Experts exchange experience with Norwegian partners on building of half-way houses in prisons

30-11-2021 16:55

Deputy Minister of Justice Maria Pavlova paid a working visit to Norway from November 22-26 this year. The delegation led by her also included the Director General of the General Directorate Execution of Sentences, Chief Commissioner Ivaylo Yordanov, the head of the prison in Burgas senior commissioner Branimir Mangarov, commissioner Nina Glavchovska - head of the Regional Service for the Execution of Sentences -Sofia, as well as other experts from the General Directorate of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice.

The visit is part of the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism /NFM/ 2014-2021, headed by Deputy Minister Pavlova.

During the working meetings the cooperation between the Ministry of Justice, respectively the Directorate General for the Execution of Sentences and the Kingdom of Norway was discussed. Among the topics of the bilateral talks were the study of practices related to the building of prisons and strengthening the exchange of experience. The Bulgarian delegation had the opportunity to visit Ona Prison, which is a partner of the GDES project on NFM "Ensuring a safe and secure material environment in prisons and detention centers", Mandal Prison - one of the newest penitentiaries in Norway, and the Solholmen Transition Unit.

The project of GDES "Ensuring a safe and secure material environment in prisons and detention centers" envisages in the "Hebros", "Samoranovo" and "Stroitel" prison hostels, respectively to the prisons in Plovdiv, Bobov Dol and Burgas, to have separated transitional wards, the so-called “half way house”. The aim is to introduce a new social integration concept for the preparation of prisoners for adaptation and inclusion in society after their release. The project also includes improving the material conditions in the Plovdiv prison building, a new arrest and probation service in Petrich, a new arrest in Samoranovo, a new prison hostel at Vratsa Prison, and the already opened Training Center at Pazardzhik Prison.