Law on Imprisonment (1999, amended 2002)

Amendments as of July 4, 2002 included

Law of Georgia on Imprisonment


Part One

General Part

Chapter I

General Provisions

Article 1. Scope of application

1. This Law governs relations connected with execution of imprisonment as a measure of sentence, determines the system and structure of imprisonment sentence execution, defines principles and rules of execution, provides for guarantees of social and legal protection.

2. Georgian legislation on imprisonment consists of this Law, and other laws and bylaws of Georgia.

3. Legislation on imprisonment is coherent with the Georgian Constitution and universally recognised principles and norms of international law.

Article 2. Decisions subject to execution under this Law

Execution procedures prescribed by this Law shall apply to a court sentencing decision, order, resolution and an order of a judge.

Penitentiary System

Article 3. Penitentiary bodies

The following are penitentiary bodies:

    a) Penitentiary Department;

    b) Penitentiary institutions.

Article 4. Penitentiary Department

1. Penitentiary Department (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Department’) is a penitentiary body which is under subordination of the Ministry of Justice of Georgia (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Ministry of Justice’) as a state department unit.

2. The Department is head by a Chairman who can be appointed and dismissed by Minister of Justice of Georgia (hereinafter referred to as ‘the Minister of Justice’).

3. The Statute and financial report of the Department shall be approved by the Minister of Justice.

4. Financial report of the Department shall form part of an overall financial report of the Ministry of Justice.

5. [removed – 04.07.2002]

Article 5. Accountability of the Department

The Department is accountable before the Minister of Justice. Chairman of the Department shall submit an activity report to the Minister of Justice at least twice a year.

Article 6. Penitentiary institutions

1. Imprisonment imposed by a court sentencing decision shall be executed by penitentiary institutions of the Ministry of Justice.

2. At the application of Chairman of the Department, Minister of Justice establishes and shuts down penitentiary institutions on the territory of Georgia.

3. The following types of penitentiary institutions operate on the territory of Georgia:

    a) Regular regime institutions;

    b) Strict regime institutions;

    c) Prison;

4. A convict aged under 18 who has been sentenced to imprisonment shall be sent to a minors’ education institution.

5. At the application of Chairman of the Department, Minister of Justice approves a Statute and Internal Regulations of a penitentiary institution.

Article 7. Director of a penitentiary institution

A penitentiary institution is headed by a Director who can be appointed and dismissed by the Minister of Justice.

Article 8. Protection of penitentiary institutions and convicts

1. Protection of penitentiary institutions and convicts is ensured by a Special Guard Service. Minister of Justice approves the Statute of the security service.

2. Tasks and internal regulations of the Special Guard Service are determined in this Law and other normative acts.

3. When so required, Chairman of the Department may create enforced security groups at the Department or a penitentiary institution to perform extraordinary tasks. Terms and conditions for the creation of enforced groups shall be determined by the Minister of Justice at the application of Chairman of the Department.

4. In accordance with established rules, a penitentiary institution administration may employ audio, visual, electronic or other technical control facilities to prevent commission of a crime or other violation of law and to obtain necessary information on the convicts’ behaviour. A penitentiary institution administration must warn the convicts in advance of the use of aforementioned protective and control measures.

Article 9. Inquiry and investigation of crimes committed in a penitentiary institution

1. Crimes committed in a penitentiary institution shall be inquired and investigated in accordance with rules established in the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia. Inquiries shall be carried out by a Security Service of the Penitentiary Department.

2. In accordance with rules prescribed by applicable legislation of Georgia, investigation shall be carried out in penitentiary institutions for the following purposes: to secure safety of the personnel, convicts and other persons; to reveal and fully investigate crimes committed in penitentiary institutions; to prevent violation of rules relating to serving a sentence and eliminate crimes at a preparatory stage; to search for convicts in accordance with established rules who have fled from a penitentiary institution; to co-operate with other appropriate bodies within their competence in order to reveal and fully investigate crimes committed by convicts before being brought to a penitentiary institution. Investigation shall be carried out by a Security Service of the Penitentiary Department in accordance with rules established by law.

3. Statute of the Service shall be approved by the Minister of Justice.

Article 10. Supervision of serving a sentence

Supervision of serving a sentence shall be exercised by the Prosecutor’s Office.

Chapter III

Staff of Penitentiary Institutions; Protection, social guarantees and responsibility of penitentiary institution staff members

Article 11. Penitentiary institution personnel

1. Staff members of a penitentiary institution (hereinafter referred to as ‘staff members’) are public servants.

2. List of staff members shall be approved by the Minister of Justice.

21. At the application of Chairman of the Department, the Minister of Justice appoints and dismisses staff members of penitentiary institutions.

22. The Minister may vest the Chairman of the Department with the power to appoint and dismiss certain categories of staff members.

3. Staff members shall be tested in accordance with rules established in the Law on Public Service, unless otherwise prescribed by applicable legislation.

4. Terms and conditions of test shall be determined by the Minister of Justice.

Article 12. Legal status of staff members

1. When discharging official duties, a staff member shall be regarded as a representative of official authorities and his/her lawful requests relating to execution of imprisonment sentence shall be obeyed.

2. Failure to obey with a lawful request of a staff member shall give rise to a responsibility under law.

3. Damage inflicted by a staff member in the course of performing official duties shall be reimbursed by the State in accordance with established rules.

4 . In exercising official duties, staff members are authorised to carry and use firearms and other special facilities. Rule of carrying and use of firearms and special facilities are determined by law.

Article 13. Work time and salary

Work and leisure time as well as salary of a staff member are determined in accordance with rules prescribed by legislation.

Article 14. Official uniform

1. While discharging official duties, staff members shall wear official uniforms.

2. Style and attributes of official uniforms are approved by President of Georgia.

Article 15. Pension security

Staff members and their family members are entitled to pension in accordance with rules established in the Law on Pension Security of Persons Retired from Military and Ministry of Interior Services and Their Family Members.

Article 16. Vacation

1. Every staff member is entitled to a 30-calendar day vacation per year.

2. Depending on the length of years in service, staff members are given a vacation pursuant to established rules.

Article 17. Social guarantees

1.Staff members are subject to state insurance.

