Armenian government launches prison reforms, approves new penitentiary code




YEREVAN, MAY 13, ARMENPRESS. The Cabinet approved the new draft Penitentiary Code of Armenia.

Justice Minister Karen Andreasyan said the draft is an entirely new code.

“The last time a draft like this was adopted was in 2004, meaning the current law is almost 20 years old and requires modernization. The current law still has some regulations from Soviet times, and this new code will change it,” he said.

One of the changes envisaged in the new code is introducing the new designations of prisons. Previously the security levels of prisons were classified as follows: open, semi-open, semi-closed, closed, and medical divisions, whereas now there will be three types of security levels of prisons – low, medium and high.

Another change refers to the Hospital of Convicts, which is currently designated as a separate prison.

The new law will adjust the medical facility to the three security levels accordingly.

A new system will be introduced to prevent self-harm and suicide among inmates.