The Cabinet of Ministers has introduced a pilot project, according to which detainees would be able to improve their conditions of detention in remand prison for money. The project started on May 8 at the Kyiv detention center (Lukyanivska prison).
The Ministry of Justice assures that the project was implemented for:
1) exclusion of the corruption component in the distribution of detainees in cells and
2) improving conditions of detention.
When in April, Minister of Justice Denys Maliuska announced the introduction of pay-to-stay cells in the pre-trial detention center, he noted the following:
"For objective reasons, there are better quality cameras and worse... And there are rumors that the best cameras could be got for bribes. We will make sure that these funds are officially allocated to a special fund, through which we can make repairs, improve the quality and conditions of free cameras."
For transparency of the experiment and to avoid abuse, a CCTV system will be installed in paid cameras. In this way, they are going to monitor the occupancy rate of the camera and the receipt of a fee for its use.
According to Maliuska, the cost of accommodation in Kyiv depends on the period for which payment is made: 75 USD per day, 300 USD per week, and 450 USD per month.
This week, the Justice Ministry plans to provide the opportunity to pay online via "Online House of Justice" service.
Not a VIP Apartment
As noted by Deputy Minister of Justice Olena Vysotska, we are not talking about "luxury rooms" or "VIP apartments."
“These are paid cells with an increased standard of living per prisoner, with a fenced-in bathroom and a minimum set of necessary living conditions,” she said.
The standard area for one person in such a chamber is at least 6 square meters. This is stated in the document No. 1587/5 "Procedure for conducting a pilot project on a paid service for providing improved living conditions and nutrition for persons in custody in pre-trial detention centers of the State Criminal Executive Service", approved by order of the Ministry of Justice of May 6.
According to this document, cells with improved living conditions should be provided with the following furniture, equipment and household items:
- one or two-story wooden or metal bed with wooden railing;
- table and chairs;
- a wardrobe for clothes and personal items;
- bathroom (fenced off);
- shelf for toiletries;
- TV Stand;
- litter bin;
- equipment for cleaning.
As part of the experiment, the cameras can additionally be provided with a shower cabin, a refrigerator, a water heater, a computer workstation with Internet access, a washing machine (if there is space for its installation) and air conditioning.
Detainees might buy food and drinks via Internet (except for alcohol and energy drinks), as well as order delivery of ready meals.
How to get into such a cell
The detainee can do this after writing the corresponding application and transferring funds to the account of the special detention center fund.
As of May 8, two 4-seater cells, one 3-seater and one 2-seater, were available in the Lukyanovska pre-trial detention center.
The Ministry of Justice emphasizes that there are people in pre-trial detention centers before the court verdict, and therefore their guilt has not been legally established.
“As for the criminals (for which the sentences entered into legal force), they will not be provided with any improved conditions for money. In prisons everyone will be on an equal footing and will serve the sentence established by the court for the crime,” Maliuska said.
That is, staying in improved cells after a court verdict is not expected.
The experiment will last until December 31, 2021. Based on its results, a decision will be made on the advisability of securing such services at the legislative level.
The Ministry of Justice must submit a report on the results of the project to the Cabinet of Ministers by March 1, 2022.