2.Staff members are entitled to social guarantees awarded to police members according to Law on Police of Georgia.

Part Two

Execution and service of an imprisonment sentence

Chapter IV

Execution of an imprisonment sentence

Article 18. Place of serving a sentence

Convicts who have been sentenced to imprisonment, as a rule, shall serve the sentence in penitentiary institutions located on the territory of Georgia.

Article 19. Determination of a regime for execution and service of a sentence

Regime of execution and service of a sentence shall be determined by a court.

Article 20. Sending a convict who has been sentenced to imprisonment to serve his/her sentence

1. A convict who has been sentenced to imprisonment shall be sent to serve his/her sentence within 10 days of receipt of by the prison administration of a copy of the court decision.

2. Rules and procedures of bringing a convict to a penitentiary institution are determined by the Minister of Justice.

3. A convict may be left in a prison for domestic work by an order of a director of a penitentiary institution.

Article 21. Procedure of receipt of a convict in a penitentiary institution

1. Procedure of receipt of a convict in a penitentiary institution is determined in this Law and other bylaws.

2. A penitentiary institution administration shall immediately notify the sentencing court and the family of the convict of the receipt of the convict to the penitentiary institution.

3. The convict shall be informed in written of his/her rights and rules of treatment by staff members, rules of receiving information and filing appeals, disciplinary and other requirements.

Article 22. Separation of convicts

1.In a penitentiary institution, the following persons shall be accommodated separately:

    a) women;

    b) minors;

    c) convicts who have been sentenced for the first time;

    d) convicts who have been sentenced to life imprisonment.

2. In a medical unit of a penitentiary institution, convicts suffering from HIV virus or other uncontrolled inflectional disease shall be kept separately.

3. The Minister of Justice, with the consent of the Minister of Health may establish other rules of separate accommodation. 

Article 23. Serving a sentence

1. Convicts sentenced to imprisonment shall, as a rule, serve their sentence in a penitentiary institution determined by the court.

2. A convict may be transferred to another penitentiary institution of the same regime if his/her keeping in the former one is impossible for special circumstances.

3. Rules and procedure of transfer of a convict are determined by an order of Director of the Department.

Chapter V

Rules and procedure of execution of imprisonment sentences

Article 24. Regime of a penitentiary institution

1. A regime of a penitentiary institution (hereinafter referred to as ‘a regime’) shall facilitate the correction of convicts.

2. A regime is mainly based on the following:

    a) isolation of convicts;

    b) constant supervision over convicts;

    c) control over compliance by convicts with obligations imposed on them;

    d) protection of rights and lawful interests of convicts;

    e) ensuring safety of convicts and staff members;

    f) separation of convicts in accordance with rules established by law;

    g) transfer of convict to another regime when so required by law;

    h) making benefits prescribed by law available to convicts.

3. Conditions of life in penitentiary institutions are determined in internal regulations of penitentiary institutions.

4. Convicts and places of their accommodation may be checked to ensure compliance with internal regulations in penitentiary institutions.

5. Administration of a penitentiary institution may check garments and belongings of persons entering and leaving the penitentiary institution.

6. Statute of a penitentiary institution determines objects and belongings that convicts are entitled to have. Money or other precious objects shall be bereft and shall remain with the penitentiary institution’s administration for storage. Money and other precious objects shall be bereft by an order of director of the institution.

Article 25. Change of regime conditions of a convict

1. Taking account of a convict’s behaviour and attitude to work, his/her regime conditions may be changed either in the same institution or by transferring him/her to an institution of a different regime.

2. Change of regime conditions in the same institution may be effected with an order of director of the institution.

3. Transfer of a convict to a penitentiary institution of different regime may be effected pursuant to rules prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Code.

Chapter VI

Rights and obligations of a convict

Article 26. Rights of a convict

1. A convict is entitled to:

    a) be provided with:

    a. living space, food, garments and safety of work;

    b. medical aid and service;

    c .unlimited access to a lawyer;

    d. the ability to have telephone conversations under the control of administration to the extent prescribed by law as well as correspondence;

    e. the ability to send and receive parcels, packages and money subject to control by the administration.

    b) Appeal against unlawful actions of the penitentiary institution’s administration, staff members, the Department or other governmental agencies;

    c) Receive general, vocational or highest education; take social adaptation training courses; receive required advice;

    d) Participate in cultural, educational or religious events; use appropriate facilities and literature;

    e) Be involved in individual activities and have appropriate instruments subject to control by the administration;

    f) Request the administration of the institution to ensure his/her safety.

2. Administration of a penitentiary institution shall not delay or check an application of a convict sent to the court, Department, lawyer or prosecutor.

Article 27. Obligations of a convict

1. A convict shall:

    a) observe internal regulations of the penitentiary institution and comply with lawful request of the administration;

    b) observe personal hygiene and keep his/her garments, bed and living space in a clean and orderly manner;

    c) work at a job offered by administration in accordance with conditions prescribed in internal regulations of the penitentiary institution.

2. In certain regimes, the administration may impose other obligations on a convict. It is prohibited to request a convict to comply with an obligation that makes the regime conditions stricter or infringes upon his/her honour and dignity.

Chapter VII

Application of disciplinary and educational measures to convicts

Article 28. Educational measures

Administration of a penitentiary institution employs appropriate educational, correctional and social programs and encourages convicts’ initiations to facilitate socially positive activity of convicts following their release.

Article 29. Stimulating convicts for good behaviour and honest attitude to work

1. Administration may stimulate a convict for good behaviour and honest attitude to work. Rules relating to use of stimulating measures are defined in internal regulations of the penitentiary institution.

2. The following are stimulating measures:

    a) Note of appreciation;

    b) Cancellation of a disciplinary measure before due;

    c) Additional short or long tem rendezvous;

    d) Transfer from a strict regime separate cell to a regular one by an order of director of the institution;

    e) Mediation for releasing the convict before due.

