Monitoring at Durres Pre-detention Centre

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Monitoring visit at Durres Pre-detention Centre


Today, on February 21, 2013 His Excellency, Mr. Martin de la Beij, ambassador of the Netherlands Embassy in Tirana, joined the ARCT monitoring team in this facility.The monitoring followed an introductory meeting with the head of Institution, Mr. Denion Shengjergji, health, educational and police staff; visit in the internal regime, meetings with inmates in the pre-detention section. This was the first visit of HE Mr. de la Beij in a detention facility in Albania.

The Durres Pre-trial detention Centre is a newly built institution, with financial support of the European Commission and contribution from Albanian Government. This institution was initially supported to solve the issues of a special forensic institution, yet the standards were not fully respected. The Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health could not find any agreement in this respect, living the gap and the needs for such institution – present and urgent. It is functional since 2008.This institution remains at the sight of monitors as it has replaced the GP hospital in Tirana: now all metal disorders/diseases are treated by the medical staff of this institution, creating a possibility to strengthen the psychiatric needs and rehabilitation component. The Durres Pre-trial detention has two main divisions (pre-trial and the special sector for patients, experiencing mental health problems while in detention (un- diagnostified mentally ill prisoners, the suicidal symptoms, drug users, etc).

ARCT is the initiator of the national campaign for the ratification of OPCAT and establishment of the National preventive Mechanism under People’s Advocate. Having the professional medical background (psychiatric, psychological, general practitioners, social workers and lawyers) ARCT has institutionalized through written agreements with PA for the support through medical component and forensic expertise in cases of abuse and violence. ARCT is an actor of consultations with regards to CPT missions in Albania, UN Committee against Torture, UN Committee for Human Rights and European Commission (with regards to progress report).

 ARCT Indentified problems:The institution does need a special ambulance to transfer the detainees with special needs in case of emergencies to the general prisons hospital in Tirana,There is need for more recreational activities for people with mental disorders and minor psychiatric problems.There is need for further support on the protocols of crisis management – ARCT has successfully introduced the Istanbul Protocol on effective documentation of torture and ill-treatment by medical doctors.There is a need for rehabilitation program – the ones existing remain at lowest levels and do not address the needs of detained population who are having serious problem in adaptation, drug users, and most importantly those experiencing suicidal tentative.