of the projects so far. Presentations were presented by:

Ole Stageberg from Correctional Service of Norway Staff Academy (KRUS), who spoke about dynamic security, Prof. Nelly Petrova, who is the national expert for PDP2 activity 5.1, analysed the risk assessment tool for prisoners. Dr. Valentina Karaganova, national external expert on PDP2 Activity 2.2, presented the assessment and analysis of the needs of prisoners with a focus on vulnerable groups, Dr. Nikolay Nikolov, national expert on PDP2 Activity 2.2, gave an analysis of training needs, including an overview of training programmes and follow-up, and Prof. Petya Shopov, national external expert on PDP3 Activity 1.3, spoke about the importance of professional standards for probation officers when implementing probation measures.