BISHKEK, 16 May 2013 – How to develop income-generation activities for prisoners was the topic of a training seminar on 14 to 16 May 2013 in Bishkek. The event was held in the training centre of the state penitentiary service (GSIN) and was co-organized by the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, the European Union, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Representatives of 14 penitentiary establishments from across Kyrgyzstan received training in how to manage income generation units inside settlement colonies and learned about specific activities such as crop growing and cattle raising.
Miroslaw Nowak, the Penitentiary Reform Adviser of the OSCE Centre in Bishkek, said: “Developing income-generation activities in penitentiary establishments that provide skills and knowledge to inmates will help better prepare them for reintegration into society on their release.”
The first farm attached to a penitentiary establishment in Kyrgyzstan was created on the base of the settlement colony N 44 as a part of an OSCE’s project and has been in operation since spring 2013.
Igor Miroshnichenko, an expert of an EU project on supporting marketing and developing income-generation activities in Kyrgyzstan’s penitentiary system, said: “This is the first professional training in the field of supporting marketing in the penitentiary system. Its main purpose is to strengthen capacity of the staff of penitentiary establishments and settlement colonies to effectively manage prison income generating activities and in longer term to ensure jobs for the inmates both during their stay in prisons and after it, so that they could immediately start to earn a living and help their families.”
Batyr Saparbaev, the National Legal Expert of an EU and UNODC prison reform project in Kyrgyzstan, added: “We hope that after some time the penitentiary system will become a social institution, aimed at raising inmates’ sense of responsibility and bringing them back to be an integral part of society.”
Colonel Kalmurat Baitoloev, the Deputy Chairman of the state penitentiary service, added: “One of the priorities of our service is improving conditions of life for the inmates in accordance with international standards, and giving them possibility to work would at the same time help them to improve with positive incentives. We co-operate with international partners because today we need shared experience and best practices, and we should use a scientific approach in developing the penitentiary sector.”