Article 30. Application of disciplinary measures to convicts

1. Violation of internal regulations of the penitentiary institution by a convict shall entail disciplinary responsibility unless elements of crime are present in his/her action.

2. Disciplinary measures may be applied by a director and a deputy director of a penitentiary institution.

3. Not more than one disciplinary measure can be imposed for the same disciplinary violation.

4. The administration shall explain to the convict which of his/her actions constitutes a disciplinary violation and why; the convict shall submit an explanatory letter to the administration.

5. Decision on applying a disciplinary measure shall be included in the convict’s personal file.

6. The following are types of disciplinary measures:

    a) Warning;

    b) Reprimand;

    c) Prohibition of short or long rendezvous;

    d) Transfer to a lockup cell for up to twenty days or to a correctional institution for up to ten days;

    e) Prohibition of receiving a package, parcel or dispatch;

    f) Transfer of a convict serving a sentence in a regular or strict regime institution to a separate cell for up to six months;

    g) Transfer of a convict to a solitary confinement cell of a strict regime institution for up to one year.

7. For violation of regime rules, women may be transferred to a separate cell for up to three months.

8. A convict may be transferred to a lockup cell in accordance with rules established in internal regulations of the penitentiary institution.

9. Application of disciplinary measure will not be counted in the convict’s personal record, if he does not commit a disciplinary violation within a year after serving the disciplinary measure.

10. A disciplinary measure shall not be of humiliating or degrading character.

Article 31. Personal file of a convict

1. A personal file of a convict is created and filled in following the arrest until the release. Following the release, the personal file is kept in archives of the penitentiary institution. A list of documents to be enclosed in the file and the term of its storage in the archives is determined by the Minister of Justice.

2. Personal file shall include data on stimulating and disciplinary measures applied to the convict as well as his/her attitude to work.

3. Director of a penitentiary institution and a prosecutor shall exercise control over and supervise the entry of data into the personal file.

4. If a convict is transferred to another penitentiary institution, his/her personal file shall be forwarded to the recipient institution.

5. Only specially authorised persons may have access to a convict’s personal file. A list of such persons is determined by the Minister of Justice.

Chapter VIII

Life conditions of convicts

Article 32. Basic rules on accommodation of convicts in penitentiary institutions

To ensure the best enforcement of penitentiary regime, basic rules of accommodation of convicts shall be determined by internal regulations of each penitentiary institution, taking account of resources available in the latter.

Article 33. Life conditions of convicts

1. A living space in a penitentiary institution where a convict is accommodated shall be compatible with the construction, technical, sanitary and hygienic requirement and shall be good for maintaining the convict’s adequate health conditions.

2. Each convict is entitled to a personal living space area of which shall be at least: 2 square meters in a penitentiary institution, 2.5 square meters in a prison, 3 square meters in a women’s institution, 3.5 square meters in a minors’ institution, and 3 square meters in a medical institution.

3. Food ratios are determined by an appropriate normative act. As compared to other convicts, better life conditions and food shall be provided to pregnant women, breast-feeding mothers, minors, the sick, handicaps of first or second group, and elder people (women aged more than 60 and men aged more than 65). [amended - 04.07.2002]

4. A living place shall have a window providing for a daylight and ventilation.

Article 34. Personal hygiene of convicts

1. A convict shall have adequate facilities to satisfy his/her natural physiological needs and observe personal hygiene without any prejudice to human dignity and honour.

2. At least once a week, a convict shall be provided with clean linen and barber’s service. The penitentiary institution administration shall not request the convict to totally shave his/her head except when so required for the maintenance of hygiene or at a doctor’s request.

Article 35. Convict’s garments and linen

1. If a convict does not have his/her own clothes, the penitentiary institution administration shall provide him/her with special garments according to the time of year, which shall not be of degrading character by its form. If necessary, the convict shall be given working clothes.

2. A convict shall have a bed and linen; the latter shall be provided in a clean and not-damaged condition. The linen shall be changed according to requirements of hygiene.

Article 36. Food supply

1. Food supply to penitentiary institutions shall be arranged in a way to correspond to food traditions of the population and shall include alimentary components required to maintain adequate health and life of a human being. It is forbidden to reduce calorie content of food in order to punish a convict.

2. Convicts are entitled to receive additional food products with parcels buy food in shops within penitentiary institutions with money they earned while working in the penitentiary institution or money transferred to his/her account by other persons or organisation. Personal money can be used to buy food products only with a permission of director of the penitentiary institution and without payment of cash.

3. Convicts shall have unlimited amount of drinking water.

Chapter IX

Medical service

Article 37. Medical service in penitentiary institutions

A Medical Unit of a penitentiary institution is part of the Georgian Ministry of Health system. Equipment of medical units of penitentiary institutions and qualification of medical personnel shall not be worse than overall level of the entire health system. Medical personnel of penitentiary institutions medical units shall be subject to Articles 11 to 17 of this Law. 

Article 38. Control over convicts’ health conditions

1. As soon as a convict is brought to a penitentiary institution, he/she shall be medically examined.

2. Convict’s health conditions shall be examined at least once a year. Sick convicts shall receive immediate treatment.

Article 39. Special conditions for women in penitentiary institutions

1. When circumstances so require, a special unit for pregnant women and children (kindergarten) will be arranged within a penitentiary institution. At mother’s application, with a permission of guardianship institutions, the penitentiary institution administration may decide to arrange conditions for a child aged under 3 to live with his/her mother.

2. Administration of a penitentiary institution allows mothers to maintain relationship with their children unless it may hinder normal upbringing of or have a negative impact on the latter.

Article 40. Medical treatment in penitentiary institutions

1. In a penitentiary institution with at least a hundred convicts a stationary medical unit shall be established to provide twenty-four-hour service.

2. In a penitentiary institution with less than a hundred convicts a medical unit shall be established which will provide medical service on the basis of a contract concluded with appropriate health institution.

3. If a convict cannot be cured in a stationary medical unit or a health institution providing medical service on a contractual basis, he/she may be transferred to a Department medical institution or a civilian hospital.

