Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   20 April

New correctional department boss vows to tackle corruption risks

YEREVAN, APRIL 6, ARMENPRESS. Reducing prison overcrowding and improvement of incarceration conditions have always been among the priorities of the correctional service.

ARMENPRESS spoke with Raphael Hovhannisyan, director of the correctional department of the ministry of justice on the department’s activities, the overcrowding of the Nubarashen prison, as well as the “Prison social hierarchy” problem among convicted criminals.

Hovhannisyan was appointed to office in January by President Serzh Sargsyan.

Speaking on the priorities of the department, the correctional chief mentioned medical service for prisoners, incarceration conditions, food supply, security, as well elimination of corruption risks.

The overcrowding problem of Nubarashen prison was widely discussed in 2017, but Hovhannisyan says as a result of large scale work the issue has been solved, with 787 convicts serving their sentences in the facility as of March 29.

Asked about the “hierarchy” phenomena among the prisoners and how the department is tackling the problem, Hovhannisyan said officers exercise lawful administrative disciplinary actions, as well as relocation of prisoners to higher degree security prisons, if such cases are detected.

The correctional department is fully supervising the situation in prisons and is carrying out actions to prevent any manifestations of the phenomena.

The full interview with Mr. Hovhannisyan is available in Armenian.

English –translator/editor: Stepan Kocharyan

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