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First Czech open prison to start operating in late 2017

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Jirice, Central Bohemia, Nov 23 (CTK) – An open prison, in which inmates have living conditions similar to those after their release, will start operating next to the standard prison in Jirice in late 2017, Zuzana Prochazkova, from the Justice Ministry press section, told CTK yesterday.
By the end of next year, four single-storey houses for 32 inmates and a management building will completed. The houses will have no bars in windows and no guards will be on the premises, which will be surrounded by a concrete wall with barbed wire and monitored by cameras. The open prison will have eight employees, such as educators and a psychologist.
Prochazkova said the ministry got inspired by open prisons abroad, especially in Norway and Germany. She said such prisons have been operating in Europe for more than 70 years.
Jirice has been chosen for the project since there is enough space and its location is suitable for an open prison.
Prochazkova said the open prison aims at lowering the risks related to the release from prison, which is often a shocking change for the former prisoners. An open prison aims to help the inmates get used to life outside a prison step by step, make them more independent.
The open prison will cost the ministry 23 million crowns. It should be gradually enlarged and include a square and an ornamental garden.
If the project is a success, more open prisons will be launched in the country, Prochazkova said.
($1=25.474 crowns)

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