4. Administration of a penitentiary institution shall ensure security of its medical unit.

Article 41. A penitentiary institution doctor

1. A penitentiary institution, which does not have own stationary medical unit or has not concluded a contract with a health institution, shall hire a doctor who will provide medical service to the penitentiary institution population on a contractual basis.

2. A doctor hired by the penitentiary administration on a contractual basis shall exercise constant control over convicts’ health, provide medical treatment to them to the extent possible and, when necessary, request their transfer to a medial institution.

3. The doctor shall, within established time limits, conduct medical examination and, when circumstances so require, notify the director of the penitentiary institution of conditions that are harmful to convicts’ health.

Article 42. Medical control in penitentiary institutions

1. A medical unit or a doctor of a penitentiary institution shall, on a regular basis, check:

    a) Quality and amount of food given to convicts, sanitary and hygiene of cooking process;

    b) Sanitary and hygienic conditions of the territory and buildings of the penitentiary institution;

    c) Conditions of convicts’ garments and bed linen and whether they correspond to outer climate.

2. If a violation of requirements under paragraph 1 of this Article is discovered, the medical unit or the doctor shall notify the institution administration in written thereon.

3. If the institution administration deems that elimination of violations discovered by the doctor are beyond the institution’s capabilities, it shall address the Department administration with an explanatory letter. The explanatory letter shall be accompanied with a letter of the medical unit or the doctor.

Article 43. Care for the convicts’ overall physical conditions

A convict who due to the regime conditions or other circumstances cannot be regularly let out for a walk shall be given the possibility to enjoy fresh air at least for an hour a day.

Chapter X

Secondary and vocational education in penitentiary institutions

Article 44. General and vocational education for convicts

A penitentiary institution administration shall create conditions necessary for the convicts to receive general and vocational education. The administration shall provide for a library with not only educational materials but also legislation on imprisonment and European penitentiary rules in an easy-to-understand language. Convicts have the right to participate in social adaptation training groups that shall be created by the penitentiary institution administration.

Article 45. General education

1. A convict shall have the ability to receive general education according to secondary school education schemes.

2. It is mandatory to provide minor convicts with elementary education. The State shall bear expenses for basic education.

3. Convicts who do not speak the official language of Georgia shall be given the possibility to learn it.

Article 46. Vocational education

1. In a penitentiary institution there shall be conditions for the convicts to raise their qualification.

2. Vocational education is voluntary for convicts who have a certain qualification as well as for minors and those who do not have vocational education.

3. While providing the convicts with vocational education, priority should be given to professions that may be learnt in a penitentiary institution.

4. A penitentiary institution administration may permit a convict, taking account of his/her background, to study by correspondence at secondary, vocational and highest education institutions.

5. Rules and procedures of studying by correspondence shall be determined by the Minster of Justice in association with the Ministry of Education of Georgia.

Chapter XI

Types of relationship between convicts and their relatives

Article 47. General principles of relationship between convicts and their relatives

1. Penitentiary institution administration assists the convict in maintaining relations with his/her family, relatives and friends.

2. It is prohibited to fully isolate a convict.

3. Relations of convicts with persons defined in this Article shall be exercise with caution not to infringe his/her honour and dignity.

Article 48. Meeting with relatives and other persons

1. A convict has the right to meet his/her family members, relatives and other persons. A convict who is a foreign citizen has the right to meet a consular representative of his/her country or authorised diplomatic representative of other country who is defending his/her interests.

2. The right to have a long-term rendezvous with the convict may be granted to his/her spouse, parents, grandmother, grandfather, son or daughter, adopted parent, adopted son or daughter, sister, brother as well as persons he/she lived or had relations with during 2 years before being imprisoned.

3. The right to have a short-term rendezvous is given to family members, relatives and other persons. A short-term rendezvous may last for up to three hours.

4. The right to a long-term rendezvous means the right to live from one to three days together with the convict in a penitentiary institution in a special room without the administration’s control.

5. In a regular regime, presence of the administration representative during a short-term rendezvous is not mandatory.

6. Convicts being in a quarantine regime are not entitled to a long-term rendezvous.

7. Every convict has the right to meet a lawyer without any limitations. A meeting with a lawyer shall not be subject to any intervention or censorship. The penitentiary institution staff members may watch the meeting only visually but without listening to the conversation.

Article 49. Short-term leave of a penitentiary institution

1. A convict may be granted the right to leave the penitentiary institution if the work he/she assigned to so requires. Rules and procedures of leaving a penitentiary institution are determined in this law and bylaws approved by the Minister of Justice.

2. The penitentiary institution administration may permit the convict to temporarily leave the territory of the penitentiary institution because of extraordinary private circumstances if there is trustworthy information on the death or heavy disease of his/her close relative or heavy material loss inflicted to the convict or his/her family due to natural calamity. 

3. Term of leave of a penitentiary institution shall not exceed seven days including the convict’s travel.

4. The term of leave shall be included in the overall term of serving the sentence.

5. The right to temporary leave of a penitentiary institution may be granted to a convict serving a sentence in an educational, regular and strict regime institution, at the application of director of the institution and with the consent of the prosecutor, taking account of the convict’s personality and gravity of crime he/she has been sentenced to imprisonment for. If the request for leave is upheld, directory of the penitentiary institution determines the number of institution staff members to accompany the convict during the leave period.

6. Expenses relating to leave shall be born by the convict or his/her family.

7. Rules and procedures of temporary leave shall be determined by the Minister of Justice.

Article 50. Correspondence and telephone conversation

1. A convict has the right to send and receive unlimited number of letter and to use a public phone on the territory of the penitentiary institution in accordance with established rules and subject to control by the institution administration if technical facilities of the institution so allow.

2. Expenses relating to correspondence and use of telephone shall be born by the convict.

3. The penitentiary institution administration shall be responsible for handing letters received to the convict and delivering letters sent by the convict to the addressee.

Article 51. Media facilities in penitentiary institutions

1. Convicts shall have access to press and media facilities.

2. Radio and television programs shall be broadcast in penitentiary institutions. Taking account of regime limitations, convicts may have own radios, TV sets, video and audio players, typing machines, unless the use of these facilities violates internal regulations of the penitentiary institutions or breaches peace of other convicts. Expenses relating to use of these facilities (such as costs for power) shall be borne by the convict.

