The compensatory remedy against criminal populism

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Słowa kluczowe

ECHR
prisons overcrowding
pilot decision
compensatory remedy
przeludnienie w więzieniach
środek kompensacyjny
Europejski Trybunał Praw Człowieka
decyzja pilotażowa

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Oancea, G., & Neculcea, S. A. (2022). The compensatory remedy against criminal populism: Skargi o odszkodowanie w obliczu populizmu politycznego. Archiwum Kryminologii, (XLIV/1), 147–170. https://doi.org/10.7420/AK2021.24

Abstrakt

The Romanian prison system faces several systemic problems such as overcrowding, inadequate conditions of detention, a shortage of staff, especially medical and holding unit guards, and the high frequency of deaths. In many cases, prisoners have complained about infringement of their rights to the European Court of Human Rights, which has repeatedly ordered the Romanian State to pay them compensation. Compensation was significant, and the amounts paid by the Romanian state in the period 2013–2017 total around 5 million euros. Given that the implementation of substantial reforms to help improve detention conditions kept being postponed, in 2017 the ECHR issued a pilot decision (Rezmiveş et al. vs. Romania) suspending prosecution of approximately 8,000 outstanding cases concerning detention conditions, calling on the state to take measures to reduce overcrowding and improve detention conditions. In this respect, a period of six months was granted, during which the Romanian government was to present a plan for the implementation of measures aimed at achieving these objectives. In the short term, the Ministry of Justice and the National Administration of Penitentiaries introduced a compensatory measure which consisted of reducing the total sentence by 6 days for each 30 days executed under improper conditions, the aim being to speed up the process of releasing of prisoners and, therefore, to reduce overcrowding. The law by which the compensatory measure was introduced became the subject of heated debates in Romanian society, with print and online media campaigns being triggered, where this measure was presented as one that “keeps offenders out of prison”, often highlighting cases of former prisoners who had benefited from the provisions of this law and then reoffended. Nevertheless, the non-existent post-detention support given to former prisoners by the Romanian State needs to be taken into consideration. The reaction of the political class was to repeal the normative act, without any alternative measures being implemented. The article aims to carry out an analysis of the realism of these measures, of the context that caused these measures to be taken, and of the debates that existed in society and among the political class, underlining the specific elements of penal populism. The impact of these measures on the prison system will also be analysed.

 

Rumuński system więziennictwa boryka się z wieloma problemami takimi jak: przeludnienie, nieodpowiednie warunki detencji, brak personelu zwłaszcza medycznego oraz strażników więziennych, a także wysoka liczba zgonów. Więźniowie wielokrotnie skarżyli się na naruszanie ich praw do Europejskiego Trybunału Praw Człowieka, który często nakazywał Rumunii wypłatę im odszkodowania. Kwota wypłaconego odszkodowania była znaczna – w latach 2013–2017 wyniosła łącznie około 5 milionów euro. Biorąc pod uwagę, że wdrożenie istotnych reform mających poprawić warunki pobytu więźniów, było dotychczas przez państwo rumuńskie odkładane, w 2017 roku ETPCz wydał pilotażową decyzję (Rezmiveş i in. przeciwko Rumunii), zawieszając orzekanie w około 8000 niezakończonych sprawach przed nim zawisłych dotyczących warunków pobytu w izolacji. Rząd rumuński otrzymał sześć miesięcy na przedstawienie planu wdrożenia środków pozwalających na osiągnięcie tego celu. W krótkim czasie Ministerstwo Sprawiedliwości i Krajowa Administracja Więziennictwa wprowadziły środek kompensacyjny polegający na skróceniu łącznej kary o 6 dni za każde 30 dni wykonane w niewłaściwych warunkach, w celu przyspieszenia procesu zwalniania skazanych z izolacji więziennej, a tym samym zmniejszenia przeludnienia. Ustawa, na mocy której wprowadzono ten środek kompensacyjny, stała się przedmiotem gorących debat w społeczeństwie rumuńskim, a także kampanii prowadzonych w mediach (prasie i intrenecie), w których środek kompensacyjny był przedstawiany jako „utrzymujący przestępców z dala od więzienia”, a przy tym często eksponowano przypadki byłych więźniów, którzy skorzystali z przepisów tej ustawy, a następnie ponownie popełnili przestępstwo. Niemniej jednak należy podkreślić, że zwalnianym więźniom państwo rumuńskie nie udziela żadnego wsparcia. W konsekwencji toczących się debat i prowadzonych kampanii, politycy uchylili przepisy dotyczące środka kompensacyjnego, nie proponując jednak w zamian żadnych środków alternatywnych. Artykuł ma na celu dokonanie analizy wprowadzonych środków, kontekstu, w jakim zostały one wprowadzone oraz debat, jakie toczyły się w społeczeństwie i wśród polityków, podkreślając specyficzne elementy populizmu penalnego. Przeanalizowany zostanie również wpływ wprowadzonych środków na system więziennictwa.

https://doi.org/10.7420/AK2021.24
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