Solution: Before 2013 parole of convicts in the justice system in Azerbaijan depended on discretion of a head of a penitentiary facility either to let it go further to a court or reject.
Goals and objectives: Since then, with a view to protection of rights of prisoners, their correction and social adaptation and public participation in these processes the Ministry of Justice adopted a decree to expand implementation of the release on parole by setting up a special Commission.
Implementation: The Commission is composed of experienced senior officials of the Ministry and the Penitentiary Service and public representatives, including human rights defenders and psychologists. The Commission regularly visits penitentiary institutions, holds individual meetings with prisoners, studies their case and if decides expedient, lodges file to the court seeking the release on parole. It also provides legal assistance and necessary clarifications.
The new approach in paroling the convicts has the following features:
- Social adaptation of convicts;
- Transparency in reviewing their cases;
- Individual approach to each prisoner;
- Victim satisfaction;
- Reduces the numbers of repeat offenders.
The Commission has set up a new practice of inviting parents, close relatives of the convicts together with victims to take part at its sessions and interviews. The latter has been a particular importance as the reconciliation between victims and their families living in small communities contributes to prevention of tension and revenge cases. This practice has proved to be an effective way of social rehabilitation of a convict and had a great role in minimizing the number of repeat offenders. During a short period time transparency, openness and rule of law in decisions relating to releases on parole have been improved.
Achievements: By now out of 5,146 cases examined by the Commission since 2013 96.2 percent has been satisfied by the courts.
Replication: The solution can be replicated in the countries with similar penitentiary systems, in particular, the countries that inherited the old Soviet penitentiary approach.
Address: Baku, Azerbaijan
The Ministry of Justice
Phone: (+994 12) 510 10 01