3. A convict may, with own money, subscribe to and receive scientific, popular, religious, or other literature, newspapers and journals.

Article 52. Entry into penitentiary institutions without prior permission

The following persons are entitled to enter penitentiary institutions without prior permission:

    a) President of Georgia;

    b) Persons properly authorised by President of Georgia;

    c) Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia;

    d) Persons properly authorised by the Parliament of Georgia;

    e) Public Defender;

    f) Authorised members of the Prosecutor’s Office of Georgia.

Chapter XII

Convicts’ labour

Article 53. General requirements of attitude to labour

1. Convicts’ labour is regulated according to rules established by this Law and labour legislation of Georgia.

2. As a rule, convicts’ may be employed on the territory of a penitentiary institution.

3. A convict may choose a job out of those offered by the institution administration that best suits his/her background.

4. A convict may not be employed at a job that infringes upon honour and human dignity.

Article 54. Working conditions of convicts

1. Convicts’ working conditions shall be compatible with requirements set forth in this Law and labour legislation of Georgia.

2. Minors may work at times when they are free from studying; overall amount of working and studying time shall not exceed 8 hours.

3. A convict may be assigned to work overtime or on day-offs and holidays only with his/her consent; overall working time shall not exceed 8 hours per day.

4. In exceptional circumstances and at the administration’s initiative, a convict may work outside the penitentiary institution (with his/her consent, with or without supervision, if this will contribute to achieving the purposes of punishment) to eliminate results of or prevent natural calamities, technological breakdowns, and accidents as well as for the betterment of the territory and buildings of the penitentiary institutions.

Article 55. Reimbursement for convicts’ labour

1. Rules and procedure of reimbursement of convicts’ labour is determined by the Georgia legislation.

2. Out of the amount of salary issued to a convict, 15% will be transferred to the state budget, 50% will be given to the convict for personal expenses, 10% will be transferred to a special account for maintenance of the penitentiary institution. The Minister of Justice determines rules of use of money transferred to a special account. 25% will be cut off on the basis of execution documents according to established rules. Alimony payable to children aged under 18 shall be deducted from the total amount of money earned by the convict.

3. If money is not deducted on the basis of execution documents, 75% of the total amount will be placed on the convict’s account (deposit) and may be withdrawn upon his/her release. The convict may, at his/her discretion, forward this amount to his/her family members or other persons.

Article 56. Protection of convicts’ labour

1. In penitentiary institutions convicts’ labour is protected by rules established in this Law and labour legislation of Georgia. Administration of penitentiary institution shall provide convicts with working conditions that are safe to his/her life and health.

2. If in the course of employment at a penitentiary institution a convict loses the ability to work, he/she is entitled to request award of damages in accordance with rules established by the Georgian legislation following his/her release.

Chapter XIII

Social Service

Article 57. Purpose of Social Service

1. Purpose of the Social Service is to assist the convict in retaining and maintaining socially, legally and morally justifiable contacts with the society and to resolve private or family problems. The Service is called upon to raise law-obedience in the conscious of convicts and assist them to build contacts with members of society that may help them arrange their life following release.

2. The Social Service leads social adaptation training groups.

Article 58. Social Service Agent

1. In a penitentiary institution social matters are dealt with by a Social Service Agent. Social Service Agent is appointed and dismissed by director of the penitentiary institution.

2. The position of Social Service Agent may be occupied by a person with a highest education degree in relevant field.

3. Social Service Agent shall be entitled to all guarantees and advantages awarded to penitentiary institution staff members.

Article 59. Social assistance at the receipt or release of a convict

1. When a convict is brought to a penitentiary institution, he/she shall receive advice on legal issues.

2. When preparing for release, a convict shall receive advice on arranging matters relating to private life and will be assisted in obtaining appropriate documents. The convict will be informed that he/she is entitled to be rendered assistance within the general scheme of social security.

3. When preparing for release, the Social Service Agent informs local governance and self-governance bodies that the convict will require social assistance following release. If the convict’s or his/her family address is unknown, the Social Security Agent shall send the aforementioned notification to local governance and self-governance body of prior place of residence of the convict.

Article 60. Supervision body

1. When preparing for release before due, the Social Service Agent forwards data on the convict to a supervisory body by his/her place of residence or his/her family’s address.

2. If the convict’s or his/her family address is unknown or if the convict does not want to return to the former place of residence, the Social Service Agent, taking account of the convict’s wish, forwards data to a competent supervisory body.

Article 61. Rehabilitation Centre

For the convicts’ adaptation purposes, rehabilitation centres shall be established at penitentiary institutions. The Minister of Justice shall approve statutes of rehabilitation centres.

Chapter XIV

Sending to and release from a penitentiary institution

Article 62. Documents concerning the sending of a convict to a penitentiary institution

Documents required for sending a convict to penitentiary institution are a sentencing decision of a court and an identification card.

Article 63. A Convicts’ Register

1. A convict brought to a penitentiary institution according to Article 62 of this Law shall be registered in the Convicts’ Register. Rules of keeping the Register are determined by the Minister of Justice.

2. Upon being brought to a penitentiary institution, a convict shall be photographed and fingerprint-checked and medically examined. Photographs and their negatives, verbal description of his/her physical appearance and data on blood category shall be included in the convict’s personal file.

Article 64. Accommodation in a penitentiary institution

A convict will be accommodated in a penitentiary institution in accordance with rules established in Article 22 of this Law.

Article 65. Grounds for release from a penitentiary institution

1. A convict shall be released from a penitentiary institution:

    a) upon expiration of the term of sentence;

    b) if he/she becomes infected with a heavy or incurable disease;

    c) in case of release before due;

    d) if a sentencing decision is altered or abolished pursuant to rules established by law;

    e) if he/she falls within the scope of an amnesty or is pardoned;

    f) upon old age as determined by law. [amendment as of 04.07.2002]

2. List of heavy or incurable diseases that may form a ground for release of a convict shall be approved by the Minister of Health of Georgia.

