Goals and objectives: In order to ensure transparency and public supervision over the penitentiary institutions, the Ministry of Justice established the Public Committee ensuring the public control over the Penitentiary System in Azerbaijan in 2006.
Implementation: The Committee is composed of prominent human rights defenders and NGO members and is appointed for a five-year term. The composition of the committee is formed by the Election Commission of Ministry on the basis of proposals and the programs presented by the human rights organizations that are eager to take part in the work of Committee.
The new approach in paroling the convicts has the following features:
- Transparency and openness in the justice sector;
- Raising legal awareness of prisoners;
- Improving conditions of prisoners;
- Improving conditions of penitentiary establishments.
Having special passes issued by the Minister of Justice, the members of the Committee carry out systematic visits and enjoy free access to any penitentiary institution without a preliminary notification.
With view to modernization of penitentiary system and its infrastructure, the Public Committee pays much attention to the improvement of detention conditions of prisoners, medical care and other services, as well as to the correction process of prisoners.
As a result of visits the Committee presents its reports and recommendations to the Ministry of Justice to take necessary measures to improve the conditions and also informs the general public.
Among other duties, the members of the Committee participate in media conferences, “open door days” held by the Ministry of Justice, meetings of the Ministry board, examinations regarding recruitment to the justice bodies (tests and interviews) and deliver lectures at the Justice Academy.
Achievements: the Committee has rendered legal aid to approximately 1600 prisoners on different matters, held educative events (different trainings, seminars and etc.) in places of deprivation of liberty, enriched library funds of penitentiary establishments with legal and art literature, closely participated in execution of amnesty and pardon acts.
Replication: The solution can be replicated in the countries with similar penitentiary systems, in particular, the countries that inherited the old Soviet penitentiary approach.
Address: Baku, Azerbaijan
The Ministry of Justice
Phone: (+994 12) 510 10 01