New modern prison dormitory opened in Vratsa

04-04-2024 15:25

Three prison hostels, three half way houses, two detention facilities, a probation service and a training centre. These are the main results of the project "Ensuring a safe and secure material environment in prisons and detention facilities", which the General Directorate for Execution of Punishments (GDEP) is implementing under the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (NFM) 2014-2021. The activities were reported today at a closing conference in Vratsa, the event coinciding with the opening of the new open-type dormitory at the prison in the city. 

The prison facility in Vratsa has a capacity for up to 180 inmates. After reconstruction, the dormitories have bathrooms and a modern kitchen block. For the inmates there is a meeting room, a shop in the outdoor area, sports grounds. For the supervisory and administrative staff, working quarters are provided that meet European requirements and standards. The funds for the reconstruction and renovation of the new buildings in Vratsa amounted to BGN 1 million 627 thousand.

The conference was attended by the Deputy Minister of Justice Georgi Nikolov, the Director General of GDEP Chief Commissioner Ivaylo Yordanov, project partners from the Kingdom of Norway and others. On behalf of the Ministry of Justice, Deputy Minister Nikolov thanked the Norwegian colleagues for the good cooperation and shared experience, through which Bulgaria has been able to respond to the challenges and international commitments regarding the conditions in detention facilities. 

By the end of the month, the other main sites of this project, which is financed by the NFM with a total of BGN 12 849 803, should be completed. These include the renovated "Hebros" dormitories at Plovdiv prison (capacity up to 130 prisoners) and "Stroitel" at Burgas prison (capacity 80 prisoners). In Plovdiv, in Burgas and in the dormitory "Samoranovo" of the prison in Bobov Dol, half way houses, are being built, which will introduce a new social integration concept for the preparation of prisoners and their adaptation before their integration back into society. A new detention and probation service is to be opened in Petrich, and new detention facilities will be built in Samoranovo. In Pazardzhik, a training centre has been in operation for three years, where various vocational courses are held. 

MoJ and GDEP's most ambitious project, the new jail and training center in Samoranovo, is expected to open at the end of April.