Josip Grubeša, BiH Minister of Justice noted that the opening of the State prison is a strategic priority of the Ministry as well as an important part of overall justice system reform. “Thanks to the engagement and work of everyone involved in this project we are able to be here today and open this extremely important facility. A long road lies ahead of us to ensure its successful functioning and it is not an easy task. Transferring this from an empty building to a functioning institution will take time. The staff will begin work and training in August and we hope that first inmates will be transferred here in the autumn,” stated Minister Grubeša.
The efficient work of the State Prison will support the work of other judicial organisations, ensure that inmates are held securely and contribute to the improvement of both citizen’s safety and their perception of the work of the justice system in the country.
“The result of the work of many dedicated people is a high security prison that adheres to EU prison rules and standards. For a long time, inmates were held in overcrowded and outdated entity prisons which are not suited to securely incarcerate and rehabilitate. The state prison should resolve serious issues burdening the BiH justice system, improve the country’s international reputation and help increase confidence in the justice system,” remarked Johan Norqvist, the First Secretary of the Swedish Embassy in BiH.
The object occupies 24,000 m2, 348 cells, of which 298 for prisoners and 50 for detainees.
Every cell where will be located prisoners will occupy a total area of about 12 m2. The beginning of the construction of the high-security institution in which the convicts will be serving their prison sentence lasted for very long.
The first works officially started on the 22nd of July, 2014. After a slow and painful beginning, masters, engineers and construction workers are working on the prison almost every day of the week in the last year.
The cells will not have grid as it is a common practice in prisons, but large windows with bulletproof glass. In the corner of each cell will be installed air-conditioning, and in a small bathroom will be shower, a small sink and toilet. Each floor of the object will have rooms for non-smokers, as well as special rooms for visitors. There will be also special cells for disabled persons and persons with developmental disabilities.
On one side of object will be placed the so called bedrooms with access to the garden. Prisoners will be able to use the Internet, library, sports facilities, and the construction of a large restaurant is currently taking place. The usage of cell phones will be banned. What is interesting is that there will be no workshops within the prison, where prisoners are usually engaged in creative work.
It is especially important to emphasize that the state prison will be secured according to the highest possible safety standards.
“The security system will be at the highest levels, so that there will be no possibility of escape. The prison was designed in accordance with the best safety standards in Europe and the world,” said the Director of the Unit for the construction of the state prison, Zoran Basic.
Since BiH has the problem of overcrowded detention facilities, the plan is to relieve the entity capacities.