Prison of Lushnja, Kosovë

The Prison of Normal Security of Lushnja was built in early '70 destined as priso for women. In 1990, the prison was transferred to Ali Demi in Tirana, adopitng the facility as a normal security prison with a capacity of  176 people.

the Prison infrastructure remains problematic. It includes two wings; for the management of the prison population; in most of time it is overcrowded.

ARCT has constantly raised concerns about the hygiene, and difficult ventilation spaces for the inmates.

There is no autoambulance for the transport of inmates in cases of emergencies. 

ARCT has interviewed around 180 inmates (2009- 2013).

Prison of Bënça, Tepelena

The High Security Prison of Bença in Tepelena does represent an old facility from the early '70s dedicated investigations procedures during the communist regime.The prison is positioned in a place where wheather conditions are difficult and the road infrastructure is appalling. The capacity of this prison is 56, although any time visited showed overcrowding and very difficult material condititions. the access to health services have been obsolent and medical staff was difficult to be maintained in these extreme conditions.

ARCT has constantly reccomending to close this institution, as it does not provide any standards with regards to human treatment and dignity for the inmates.


Prison Shen-Koll, Lezha

The Normal Security Prison of Shen- Koll in Lezha  was reconstructed in 2006.

During ARCT visit (latest in July 2013) overcrowding remains an issue for pre-detention and prison premises: there were 690 inmates  out of 660 (max. capacity); in pre-detention were 221 persons out of 180 (max. capacity); 9 minors out of 26 (max capacity); while 61 inmates are of 18-21 years of age, distributed as following; 34 inmates in prison and 27 in pre-detention. there is no special wing for this category of inmates: they are distributed in the buildings 1, 3 (pre-detention) and 2,4 and 5 (prison). 

The material conditions are horrible, there is no ventilation in cells, humidity, no hygiene standards. difficulties in managing the free time of all categories of inmates, as the prison is suffering from budgetary shortcuts; this prison, in fact, does represent the trends of crimes for the northern part of the country. we have recommended to improve the material conditions, transfers of people in pre-detention; improving hygiene conditions; and equipment of cells with sheets and cleaned mattresses.

ARCT has collected 79 questionnaires (2009-2013)

Prison of Fushe-Kruja

The Fushë Kruja High Security Prison  represents a new establishment built in 2008 with the support of the European Commission. The capacity of the institution is 312 persons;There are problems with electrical energy. The showers are not functioning properly because of the lack of hot water. The bathrooms are in bad conditions with humidity and the cells also. The electrical wires are bared which causes danger for the detainees. There are problems with the ventilation and in the kitchen too.

There are 2 cult rooms: one church and one mosque, a room used as a library, a gymnasium, two football fields, a room for the computer course, a room for training activities, one room for vocational training and 2 rooms for the meeting with the familiars,3 rooms for special meetings and 5 rooms for the meetings with the lawyers.

The library needs to be updated with new publications. There is a room for the detainees who wok with artistic handcrafts monitored by camera, which is also used for other recreational activities.

Poor hygiene and lack of proper medical treatment is constantly reported.

ARCT has collected 79 questionnaires (2009-2013)

Special Institute Zaharia, Kruje

The so-called special institute of Kruja was previosly used as a psychiatric hospital by the MoH. In 1999, the institution was transferred to the Ministry of Justice. This Institute is composed by as a section for inmtes under compulsory treatment and elderly, a section for chronically ill and people with disabilities. The maximum capacity is for 200 persons.

Located in a very difficult position, this facility is considered as a concern for the penitentiary system in Albania.

This institute does not comply with any international standards for the tratment of persons with disabilities and special needs, and it is considered a place where deprivation of liberty is considered torture.

The facility is a bad picture of misunderstanding of albanian institutions, with regards to the establishment of forensic institute; where diagnosted mentally ill comminting crimes should be properly and medically treated.

ARCT has reccomendated the closing of this facility. Visited constantly, ARCT has collected 19 questionnaires, and provided legal assistance to 15 inmates.

Mental Health Care: The duty to protect detainees against suicide and selfharm illustrates that safety and healthcare can be closely related. As we have seen, regular visits, assessment and treatment by doctors and psychiatrists can be obligatory in case of mentally ill prisoners who might kill themselves. Failure to separate detainees with communicable diseases from other detainees could raise issues primarily under the right to life and the right to humane treatment of prisoners. Finally, healthcare can help to prevent violence against prisoners, by systematically keeping track of injuries and by (within certain limits) communicating information to the prison authorities. ARCT has developed a protocol for the documentation of violence and ill treatment in detention based on the principles of Istanbul Protocol. The Protocol is available and at use by medical doctors in the penitentiary system (PTD, PRI and special institutions of Kruja and Prisons Hospital), producing cases and identifying the police brutality during arrest and transfers; About 20% of the detainees interviewed reported they suffered from mental health issues requiring attention. While many did not complain they suffered from depression, their speech and body language suggested otherwise. Our interviewer’s general impression was that a substantial percentage of the detainees appear depressed, nervous, or a combination of disorders. There also appears to be improper and excessive use of solitary confinement of those who suffer from mental health problems. In the special institute of Kruja, the lack of recreational activities; the grey cement and windowless surroundings; the lack of privacy; social isolation; and uncertainty around their detention confinement all contribute to mental health instability. The GDP employs only two psychiatrists throughout the system. Inadequate treatment of the mentally ill is a violation of international law.