In 2021, the parliament adopted the Criminal and the Criminal Procedure Codes, which will enter into force from July 1, 2022. The third important draft is the RA Penitentiary Code, which will replenish the complete package of the criminal justice chain reforms.
On May 19, the at the RA NA extraordinary sitting the draft RA Penitentiary Code was debated. The Code in force was adopted in 2004, after which numerous changes took place in the society, in the international practice and in the assumed obligations and in the legal concepts. Thus, a necessity emerged to have a new Penitentiary Code, by the existing contradictions will be overcome, providing innovative approaches.
As the RA Deputy Minister of Justice Arpine Sargsyan has presented, the new Code is built on a logic that the individualized work should be done with every convict. The innovation is that after entering the penitentiary an individual plan of serving sentence will be made for every convict in the quarantine division, and in fact, it will be reviewed with six-month regularity. In this aspect predictability will be applied, and targeted measures will be taken. The three zones – low, average and high – will replace the kinds of correctional institutions, taking into consideration the convicts’ risk and need assessment. Mild and strict regime serving sentence will also be established.
In response to the questions of the deputies Sergey Bagratyan, Lilit Stepanyan, Heriknaz Tigranyan, Zaruhi Batoyan, the Deputy Minister of Justice gave clarifications on the convicts’ medical aid and service, the regulations of the services aimed at preserving the convicts’ health.
Informing that there is no minor convict, Arpine Sargsyan has noted that special rehabilitation conditions for the minors’ serving sentence by the draft new code. It is distinctly designed that special attitude should be shown towards the minors, taking into consideration the age peculiarities and the social-psychological problems.
In his co-report the Chair of the Standing Committee on State and Legal Affairs Vladimir Vardanyan informed that the convicts are provided with quality food in the penitentiaries. Highlighting the strategic and conceptual amendments presented by the new Code, he noted that certain working discussions are designed with the participation of the concerned representatives of the sphere. And during the period from the first to the second reading necessary amendments will be made for having more modern penitentiary system. Vladimir Vardanyan called on his colleagues to endorse the draft.