Article 66. General rule of release

1. A convict subject to release under Article 65 of this Law shall be release in the first half of a day prior to the day of expiration of the term of his/her sentence. If the day of release is a day-off or a holiday, the convict shall be released on the working day prior to the day-off or holiday. The convict will be given a document of release.

2. Upon release, a convict shall receive personal clothes and belongings back that have been stored with the institution’s administration. If the convict does not have personal clothes or his/her garments do not correspond with appropriate season of the year, he/she will be provided with proper clothes by the administration free of charge.

3. Money accrued the convict’s deposit will be given to him/her upon release. If the money is less than an unemployment pecuniary aid, the released convict shall be given a singe pecuniary assistance that shall not be more than the unemployment aid.

Article 67. Release from sentence due to sickness or old age [amendment as of 04.07.2002]

1. An application for release before due of the convict due to a heavy or incurable disease or old age (women aged 65 and men aged 70) may be submitted to the court by the convict and/or director of the penitentiary institution in accordance with rules established by law.

2. When deciding on release of a convict due to old age, account shall be taken of gravity of crime he/she is sentenced for, criminal record, behaviour during serving the sentence, attitude to work, family conditions and health.

Article 68. Parole

1. If during serving a sentence a convict honestly complies with obligations imposed on him/her, director of the penitentiary institution may submit in accordance with rules established by law materials for parole to the court.

2. When putting forward for parole, account should be taken of the convict’s personality, family conditions, gravity of crime he/she is sentenced for, years served and other circumstances in favour of the convict.

3. An application for parole shall be submitted to the court by a director of the penitentiary institution. The application shall be accompanied with the convict’s personal file.

Chapter XV

Regimes of penitentiary institutions

Article 69. Execution of Incarceration

Incarceration shall be executed by a court sentencing decision in a special compartment of a prison.

Article 70. General rules of incarceration

1. Incarceration shall be executed under general rules and in accordance with the following conditions:

    a) Persons sentenced to incarceration are placed in a cell locked round the clock subject to visual and electronic observation;

    b) Persons sentenced to incarceration shall not be transferred to a penitentiary institution of a different regime.

    c) Persons sentenced to incarceration are entitled to a one-hour walk a day.

2. Rules of execution of incarceration shall be approved by the Minister of Justice.

Article 71. Right to a rendezvous

1. Persons sentenced to incarceration has the right to meet his/her family members and other persons twice a month, subject to visual supervision by a prison staff member.

2. Duration of a rendezvous shall not exceed two hours. Rules of meeting with family members and other persons are determined in internal regulations of prison.

Article 72. Short-term leave

Director of prison may, in accordance with requirement set forth in Article 49 of this Law, permit a person sentenced to incarceration to leave the prison for up to three days.

Article 73. Regular regime penitentiary institutions

1. A person sentenced to imprisonment for the first time for a minor or serious crime or convicted for unintentional crime as well as women sentenced to a definite term of imprisonment shall be placed in a regular regime penitentiary institution to serve an imprisonment sentence. [amendment as of 08.09.1999]

2. In a regular regime penitentiary institution convicts are accommodated in a dormitory unless otherwise prescribed by internal regulations of the penitentiary institution.

3. A convict serving sentence in a regular regime penitentiary institution has the right to:

    a) freely move within the territory of the penitentiary institution subject to rules provided for in internal regulations;

    b) to have five short-term rendezvous per month and five long-term rendezvous per year;

    c) to have in addition one long-term and three short-term rendezvous for good behaviour and honest attitude to work.

Article 74. Strict regime penitentiary institutions

1. Placement in a strict regime penitentiary institution for serving a sentence shall apply to: a person is sentenced to imprisonment for a particularly grave crime for the first time; and a person who has a criminal record of repeated crimes or grave repeated crimes who previously served an imprisonment sentence [amendment as of 08.09.1999] and whose previous convictions have not been cancelled or extinguished. [amendment as of 30.05.2000]

2. In a strict regime penitentiary institution convicts are accommodated in a dormitory unless otherwise prescribed by internal regulations of the penitentiary institution.

3. A convict serving sentence in a strict regime penitentiary institution has the right to:

    a) freely move within the territory of the penitentiary institution subject to rules provided for in internal regulations;

    b) to have four short-term rendezvous per month and three long-term rendezvous per year;

    c) to have in addition one long-term rendezvous or, if he/she does not have relatives, two short-term rendezvous for good behaviour and honest attitude to work.

Article 75. Convicts serving sentence in a prison

1. A person shall be placed in prison if he/she: has been sentenced to life imprisonment; has a criminal record of grave repeated crimes; is convicted for particularly serious crime and the court sentencing decision orders serving part of the sentence in a prison; is a convict who by a court decision is being transferred from another penitentiary institution to a prison for multiple violation of penitentiary institution regime rules.

2. Convicts left in prison for domestic work shall also serve their sentence in prison.

3. Persons who have been sent to another penitentiary institution to serve their sentence but are left in or transferred to prison until the investigation is complete may also be placed in prison.

4. Convicts who are being transferred from one penitentiary institution to another may temporarily be placed in a prison for not more than ten days.

5. Prison regime is determined by a statute approved by the Minister of Justice.

Article 76. Conditions of placement in prison

1. In prisons, convicts are accommodated in shared cells. When necessary, by decision of director of penitentiary institution and prosecutor’s consent, a convict may be placed in a solitary confinement cell.

2. Rules of placing convicts in cells are determined by this Law and internal regulations of penitentiary institutions.

Article 77. Special rules on persons sentenced to life imprisonment

1. Persons sentenced to life imprisonment shall be placed in a 24-hour where constant visual control is possible. [amendment as of 24.11.2000]

2. A person sentenced to life imprisonment is entitled to have two short and long-term rendezvous a year on the territory of a penitentiary institution in a special room.

3. For violation of regime and internal regulations a convict may be sentenced to:

    a) Reprimand;

    b) Prohibition of rendezvous;

    c) Prohibition of sending and receiving of dispatches;

    d) Placement in a lockup cell from 3 to 20 days.

