Representatives of the Norwegian and Ukrainian justice sector, the Probation Service and the NORLAU project visited the Ministry of Justice to discuss with the specialists of the Ministry of Justice and State Probation Service Latvia's experience in introducing of electronic surveillance, to address the challenges Latvia faced during the implementation of the initiative and discuss the results. During the visit, further cooperation possibilities between Latvia, Ukraine and Norway to facilitate the introduction of electronic monitoring system in Ukraine were discussed.
On Monday, November 26, the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Latvia hosted representatives of the Norwegian and Ukrainian justice sector, the probation service and the NORLAU project to discuss Latvia's experience in the introduction of electronic monitoring with specialists from the Ministry of Justice and the State Probation Service, to discuss the challenges faced by the Latvia during the implementation of the initiative, as well as discuss the results.
Ukraine is currently undertaking significant reforms of the correctional services system, which provides for the introduction of alternatives to deprivation of liberty, including electronic monitoring in certain regions of the country. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice and the Probation Service have participated in the NORLAU project that is supported by the Norwegian Government and the Norwegian Directorate for Correctional Services, with a view to introducing a new initiative – electronic monitoring – into the Ukrainian System of Correctional Services.
In Latvia, the State Probation Service with the financial support of Norwegian Financial Mechanism planning period 2009–2014 started to apply conditional early release with electronic monitoring on 1 July 2015. In the light of Latvia's successful and relatively recent experience in the introduction of electronic monitoring, the Norwegian Directorate for Correctional Services selected exactly the Latvian story as the most appropriate example for Ukraine, which, in turn, is just taking the first steps in the implementation of this initiative.
This target platform is the NORLAU project, where the main activities will be to inform the involved parties (public, judicial, correctional staff, prisoners) about electronic monitoring, legislative development and technical implementation of electronic monitoring in Ukraine.
The objective of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2009–2014 period programme LV08 "Reform of the Latvian Correctional Services and Police Detention Centres" – to improve the system of correctional services in line with international human rights standards, in cooperation with the relevant sector and industry institutions in Norway and other countries.
As part of the programme, three pre-defined projects were implemented - the State Probation Service’s project LV08/01 "Increasing the Application of Alternatives to Imprisonment (Including Possible Pilot Project on Electronic Surveillance)", the Prisons Administration’s project LV08/2 "Establishment of a new prison block in Olaine prison, including construction and training of staff" and the State Police’s project LV08/3 "Improving the Standard of Latvian State Police detention centres".
Total programme funding: EUR 15 360 000, of which the Norwegian Financial Mechanism’s co-financing is EUR 13 056 000 and the Latvian State budget’s co-financing is EUR 2 304 000.
The programme was implemented by the Ministry of Justice between 2012 and 2017 and was attended by the Ministry of the Interior as a national programme partner.