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JusMin proposes Gov't to repeal provision allowing prisoners' early release for scientific works

raluca pruna

Justice Minister Raluca Pruna said on Tuesday that she will propose the Government to adopt an emergency ordinance to repeal the provision allowing the reduction of convicts' sentences for publishing scientific works, after she found that this practice has completely run out of control. 

"I have decided, as I found that the phenomenon has completely run out of control, to propose to Romania's Government to repeal this provision by an emergency ordinance to be promoted at the first Government meeting in February. I will not insist now on the reasons why I seek the repeal of this provision. I will hold a public consultation, because the law requests a public consultation in case of any normative act. The urgency of the matter, and I believe it is not the case to go into details, is obvious. It is a phenomenon that has gotten out of control and, for the moment, the best solution is to repeal this provision. Along with this emergency ordinance which I understand to promote, I will table to the Government on the same day the enforcement regulation of Law No. 254/2013, which should have been adopted at the same time with the law, in February 2014. This regulation was worked out before I took over the JusMin mandate," Raluca Pruna told a press conference. 

The Justice Minister said that Law No. 254/2013 on sentence carrying out had not raised any issues over time, but that however since 2013 there has been a fulminating and exponential increase in the number of books written by persons serving jail time. 

"From 2007 until 2010, there is one work per year, but now I received different figures from [the National Administration of Penitentiaries - ANP], showing that not even I, as Justice Minister, have the correct figures. In 2014, we had 90 such works, and in 2015 there were 340. There is a decision of the ANP director from 2011, which provides in detail the procedure a convict must follow in case they want to write a scientific work," Raluca Pruna said. 

In reply to a question, the Justice Minister said that it is premature to tell if she is considering the replacement of the head of the National Administration of Penitentiaries, however underscoring that "facts speak quite loudly of the managerial competence of the ANP director general." 

Referring to the same case, Raluca Pruna also said that she asked the PM to initiate an administrative investigation by the Prime Minister's Control Body. 

Moreover, Raluca Pruna showed that, following the passage of this emergency ordinance, the convicts currently writing books in prison will no longer benefit from the 30-day reduction of their sentence for each work.

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