4.Persons sentenced life imprisonment may not communicate with persons imprisoned for definite term.

Article 78. Types of prison regimes

1. In prison there may be the following three types of regimes:

    a) Incarceration;

    b) Regular;

    c) Strict;

2. Convicts placed in different regimes may not communicate with each other.

3. Rules of each regime shall be determined by a statute approved by the Minister of Justice.

Article 79. Regular regime prison

1. Regular regime applies to persons who have been sentenced to placement in a prison for the first time as well as persons transferred from a strict regime prison in accordance with this Law.

2. Not more than four convicts may be accommodated in a regular regime prison cell.

3. Cells shall have equipment making it possible to exercise visual control over convicts.

4. A convict placed in a regular regime in a prison is entitled to:

    a) four short and two long term rendezvous a year;

    b) a two-hour walk a day.

Article 80. Strict regime prison

1. Strict regime applies to persons who have previously served an imprisonment sentence or who have been sentenced to imprisonment for committing a crime in a penitentiary institution as well as persons who have been transferred from a penitentiary institution according to rules prescribed in this Law.

2. A strict regime cell is a space for one or two convicts where visual control is possible.

3. While being subject to strict regime, convicts may perform only a type of work that does not require leave of the cell.

4. Convicts placed in strict regime are entitled to:

    a) three short and one long-term rendezvous a year subject to supervision by the administration;

    b) one-hour walk per day.

Article 81.  Assignment to or alteration of a strict regime

1. Type of regime a convict shall serve sentence in may be assigned or altered by the court, at the application of director of the penitentiary institution.

2. Such application shall include grounds justifying appropriateness of assigning or altering a type of regime. If assignment of strict regime is requested, term of strict regime shall be specified.

3. A convict may be transferred from a strict to a regular regime only on the basis of a medical examination in case of deterioration of his/her health conditions.

4. If a convict transferred to a regular regime violates internal regulations of a penitentiary institution, he/she may be returned to a strict regime.

Chapter XVI

Minors Educational Institution

Article 82. General rules of placing minors in an educational institution

Persons sentenced to imprisonment who have not attained the age of 18 by the time a court judgement was delivered shall be placed in a minors educational institution.

Article 83. Minors educational institution

1. Minors sentenced to imprisonment shall be placed in a minors educational institution. Minors who have been convicted for serious crimes shall be accommodated separately from other convicts.

2. A minors educational institution consists of divisions of close, semi-closed and open regimes. Administration takes a decision on which regime a minor shall be placed on the basis of conclusion of a Classification Centre.

3. Other rules relating to minors educational institutions are determined by relevant bylaws.

4. A minor convict is entitled to unlimited number of short-term rendezvous and one long-term rendezvous per month with close relatives.

5. If a minor demonstrates good behaviour and commitment to studying, after serving one fourth of total sentence period, a minor’s conditions may be improved. Where this is the case, the minor shall be entitled to two additional long-term rendezvous per year.

Article 84.  Transfer from minors educational institution to other penitentiary institution

1. Taking account of gravity of the crime committed, the personality of the convict and his/her behaviour, a convict who has attained the age of 18 may be transferred to a regular or strict regime institution to continue serving the sentence.

2. A convict who has attained the age of 18 may be left in a minors educational institution to complete his/her sentence but only until he/she becomes 20 years old. A convict left in a minors educational institution to complete his/her sentence will be subject to regime of the educational institution. Decision on leaving a convict in a minors educational institution shall be taken by director of that institution.

Chapter XVII

General rules concerning accused persons in arrest

Article 85. Place of arrest of accused persons

An arrested accused person (hereinafter referred to as a ‘prisoner’) shall be kept in a special arrest department according to rules established by the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.

Article 86. General rules of arrest

1. Sanitary and hygienic conditions of prison shall be consistent with norms established in this Law.

2. A prisoner shall be kept in 24-hour locked cell. Persons accused in the same criminal case shall be placed separately. This rule may apply to other accused persons by decision of the investigator, prosecutor, court or by an order of a judge.

3. Administration of the prison shall take all possible measure to ensure that persons placed in separate cell do not communicate with each other. They should be subject to observation by visual and electronic means.

Article 87. Bringing an accused to a place of arrest

1. Upon bringing an accused person to a place of arrest, his/her personal belongings shall be carefully checked. The checking procedure shall be conducted by prison staff members of the same sex as the accused person.

2. An accused person shall be medically examined by a prison doctor. The accused shall be photographed and fingerprint-tested according to Article 63(2) of this Law.

3. Director of prison or a person authorised by him shall immediately inform the prisoner of his/her rights and obligations.

4. Director of prison shall immediately notify the investigator, prosecutor and judge of the receipt of an accused person in arrest.

Article 88. Transfer of a prisoner

1. Rules of transfer of prisoners shall be approved by the Minister of Justice.

2. As soon as a prisoner is handed over to a person responsible for his/her transfer, the latter shall immediately inform the investigator, prosecutor and judge thereon.

Article 89. Prisoners’ Rendezvous

1. A prisoner may be allowed to have a rendezvous concerning matters that, from the personal or legal point of view, cannot be resolved without third parties assistance. A permission to have a rendezvous may be issued by the investigator, prosecutor or judge.

2. A prisoner who is a foreign citizen has unlimited right to meet with consular or authorised diplomatic representative of the country of his/her citizenship.

3. A prisoner has unlimited right to meet with his/her lawyer, in accordance with rules prescribed by the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.

4. A rendezvous may be subject to observation by a prison staff member; the latter shall intervene or cease the rendezvous if it may be detrimental to the interests of formal proceedings.

5. Number and term of prisoners’ rendezvous are determined in the prison internal regulations.

Article 90. Short-term release of a prisoner

In case of essential and urgent personal or legal matter, where presence of a prisoner is indispensable, at the investigator’s application, the court may issue a permit for short-term release of the prisoner for up to three days. Rules of supervision over and escort of the prisoner shall be determined by the court. Expenses incurred due to temporary release shall be borne by the prisoner.

