Zaruhi Mejlumyan

Armenia's Department of Corrections Doesn't Keep Figures Regarding Conditional Release Interviews

While inmates in various Armenian correctional facilities continue to express their dissatisfaction over the arbitrary nature regarding the implementation of the law as to their right to early conditional release, it appears that some facilities don’t even keep records as to how many inmates under their care have been afforded such an opportunity.

According to the Civil Society Institute figures, in 2006, 22% of inmates were afforded early release after appearing before an independent board of inquiry. In 2010, that number dropped to 7%.

Ruben Amatouni, an inmate at the Kosh Correctional Facility, told Hetq that he took a survey on his own revealing that the Department of Corrections has not presented any of its inmates for conditional release despite laws on the books allowing for such a process for a number of criminal offenses including murder, bodily injury, fraud, theft, the sale and use of drugs, etc.

Hetq wrote to the Department of Corrections, asking that it supply figures regarding how many times per year, on average, have inquiry boards at correctional facilities interviewed inmates for conditional release.

At first, the department requested one month to provide us with an answer. Later, they informed us that they didn’t keep such figures.