The State Police of Latvia as a Project Promoter in the framework of the Programme LV08 “Reform of the Latvian Correctional Services and Police Detention Centers” of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism will implement the pre-defined project “Improving the Standard of Latvian State Police detention centres, including activities aimed at improving infrastructure, reducing/abolishing the current practice of administrative detention, changing the practice or returning remand prisoners for further investigation, ensuring adequate training for staff working at police detention facilities”.
There are 23 short-term detention centres (hereinafter – STDCs) in Latvia. Most of them do not fully comply with the Law on Detention and the standards of the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT). The STDCs tend to be overcrowded; they are located in unsuitable, old-fashioned premises, where it is not possible to ensure the necessary amount of natural light, sanitary requirements or ventilation. The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has also pointed at the necessity to educate police officers about human rights.
The State Police will implement the project in order to improve the overall situation in STDCs and to increase the professional competence of police officers when working with detainees.
The main aims of the project are to reconstruct the STDCs, decrease overcrowding, as well as to improve the knowledge and capacity of the STDC personnel.
The project envisages reconstruction of 10 STDCs in the State Police Riga, Kurzeme, Vidzeme and Latgale Region Administrations, as well as 11 places of temporary keeping in the State Police Riga Region Administration. It is planned to elaborate the professional training programs for the STDC staff by including application of the newest human rights standards.
At the same time, it is planned to continue activities aimed at the reduction and abolishment of the current praxis as regards the administrative detention. In 2011 the Concept of Developing the Administrative Punishment System was prepared, which envisages a gradual abolishment of the administrative detention and includes other amendments of the administrative detention system.
The Project Partners are:
- Council of Europe, http://hub.coe.int/;
- Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, http://www.sisekaitse.ee/eass/the-academy/;
- Police and Border Guard Board of Estonia, https://www.politsei.ee/en/;
- Provision State Agency of Latvia, http://nva.iem.gov.lv/.
Total estimated Project cost is 2 583 962 EUR, of which 2 196 368 EUR is the co-funding from the Norwegian Financial Mechanism, and 387 594 EUR is Latvian co-financing.