Article 91. Disciplinary measures applied to prisoners

1. In case of violation of a prison regime and internal regulation the following disciplinary measures may be applied:

    a) A reprimand;

    b) Placement in a lockup cell for up to ten days.

2. Disciplinary measure will not be executed if it is not executed within one month of the date it was imposed.

Article 92. Conditions of prisoners

1. Prisoners kept in a prison are allowed to:

2. Release of prisoner shall be effected in accordance with rules established by the Criminal Procedure Code of Georgia.

3. Rules of serving imprisonment sentences shall be determined by a provision approved by the Minister of Justice.

Chapter XVIII

Public control over penitentiary institutions

Article 93. Penitentiary Institution Commission

1. Public control over penitentiary institutions is exercised by permanent commissions comprised of officials of local governance and self-governance bodies, public figures, representatives of non-governmental and religious organisations and other persons. Penitentiary institutions staff members may not be part of the commissions.

2. Purpose of the commissions is to assist the penitentiary institutions administrations in resolving issues relating to accommodation, study, work, food, medical service and supervision of prisoners as well as execution of sentences.

3. In the course of working on the aforementioned matters, a commission has the right to elaborate recommendations and address the director of a penitentiary institution.

4. A commission submits an activity report to the director of penitentiary institution on a annual basis.

5. Rules of establishment and operation of commission as well as scope of their competence shall be determined by a provision approved by the Minister of Justice.

Article 94. Relationship with representatives of religious organisations

A penitentiary institution administration shall create adequate conditions for convicts to satisfy their religious needs. Taking account of technical facilities available, in a penitentiary institution there shall be a priest authorised by the church.

Chapter XIX

Security measures and use of firearms by penitentiary institution staff members

Article 95. Security measures applied to convicts

1. Handcuffs or tranquillising shirts may be applied to convicts showing resistance to penitentiary institution staff members, behave outrageously or using violence to inflict injury to themselves or other people in the vicinity.

2. Tranquillising shirts shall not be applied to convicts serving sentence in a minors educational institution or to women.

3. If a convict attacks or commits other action threatening the life of a penitentiary institution staff member or other person, penitentiary institution staff members may use firearms in accordance with rules established by law.

4. Staff members may use firearms against convicts who are trying to escape only if their attempt cannot be stopped by other means. Firearms shall not be used against women and minors should they attempt to escape.

5. Use of security measures is regulated by this Law and internal regulations of penitentiary institutions.

6.Director of a penitentiary institution shall be responsible for use of security measures and observance of internal regulations.

Article 96. Plan of additional security measures

In case of mass riot in a penitentiary institution or when a state of emergency or a state of war is declared, for the purpose of preventing attack, escape or commission of other violations by convicts, a penitentiary institution administration shall elaborate a plan of additional security measures, which shall be approved by the Minister of Justice, with the consent of the Ministry of Interior of Georgia and the State Department of State Border Defence.

Part Three

Transitional Provisions

Chapter XX

Measures to effect this Law

Article 97. Deadline of adopting acts referred to in this Law

The following acts shall be passed until January 1, 2000:

    a) Ordinance of President of Georgia on Official Uniform of Penitentiary Institutions Staff Members;

    b) Order of the Minister of Justice on:

    b.a. approval of the Statute of the Penitentiary Department, financial report and list of staff members;

    b.b. approval of the Statute and Internal Regulations of Regular Regime Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.c. approval of the Statute and Internal Regulations of Strict Regime Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.d. approval of the Provision on Prison Regime;

    b.e. approval of Internal Regulations of Minors Educational Institutions;

    b.f. approval of the Statute of the Special Guard Service;

    b.g. approval of the Statute of Security Services of Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.h. approval of the Provision on Training and Testing of Penitentiary Institutions’ Staff Members;

    b.i. Rules of Transfer of Convicts to a Penitentiary Institution;

    b.j. Rules of Receipt and Separate Accommodation of Convicts in Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.k. Rules of Keeping a Register of Convicts and Convicts’ Personal Files;

    b.l. The Social Service of Convicts;

    b.m. Convicts’ Rehabilitation Centre;

    b.n. Commissions of Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.o. Rules on Temporary Leave of Penitentiary Institutions;

    b.p. approval of Provision on Rules of Serving Imprisonment Sentences;

    b.q. transfer of prisoners;

    b.r. Rules of Execution of Incarceration Sentences;

    c) Joint Order of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Health of Georgia on Convicts’ Food Ratios, Garments and Sanitary-Hygiene Conditions;

    d) Joint Order of the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Education on General and Vocational Education of Convicts.

Article 98. Obligations of the Minister of Justice before the start of functioning by penitentiary institutions indicated in this Law

Before penitentiary institutions referred to in this Law start functioning, the Minister of Justice shall ensure training and raise of qualification of appropriate staff members.

Article 99. Staff members of penitentiary institutions that have been transferred to the Ministry of Justice subordination

1. Penitentiary institutions staff members, following the transfer of penitentiary institutions under the Ministry of Justice subordination, shall be entitled to all benefits and privileges prescribed by the Law on Police.

2. Following the transfer of penitentiary institutions under the Ministry of Justice subordination, granting of special ranks to penitentiary institutions staff members shall be effected under rules established by Georgian legislation.

3. Before the Special Guard Service is operational, guard and escort forces of the Ministry of Interior military units shall be in charge of guarding the penitentiary institutions.

4. Penitentiary institutions shall be transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Justice subordination by an ordinance of President of Georgia.

Part Four

Concluding Provisions

Chapter XXI

Entry into force of the Law

Article 100. Entry into force of the Law

1. This Law shall enter into force on January 1, 2000 except for the following provisions: Article 33(2), Articles 62 to 72 and Article 83(2).

2. Article 33(2) and Article 83(2) shall become effective from January 1, 2002.

3. Articles 69 to 72 shall become effective upon the entry into force of a new Criminal Code of Georgia.

Article 101. Invalidated normative act

Entry into force of this Law shall invalidate the Correctional Code of Georgia (Bulletin of the Supreme Council of the Georgian SSR, 1971, #12, Art. 202).

President of Georgia

Eduard Shevardnadze

Tbilisi

July 22, 1999